This process tactic, or perhaps anti-process tactic, involves an unannounced escalation. It is used by those who have trouble following processes, or it may be used to overcome an impasse or get to the true point of resistance that the gate-keeping negotiator either doesn’t know about or isn’t willing to reveal. This is truly offensive to process-driven and compliant organizations.
This tactic is evident when people go directly to the executive suite when a line negotiator is not doing their will. For example, a losing bidder on an RFP may contact the chairman, which is totally inappropriate.
Head this off by being clear on authority. You can avoid escalation by anticipating issues and stopping short of the escalation point if possible. Ensure your direct report is communicating negotiation status up the organization, and that your adversary knows who controls the dialog.