signaling and sidebar discussions?


Senior Member
What does "signaling and sidebar discussions" mean?

Unions want better wages, benefits, and working conditions for members; management aims to keep costs down and maximize profits for shareholders. Negotiating teams follow a familiar script: “Negotiators have to act like opponents, representatives and experts,
showing that they are aligned with teammates and constituents, willing to push hard to achieve constituent goals, and constantly in control. On the public stage, anger and opposition dominate; rituals of opposition, representation, and control produce a drama of conflict. At the same time, there are mechanisms for private understanding between opposing lead bargainers, such as signaling and sidebar discussions”(Friedman, 1994, pp. 86–

Source: Reframing Organizations
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    "Signaling" should mean that these bargainers are able to signal each other in subtle ways to communicate something meaningful between the two bargainers.

    "Sidebar discussions" should refer to private or semi-private discussions that take place during a negotiation that is primarily an open, public event. I'm not telling you however, that random people can wander in off the street and participate in these negotiations. Instead, I'm telling you that most of the bargaining is conducted with no special effort to maintain the privacy of the people involved in the negotiation.
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