Category Archives: Negotiation management

Using and the power of “Committees” in negotiations

The CDU/CSU/SPD coalition negotiations were drawn out. In the end SPD, which brought in one of the worst election results in its history, was left the triumphant victor. How was this done? Sigmar Gabriel, head of the SPD party, relied on the “committee” : A tactic which banks for example typically draw on. A third power not at the table and which cannot be influenced by the negotiator, whose composition and contacts is not known, determines the weal and woe of a contract. With banks it’s committees who rule on lending. With SPD it was suddenly all its members: An anonymous body Angela Merkel was not able to address directly. Everybody knew: If members aren’t presented with an appealing draft contract, they will decline it – even if Sigmar Gabriel personally was in favor of it. Even the chancellor therefore had to make an effort to appeal to the SPD – and not only secure a pact with a few negotiation partners behind closed doors.