Case Study: Teaching with a Powerful Negotiated Agreement

By on / Teaching Negotiation

What do a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the CEO of an international financial advisory firm, and the former United States ambassador to the United Nations have in common? They’ve all received the Great Negotiator Award.

Every year, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School bestows this prestigious honor on distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in the field of dispute resolution and negotiation have had compelling and lasting results and produced a significant negotiated agreement by overcoming contentious barriers.

To help students and professionals learn valuable lessons from these highly skilled negotiators, our Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers the Great Negotiator Case Study Series featuring in-depth studies such as “To Hell with the Future, Let’s Get On With the Past” – George Mitchell in Northern Ireland as well as the intellectual property negotiation with China led by Charlene Barshefsky.

“To Hell With The Future, Let’s Get On With The Past” – George Mitchell In Northern Ireland – Featured Case Study

Between 1996 and 1998, U.S. negotiator George Mitchell served as the chairman of the all-party peace talks in Northern Ireland. By persevering in an extremely difficult political climate, his efforts culminated in a historic negotiated agreement including the signing of the Good Friday Accords. Designed to spark class discussion, this case study features a variety of strategic issues including:

  • Understanding how deep-seated political conflict and historical perspectives can influence negotiations
  • Building trust to break an impasse and foster reconciliation
  • Establishing rules for more effective dispute resolution
  • Grasping the influence of external events on the negotiation process
  • Reaching a negotiated agreement amidst volatile identity-based issues

Charlene Barshefsky – Featured Case Study

Through this factual case study, readers will explore the challenges faced by former United States Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky pursuing a negotiated agreement on trade with China to improve its domestic intellectual property rights enforcement regime. Split into two parts, Case A offers analysis of Ambassador Barshefsky’s strategy in coalition-building in the United States and abroad while Case B details her approach to surmounting the barriers laid out in Case A.

Charlene Barshefsky (Case A) and Charlene Barshefsky (Case B) may be used together or separately to help students:

  • Examine complex negotiation and coalition building strategies in an international context
  • Explore the differences among national/cultural negotiating styles
  • Analyze the barriers to doing a deal amidst splintered commercial and political interests
  • Brainstorm innovative approaches to surmounting those barriers

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 materials are designed for educational purposes. They are used in college classrooms 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 case studies introduce participants to new dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies to pursue a meaningful negotiated agreement. Our videos, books, case studies, and periodicals are also a helpful way of introducing viewers to key concepts while addressing 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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