The course "Negotiation and Conflict Management" pursues three overarching goals. Specifically, the course
- provides a conceptual framework that helps students to build knowledge in negotiation theory, develop negotiation strategies, and learn practical negotiation techniques.
- enables students to apply theoretical knowledge in case studies to develop effective overall negotiating and conflict resolution strategies in difficult and complex real-world situations.
- allows students to practice negotiating using role-play simulations that cover different negotiation situations in order to improve personal negotiation and conflict management skills.
The course is informative and open for all students who are not yet familiar with the topic of negotiation management as well as students who have acquired first experience with communication and negotiation techniques (e.g., through participation in related courses such as “English Business Negotiations” or “Communication and Personal Skills”).
The course advances the spectrum of such related courses by addressing more advanced negotiation topics. In the five main sessions of the course, we will focus on (1) distributive and (2) integrative bargaining, (3) multiparty negotiations, (4) the nature and emotionality of conflicts, and (5) the role of a third party (i.e., mediator) for conflict management and resolution.
This course provides training in both the theory and practice of negotiation. After completing this course, students will have
- acquired the conceptual skills necessary to become a sophisticated analyst of negotiation situations.
- advanced their understanding of the underlying structure of negotiations, as well as the psychology behind negotiation-based judgment and decision-making.
- gained knowledge on the complexities involved in satisfying interests in multiparty negotiations and practiced how to gain information and leverage in these situations.
- improved their negotiation skills in hands-on negotiation experiences, with the goal of imparting comfort and confidence when using these tools in every-day life.
- understood the nature of complex conflicts and gained insights into different approaches that facilitate conflict resolution as a first- and as a third party (i.e., mediator).
Attendance in class is required (formal records of attendance will be kept). You at least need to be present 80% of the time, which implies that you should not miss more than one session.
The course utilizes theory inputs, readings, videos, cases, role-plays, and scenarios to help you learn about and build your negotiation skills as well as your understanding of human conflicts.
You will be working one on one as well as in team negotiations, engaging in discussions, and accessing resources that will enhance your ability to navigate your way through complex situations. You will be learning about conflict management by analyzing and discussing real-world cases and train to become a more effective negotiator by engaging in different negotiation experiences from a wide range of contexts. These negotiation experiences range from simple two party negotiations to complex multiparty negotiations and will support the development of skills, strategies, and tactics that are applicable in work environments as well as in all facets of life. You will learn to communicate more effectively, recognize and develop alternatives as well as overcome barriers, and utilize your existing strengths in each class.
Please be aware that we will be working with high-quality cases and simulations in this course that require paying a licensing fee. As this course does not have an extra budget, each student is required to purchase several role-plays/case studies using their own credit card. The total sum that you will have to invest for all required purchases will range between 15€ and 20€.
Grading components for performance assessment:
- Participation (30%)
- Case Analysis (30%)
- Capstone Negotiation Exercise (40%)
Below are brief descriptions of each of these grading components. For each component, a more detailed instruction will be provided in the extended syllabus and throughout course.
Your participation grade is assessed at the individual level and is composed of three elements
- Negotiations (10%): You must complete all negotiations on time for full credit. Additionally, three negotiations are graded (and your two best outcomes determine this grading element). You will know which negotiations are graded ahead of time.
- Class discussion (10%): Everyone will have opportunity to contribute to class discussion, as we will debrief each negotiation in class. Your contribution will be judged for quality, not quantity.
- Peer feedback (10%): You will be asked to provide a brief feedback to your negotiation partner/counterpart after each graded negotiation exercise (incl. capstone negotiation). The recipients of your feedback will evaluate the quality of your feedback via a survey.
Case Analysis (30%)
The case analysis will be a graded presentation of a group task. Students will form groups of four and analyze a real-world conflict (e.g., Ukraine-Russia crisis, Re-negotiation of Iran nuclear agreement, Afghan peace process). The case analysis requires you and your team to gather background information on the conflict, identify relevant actors, issues and interests, and develop and discuss potential pathways for conflict resolution.
Each team will prepare a presentation of their case analysis and conflict resolution strategy and (~ 10 min) develop questions for leading a class discussion (~ 20 min). Your grade for this task will be evaluated at the group-level and will be based on the quality of your case summary and proposed conflict resolution (15%), application of relevant course concepts in the analysis (5%), presentation style, and discussion leading (10%).
Capstone Negotiation Exercise (40%)
In lieu of a final exam, there will be a graded capstone negotiation. In this exercise, you will prepare, conduct, and reflect on a two-party negotiation, with each party consisting of two students. Student teams will be randomly assigned and the negotiation will be conducted in class, in the same manner that most other course negotiations are conducted. Your grade will be comprised of three elements:
- Group preparation note (10%): This document summarizes your team’s strategy heading into the negotiation.
- Group negotiation outcome (10%): Your party’s outcome is scored relative to other parties in your role.
- Individual reflective analysis report (20%): Each student will write a summary of his or her experience with this negotiation. The report should critically reflect upon the team’s initial strategy, the role of each team member, and the negotiation process.
These three elements will be considered for your capstone negotiation grade. There are both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the grade, and both group and individual aspects.
The major objective of this task is to assess whether you can apply and integrate the theoretical knowledge and practical negotiation skills that you have acquired within this course. We are doing this via a “real” negotiation so you have a chance to demonstrate these fundamentals, and so that your evaluation is based on actual behavior.
If you have any further questions regarding the course content or organization, feel free to contact me anytime: email@example.com