The effect of power on inter-agency negotiations
Author(s):Burkardt, N. and B.L. Lamb
Suggested Citation:Burkardt, N. and B.L. Lamb. 1995. The effect of power on inter-agency negotiations. Evaluating Decision Processes Study Report to Respondents. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Geological Survey. 3 p.
Power is the ability to make others do what they would otherwise not do. It is commonly believed that power is the central theme of negotiation. Ask anyone and they will tell you that negotiation outcomes are largely determined by who holds power. Because much of the evidence to support this idea is anecdotal, we decided to investigate the relationship between a balance of power and negotiation success. We accomplished this by interviewing individuals who participated in Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC) consultations. During these consultations project applicants, resource agencies, and other interested parties attempted to determine environmental conditions for non-Federal hydropower project licenses. Our structured interviews with participants in four different consultations led us to conclusions about what power factors are associated with successful negotiations. While our case studies examined FERC licensing negotiations, the results are generalizable to other natural resource negotiation settings, such as Section 404, Section 7, and Section 10 consultations.