An empirical examination of three models of integrative and distributive bargaining

William A. Donohue, Anthony J. Roberto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


This paper tests the fit of three models of integrative and distributive bargaining using eight hostage negotiation transcripts. Putnam (1990) argues that integrative and distributive bargaining processes are best understood through the interdependence model that emphasizes the dynamic nature in which bargainers make transitions between integrative and distributive positions. The separate and the stage models predict more stable patterns of distributive and integrative behavior. To determine the goodness of fit for these three models, this paper compares integrative and distributive strategy use among actual and simulated hostage negotiations. These hostage negotiations, obtained from the FBI and a Midwest state police organization, were transcribed and coded using a scheme designed to tap cooperative and competitive strategy use of both hostage takers and police negotiators. The data reveal that the interdependence model best fits the simulated cases. This fit is evidenced by the major shifts between integrative and distributive orientations displayed by hostage takers and police negotiators. The separate models and the stage appear to fit several features of the authentic hostage negotiation cases. The study concludes that the extent to which each model emerges depends largely on which contextual parameters dominate the interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-229
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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