In an attempt to find out what are the components of position in a negotiation phenomena. I’ve had a discussion with someone lately and the analogy that lead our considerations is that of two people arguing and the variation of their relative positions via the interplay of facts they are presenting.
At first the person draw a small sketch of two people standing on piles of facts. The idea here is to say that part of what defines your position in an argument is that amount of facts at your disposal to forge arguments and proposals which in some sense defines what we called the power of your position. That is, value driven from quantity.
Then the same person pointed out that facts aren’t all equal, some of them are good and others are bad, which is something intuitive to say. There is some quality feature attached to facts, some are more solid, some are very fundamental. In all cases such good facts influence people and may even change their positions. “Well an influential fact is a fact that is very connected and rooted. You can use it in multiple ways and people relate to it and so you are able to use it to draw their attention and speak to them in terms they understand and follow.” From that it was clear that in addition to power we had to add influence. The value driven from connectivity.
At this point of the discussion we had to explain the origin of the quality of fact and while looking for an intrinsic structure to them, we found the article “Wittgenstein’s Revenge” very serving as it considered facts as the product of observation, context omission and trust (in the observer + context omitter). The quality of the fact is affected by the quality of the observation (or measurement) and that of the context omission (application of some <ir/relevant> filter). Yet we have a component that doesn’t have much to do with the thing itself but more with who is associated with it, trust. This realization did send us after third positional component, which is authority. As of course, someone who is an authority in some domain is a trusted party with the facts of that specific domain. Authority is value driven from trust.
The result of such discussion is that what defines “position” are three components each being a value driven from a fundamental logistic concept. These components are power, influence and authority. A negotiation trades between these values among players positioned in various way to reach a desired logistic configuration that satisfied all parties or some of them.