However there were many pros and cons related to the decision I took. Before I began to study for my master program, I worked in my family company for two years. It is our family tradition that every member after graduating has to work for at least 5 years in our family company and then carry out with whatever they want. My father did not agree with my idea of leaving my family company and studying. He wanted me to work in our family company for another three years. Whereas being a creative person I wanted to start my own business and implement all what I have learnt yet. I told my father that I will work for another 3 years after completing my masters but was not at all interested to join my family business anyway. I needed to make my father understand that what I actually want, while on the other hand I couldn’t refuse what he is asking me to do as family is considered a significant institution in Saudi Arabia.
The situation described above is a pure negotiation between me and my family. I think that the goals of my family are intangible as what they want is to merely follow a tradition, which is that every graduate family member is obliged to join the family business for 5 years. While on the other side my goals are very much tangible as I want to start my business where I can implement all my knowledge without being under the influence of anybody. I want to be my own boss and do things my own way.
For me family is an important institution, therefore I cannot take any step
without considering my parent’s opinion. My position in the negotiation was weak, whereas my father held a strong position. My interests were based on my own personal benefit, while my father’s priorities were based on the mutual interest of all the family members. My interest was to establish my own business where I have the ability to do things my own way without the interference of others, while my father’s interest was to flourish our family business for the interest of the whole family. The best possible alternative for my father was that I should give at least three years to the family business and then continue with whatever I wanted, whereas the best possible agreement for me was that soon after completing my maters I would like to setup my own business. The alternative that I considered best for myself was the resistance point for my father, while spending two years in my family company was too much for me. I could have done lots of different things that would bring me much closer to my dream of having a successful business. Negotiation Process I did prepare for the negotiation before, as I knew that this negotiation is related to my future. I planned to use the distributive statics starting with agreeing on all the facts presented by my father. My father presented his view that why he thinks I should give three more years to our family business. I agreed to all the reasons he came up with in the negotiation. This developed the interest of my father to listen to my point of view. I briefed them on what my studies and my dream meant to me. I told them that I think I wasn’t born to follow anybody but to work on my own based on all what I have learnt from my studies and my work experience while working in my family business and I think that it is enough for me to implement in my practical life. All the reasons that I presented were quite effective as my father began to think over all the statement that I said to support my negotiation. Negotiation Outcome Although somehow me and my father managed to reach a decision that was acceptable for both of us. He asked me to work just for one more year in my family comp