Best-In-Class Negotiation Case Studies

Negotiation case studies to help you improve your negotiation training and instruction

By — on / Teaching Negotiation

negotiation case studies

What’s one of the best ways to teach the art and science of negotiation? Negotiation case studies that spark lively discussion or facilitate self-reflection. Based on real-world examples, these teaching resources are designed to help students envision how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and beyond.

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at the Program on Negotiation offers negotiation case studies from renowned authors who’ve negotiated trade agreements, aided peace treaties, and handled many other high-stakes deals. By drawing on their own experiences, they’ve crafted negotiation case studies that are authentic, compelling, and enlightening.

Two of the TNRC’s most useful negotiation case studies are Negotiating About Pandas for San Diego Zoo and The Mariyinsky Palace Negotiations.

Featured Negotiation Case Studies

Negotiating About Pandas for San Diego Zoo

How do you negotiate from a position of relative weakness? It’s a question that plagues negotiation students and professionals alike. This case tackles the issue head-on with a negotiation between the executive director of an American zoo and China, the only country in the world that has giant pandas.

If that’s not challenging enough, the case becomes more complex when the China Wildlife Conservation Association, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and nongovernmental (NGO) conservation groups get involved. Based on actual negotiations, this three-part case offers lessons for business, law and government students as well as professionals. By working on this case, participants can learn to:

  • Pay attention to the “big picture” and the creation of frameworks (formulas) that structure a transaction or relationship between parties
  • Identify different sources of bargaining power and BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement)
  • Handle uncomfortable topics or tasks in creative, tactful ways that are sensitive to the parties’ relationship
  • Respond effectively to extreme demands from a counterpart
  • Consider when (if, how) to incorporate cultural factors in plans for negotiation
The Mariyinsky Palace Negotiations

A factual case study based on the disputed 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, The Mariyinsky Palace Negotiations: Maintaining Peace Throughout the Ukraine’s Orange Revolution offers a rich illustration of complex multiparty negotiation dynamics.

This case study, which is based on extensive research and interviews with key observers, offers an account of the factors that contributed to the contested first runoff election, unprecedented second runoff election, and victory for opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. An advanced teaching tool, Mariyinsky Palace Negotiations features a comprehensive exploration of:

  • Sophisticated negotiation techniques
  • Coalitional and other multi-party dynamics
  • The pressure of constituencies and the role of third-party facilitators
  • The influence of external events on the negotiations

Take your Training to the Next Level with the TNRC

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center offers a wide range of effective teaching materials, including

Most TNRC materials are designed for educational purposes— for use in college classrooms or corporate training settings. TNRC cases and exercises help mediators and facilitators introduce their clients to a processor issue and help individuals who want to enhance their negotiation skills and knowledge.

Negotiation case studies introduce participants to new negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies. Videos are also a helpful way of introducing viewers to key concepts, and TNRC books, role-play simulations, and periodicals address the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict management.

Check out all that the TNRC has in store >>

Originally published in 2014.

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