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Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

What Is the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)?

The best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is the course of action that a party participated in negotiations will take in the event that talks fail, and no agreement can be reached. Negotiation researchers Roger Fisher and William Ury begat the term BATNA in their 1981 bestseller "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In." A party's BATNA alludes to what a party can fall back on in the event that a negotiation demonstrates fruitless.

Figuring out a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

Gatherings might fit BATNAs to any situation that calls for negotiations, going from conversations of a pay climb to settling more complex situations like mergers.BATNAs are essential to negotiation in light of the fact that a party can't arrive at an educated conclusion about whether to acknowledge an agreement except if they grasp their alternatives. While a BATNA may not generally be not difficult to recognize, Harvard researchers have illustrated several steps to assist with explaining the cycle:

  1. List all alternatives assuming your current negotiation closes in a stalemate.
  2. Assess your alternatives in view of the value of chasing after an alternative.
  3. Select the alternative action(s) that would have the highest expected value for you.
  4. After you have determined your BATNA in Step 3, compute your [reservation value](/save price) or the most minimal valued deal you will acknowledge.

Assuming that the value of the deal proposed to you is lower than your reservation value, you ought to dismiss the offer and seek after your BATNA. In any case, assuming the last offer is higher than your reservation value, you ought to acknowledge the offer.

A strong BATNA can likewise assist a party with understanding that it has an engaging alternative to the deal and can walk away from an enticing offer.

Negotiation is more than determining a series of alternatives. Understanding the subtleties of negotiation strategies can assist with working on professional connections by settling troublesome questions. Understanding negotiation can likewise assist you with assessing personal qualities and weaknesses in the face of conflict and figure out how to deal with your bargaining propensities. At last, concentrating on the common and possibly manipulative negotiation strategies employed by certain individuals can assist arbitrators with killing their effects.


To arrive at the best conceivable outcome, it is important to do however much planning as could reasonably be expected before going into negotiations. This means besides the fact that you prepare should a strong BATNA in advance, you ought to likewise research into the BATNAs accessible to the contradicting party. Alternately, you ought to anticipate that the other party should do the equivalent don't let the opposite side endeavor to downplay your BATNA.

Setting up various BATNAs, as opposed to what "best" could lead you to believe is additionally conceivable." As a matter of fact, you ought to have whatever number as could be expected under the circumstances the more BATNAs in your munititions stockpile, the more cards you need to play at the arranging table.

Regardless of the name, you can prepare different BATNAs, giving you a stronger bargaining posture.


While there are clear benefits to seeing every one of the accessible options, arriving at an unacceptable result is as yet conceivable. There are numerous potential pitfalls facing a troublesome negotiation, and moderators genuinely should remain discipline when pressured by the restricting party.

It is likewise important to comprehend the value of the relative multitude of alternatives accessible. On the off chance that a mediator puts too high a value on the other party's hand, they risk making big concessions for not very many benefits. Assuming that a mediator undervalues the other party's hand, they might talk themselves into a position that can never be settled.

Numerous moderators become genuinely invested in a fruitful outcome, particularly on the off chance that they have already invested a ton of energy at the bargaining table. This is the sunk cost fallacy- a skilled moderator ought to constantly be ready to walk away. On the other hand, one is likewise prone to go under pressure from the restricting moderators, who will give a valiant effort to lessen the value of your BATNAs.

Benefits and Disadvantages of BATNA

A strong BATNA can be a significant card at the arranging table, permitting gatherings to ground their positions on a verifiable basis instead of feelings. Strong BATNAs likewise guarantee a backup plan, so the organization won't be interfered with on the off chance that the negotiations fail. It likewise makes a failure more uncertain; the stronger the BATNA, the more probable the restricting party is to look for a mutual agreement.

Notwithstanding, the BATNA interaction additionally has its costs. Contingent upon how muddled the business in question is, finding the best alternative can be an extensive and costly cycle in itself. It is likewise not an infallible cycle, and moderators run the risk of misjudging their options or ignoring a portion of the conceivable outcomes.

Pros & Cons of BATNA


  • Provides a backup plan if negotiations fail.

  • Makes agreement more likely, as a strong BATNA is more likely to bring counterparties to agreement.

  • Allows negotiations from a sound factual basis.


  • Calculating BATNAs can be an expensive and complicated process.

  • Negotiators may still miscalculate the cost or benefits of some alternatives.

  • There is still a risk of making a disadvantageous choice.

## Illustration of a Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

For instance, Company A makes a takeover offer of $20 million to Company B. Yet Company B accepts they are worth $30 million in valuation. Company B rapidly dismisses the offer. In any case, what Company B didn't consider is the rising competition in the industry and more tight guidelines โ€” which will limit its all growth in the approaching year(s) and bring down its valuation.

On the off chance that Company B had required some investment to integrate these factors into the current valuation, and obviously traveled through the four BATNA steps, including #2, assessing the alternative of keeping with it in a troublesome business environment, management could have been convinced to acknowledge. They would have remembered these expected risks for their estimate of the reservation value-the absolute worst outcome a moderator is prepared to acknowledge.


  • A BATNA addresses the most alluring option accessible in the event that negotiations fail.
  • BATNAs exist when negotiations are not pleasing to the gatherings in question.
  • In the event that conceivable, general negotiations are many times a better and speedier strategy.
  • Arbitrators can likewise advance their position by investigating different BATNAs.
  • BATNAs are utilized to determine the reservation value-the absolute worst offer a mediator will acknowledge.


What Is a Strong BATNA?

A BATNA, or Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement, addresses the best option to one party in a negotiation in the event that the talks fail. A strong BATNA means that that party has a sensibly alluring alternative to negotiation; on the off chance that they fail to agree, they can execute the BATNA with insignificant disruption.

What Is the Difference Between BATNA and Reservation Value?

A BATNA addresses the best option that anyone could hope to find to one party assuming negotiations fail, while a reservation value addresses the most obviously terrible deal they might want to acknowledge. A reservation value ought to constantly be higher than the BATNA. For instance, while buying a vehicle, the BATNA could address the option of shopping at another dealer. The reservation value would address the highest price you will pay, contingent upon the cost of finding different dealers.

Would it be advisable for me to Reveal My BATNA in Negotiations?

While uncovering a strong BATNA can give significant leverage, a weak BATNA ought to never be revealed, on the grounds that that will just give the rival side more motivation to hold out for additional concessions. For instance, in employment negotiations, a strong counteroffer from another employer can assist you with bargaining for a higher salary or more vacation time; uncovering a weak counteroffer just shows that you enjoy no benefits to going somewhere else.

How Do I Find My BATNA?

The initial step to determining a BATNA is to list every one of the potential courses of action that will be accessible assuming the negotiations fail. Next, assess the value of every alternative, and determine which ones are generally alluring. Having calculated your BATNA, you can now make a determination about the most minimal value deal you ought to acknowledge.