Check Out the New Brief Course Outlines from the TNRC

By Lara SanPietroon / Teaching Negotiation

Brief Course Outline

Planning a new course for next semester or looking to reinvent a current one? Check out our brief course outlines to get started planning your syllabus.

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) now offers brief outlines for eleven different course types which include recommended simulations and books and highlight key teaching points. While all teaching materials must be purchased separately, the brief course outlines can be used to develop courses which include all or only a selection of the recommended materials. Check out the full list of brief course outlines below:

Introductory Negotiation Skills

Many colleges and universities around the world offer multiple courses on negotiation for undergraduates, graduate students and post-graduates. It doesn’t matter whether these are offered in professional fields (like business administration, law, public management) or in social science or humanities disciplines (like political science/international relations, sociology/anthropology, economics), the basics of negotiation cover a half dozen key concepts and methods. Building on the seven elements described in Fisher/Ury/Patton’s Getting to Yes and laying out the steps or stages in the mutual gains approach, an introductory course should ground students in the distinction between interest-based negotiation vs. hard bargaining and present a game-theoretic overview to help negotiators understand what offers to make, which to accept, what information or arguments to offer, when and why. Check out the Introductory Negotiation Skills brief course outline to learn more about which teaching materials are recommended in this course.

Intermediate Negotiation Skills

Assuming learners have mastered the material in an introductory negotiation course, the next step is to introduce a second level of concepts and methods. One has to do with culture and cross-cultural negotiation. A second has to do with gender. The third has to do with the emergence of coalitions as the number of negotiating parties increases from two to “more than two.” Everything in the basic course still applies, but culture, gender and the number of parties can change everything. Check out the Intermediate Negotiation Skills brief course outline to learn more about which teaching materials are recommended in this course.

Advanced Negotiation Skills 

Once learners have completed the Introductory and Intermediate courses, they are ready to move to the Advanced Level. Again, everything covered in the first two courses needs to be carried forward, but now new institutional dimensions have been added. For some people, these characterize the “special” negotiations that they are most interested in. These can be highly stylized interactions governed by legislation in the United States (and other parts of the world). The people across the negotiating table represent large numbers of parties and the negotiators know that the “sides” have a shared interest in the economic viability of the economic entity involved as well as a continued interest in what are sure to be repeated rounds of negotiation. We then introduce ideas about the role of “neutrals” (i.e. mediators, arbitrators, facilitators and other “third parties.” Check out the Advanced Negotiation Skills brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Entrepreneurial Negotiation 

Entrepreneurs must negotiate in a variety of situations which are unique from other types of business negotiations. Quite often in entrepreneurial negotiation, instead of “dividing the pie,” the pie does not yet exist and who comes on board for the venture will influence what the pie looks like. Check out the Entrepreneurial Negotiation brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Environmental Dispute Resolution 

All efforts to regulate environmental quality at the federal, state and local level involve negotiations among regulators, regulatees and interested stakeholders. These usually occur in the context of government administrative efforts, but they sometimes spill over into a litigation context — either the government sues private actors for violating environmental regulations, interested stakeholders sue both the government and regulated industries, or different levels of government sue each other. Anyone studying environmental management, environmental engineering or environmental planning needs to learn how to negotiate environmental agreements. In recent years, a new category of environmental disputes has arisen. These focus on environmental justice (or environmental racism) claims. The six role play simulations included in this course outline cover not only environmental regulatory (and enforcement disputes), but resource allocation disputes as well (like who gets what share of scarce land or water resources). Check out the Environmental Dispute Resolution brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Health Care Negotiation 

Health care negotiations have a number of distinctive features. Most importantly, lives are often at stake. Health care negotiations cover interactions within health care-providing institutions and between those institutions and government regulators. They also extend to health policy decisions (both in the public and the private sectors). Check out the Health Care Negotiation brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Internal Company Negotiations, Human Resources, and Reworking Existing External Contracts 

This short course focuses on a range of internal and external negotiation problems that highlight concerns about trust, relationship building, and modifying agreements or contracts that are already in place. Check out the Internal Company Negotiations brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

International Relations and Treaty Negotiation

Disputes within and disputes among countries require applied negotiation and dispute resolution skills, not just negotiation analysis capabilities. Bilateral negotiations (over trade, shared borders, migration, and more) are complex, but treaty negotiations involving all nations and territories require an additional set of diplomatic skills. Check out the International Relations and Treaty Negotiation brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Legal Negotiation and Mediation

Many legal cases filed are settled before a judge or a jury can render a judgment. In all these contexts, lawyers have to negotiate with other lawyers (and often with their clients present) with an eye toward what is likely to happen if the case actually proceeds to court. Thus, it is not just how effectively both sides present their arguments, all proposals and prospective settlements have to be considered in light of past legal precedent and the likely reactions of judges and juries to the way arguments and evidence are presented. Check out the Legal Negotiation and Mediation brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Urban Development Conflicts 

City planning and public administration are two fields that have changed dramatically over the past several decades. Instead of offering a master plan that proffers a future image of the city, city managers are much more focused on solving everyday problems — like proving adequate affordable housing and public schools, ensuring public transport and road infrastructure, ensuring clean water at manageable prices, sustaining small businesses, providing support for the arts and public open space, and helping to correct long-standing social inequities. To be effective, city governments have to be able to engage stakeholders directly in decision-making, maintain transparency and accountability, and mediate among competing interest groups. Negotiation skills are central to the practice of city planning, public administration and public sector management. Check out the Urban Development Conflicts brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

Water Resource Management

There are conflicts over water that some fear will lead to war. Conflicts between bordering states, conflicts among countries that are river basin riparian, conflicts between states or regions within a single country, and conflicts over the use of coastal resources all require complex negotiation skills to balance politics, power, science and law. Check out the Water Resource Management brief course outline to learn more about the teaching materials recommended in this course.

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Take your training to the next level with the TNRC

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

TNRC negotiation exercises and teaching materials are designed for educational purposes. They are used in college classroom settings or corporate training settings; used by mediators and facilitators seeking to introduce their clients to a process or issue; and used by individuals who want to enhance their negotiation skills and knowledge.

Negotiation exercises and role-play simulations introduce participants to new negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies. Our videos, books, case studies, and periodicals are also a helpful way of introducing students to key concepts while addressing the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict management.

Which negotiation exercises have helped you? Let us know in the comments.

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