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Published: May 30 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

Until yesterday I thought that the bid by US pharma giant Pfizer for UK based pharma giant AstraZeneca was a flash-in-the-pan piece of opportunism. We first heard of the plan at the beginning of May, when an offer of £50 per share was tabled. The merger would create the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. It was based on two premises, firstly that AstraZeneca were weak because their product portfolio contained a number of high-profit drugs which were coming to the end of their patent protection, and with nothing much in the R&D cupboard to replace them, and secondly because it gave Pfizer an advantage by enabling them to move their head office to the UK and save loads of tax in an avoidance wheeze...

Published: May 16 , 2014
Author: Stephen White

On Wednesday Roger Boyes, the Diplomatic Editor of the London Times, wrote an op-ed piece critical of the West’s approach to the Iranian nuclear situation. In summary his view is that during the current negotiations Iranian President Rouhani may be making all the right noises about the lack of intent to build a nuclear bomb, but because he is a transient figure on the Iranian political scene, Boyes suggests that unless there is an agreement to international monitoring of the Revolutionary Guard, which is the stronger and more permanent force in Iranian politics and which controls the Iranian nuclear programme, then promises made so far will be worthless. As a result Iran will achieve a nuclear bomb and the world will be powerless to do anything about it in retrospect...

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To Persuade or Negotiate? That is the Question!

So often we are asked – what is the difference between persuasion and negotiation? We observe negotiations, discussions, and arguments with two types of dialogue - persuasive dialogue and negotiating dialogue. Persuasive dialogue is telling, selling, influencing and arguing to win. Negotiating dialogue is trying to discover the positions, constraints and priorities of the other party and also disclosing your own. We are trying to gain understanding in order to then trade on issues. So should I persuade or negotiate?...

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