Category Archives: Negotiation Case Studies

Fait Accompli – “The Deed is Done”

The cover story on the front page of a recent Wall Street Journal declared that “President Barack Obama installed four key regulatory appointees Wednesday without Senate approval using a disputed legal maneuver, setting off a clash with Republicans over presidential power that may end up in the courts” (WSJ, 1/5/12).

The President utilized a tactic known as “fait accompli.” Regarding this tactic, Dr. Karrass writes that the strength of this tactic “is the fact that once a deed is done or an action taken it is difficult to undo” (In Business As In Life, p. 351). While people will debate over the ethics of a tactic like this, it nevertheless is a very powerful concept and tactic.

The same concept is based on the old adage, “It’s generally easier to get forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

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