People illustration People theory

Communication, negotiation and consultation

Negotiation involves discussion to make agreements where the parties involved have some difference of interest or simply negotiation of how a task or project will be carried out. Consultation involves talking to interested parties both to explain developments and issues and in order to canvas their views and ideas that they can contribute.

Typically negotiation involves a greater level of democracy in decision making than consultation. In a negotiation there may be considerable uncertainty about what the outcome will be. In contrast managers who consult their employees may already have decided the core of what they intend to do from the outset.

Employer/employee relations

Negotiation and consultation are an important part of employer/employee relations in the workplace. Managers will negotiate with trade unions and with individual employees over work related issues. Consultation is an important aspect of any type of change that managers are thinking about introducing.

Consultation and negotiation are both indicative of a greater level of industrial democracy in Britain today than in the best. They represent a move away from the old 'tell and do' approach to management to one of 'involve and consult'.

Negotiations will take place in a workplace over pay and conditions, and about new working practices.

Consultive exercise

Consultation will take place when managers want to introduce changes (large and small) and when they want to find out the opinions of 'grass roots' employees about management actions. When managers wish to change existing practice they may carry out a consultative exercise to find out 'what are the main strengths and weaknesses of the existing system' and 'what approaches could be employed for changing the system'.


Supporting Documents

These downloads will help to put people theory into context using real world examples from real businesses.

The marketing mix in the food industry
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Find out how McCain Foods employed people theory to succeed in the food & drink industry by downloading our premium case study.

The use of social media in promotion
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Re-focussing a company's culture and marketing mix
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Find out how Argos applied people theory to thrive in the retail industry by downloading our premium case study.

Protecting the marketing mix through intellectual property rights
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Find out how Intellectual Property Office applied people theory to thrive in the public sector industry by downloading our premium case study.

Using sports marketing to engage with consumers
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Discover how Kia Motors employed people theory to succeed in the automotive industry by downloading our premium case study.