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Brian S. Mandell, Stephen Petraeus & Guhan Subramanian, Sources of Power in Public Negotiations: A Framework Applied to Public‐Public and Public‐Private Negotiations, 36 Negot. J. 397 (2020).

Abstract: The negotiation literature has extensively examined the topic of power and how it can be wielded. Numerous frameworks have been created and utilized in the various treatises on negotiations; analyzing the power differential in any given situation is a common teaching technique. However, despite this focus on the topic, discussions of power have been mainly focused on negotiations in the private sector. As a result, many of the most common frameworks are oriented toward this type of situation, resulting in a clumsy application to a public‐sector negotiation. Given the growing importance of negotiations to public‐sector leaders, we provide a new structure for analyzing power that can be utilized in such situations. For a municipal leader confronted with a complex public‐private partnership, it is important to have the right tools to use when examining the power dynamics at play. After examining several current models of power, as well as other writings on the topic in negotiation and strategy literature, we present a new model. This model divides power into different categories based on whether it stems from formal or informal mechanisms, and then offers several specific forms relevant to the public sector. We then use this new model to examine a case study involving the new mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire and her efforts to negotiate a better response to the opioid and homelessness crises. This case study illustrates the unique nature of public sector negotiations and provides a roadmap for negotiators looking to use our new framework.