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Postgraduate Course: Negotiation (CMSE11493)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryEffective negotiation is one of the most valuable skills needed for success in leading major programmes. Expertise in this area (negotiation) leads to the crafting of better deals, helps manage teams and projects more efficiently, and facilitates the successful conduct of client and employee relations.

This course offers useful and effective theoretical insights into the negotiation process. It also provides practical tools that can be used in a range of everyday situations. While the in-class exercises cover such apparently simple situations as buying a car or negotiating one's salary, the skills highlighted here are generally applicable in real-world situations of substantially greater commercial significance.

These situations include determining the terms and conditions of one's individual employment; negotiating commercial contracts; corporate take-overs; union-management agreements; setting regulatory conditions; determining the location of an environmentally hazardous facility; and in resolving commercial disputes with third party intervention (mediation and arbitration). The negotiation situations under discussion and the in-class negotiation exercises start out as simple two party single-issue situations. These grow in complexity with an increased number of 'issues on the table' and a larger number of negotiating parties.
Course description This course addresses an area where many resource allocation decisions depend not on the outcome of market forces but on the interplay of bargaining between two or more groups. Such situations may be found in purchasing raw materials, in contracting for the services of engineers, architects, or builders, in determining the terms and conditions of a key employee's individual employment, in company take-overs, in union-management agreements concerning groups of workers, in insolvency situations, in agreeing compliance with regulatory conditions, in determining the location of an environmentally dangerous facility, and in many other areas of resource allocation.

Some of the important considerations that bear on such situations have long been understood in economics, e.g. the concept of reservation price. Others are only now being addressed. These new developments principally concern game theory and can be traced back to the work of Thomas Schelling as summarised in his 'The Strategy of Conflict'. It has to be emphasised that, while strategic considerations form a key part of our approach, this is not a course in game theory and we do not pursue a theoretical approach. The approach we adopt here is more behavioural and applied.

This course attempts to recognise that the proper understanding of negotiation requires we go beyond the traditional boundaries of economics and management science, and address notions of bounded rationality, biases in decision making, social influence etc. The course place considerable emphasis on bounded rationality and the social construction of reality. It will also make extensive use of role-playing and group-based simulations. There will, therefore, be a substantial practical component to the teaching.

Outline Content:

1. Determining price and value; BATNA; zone of agreement; focal point; the canonical distributive bargaining case.
2. Perceptions and biases; framing; anchoring; escalation.
3. Strategic behaviour - two parties; commitment; integrative versus distributive negotiation.
4. Strategic behaviour - more than two issues; more than two parties; coalitions.
5. Bargaining over positions versus principles ('Getting to Yes').
6. Third parties; facilitators, mediators, and arbitrators.
7. Negotiation in the Shadow of the Law.
8. Negotiating in the context of employment relations.
9. Environmental conflict resolution.
10. Ethics of negotiation; fairness, lies and 'strategic misrepresentations'.
11. Negotiation and culture; Body Language.
12. Electronic Negotiation

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the major academic theories that are relevant to the negotiation process.
  2. Apply the principles of the negotiation process to negotiation in practice.
  3. Understand and critically discuss distributive bargaining strategies (claiming value) and integrative bargaining strategies (creating value).
  4. Understand and critically discuss negotiating power and the strategic behaviour in multiparty and multi-issue negotiations.
  5. Develop interpersonal skills, including those of communication, as well as some third party dispute resolution skills.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List

Core Textbook:
Leigh Thompson, The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator,
Publisher: Pearson;
6th edition (27 Nov. 2014) ISBN-10: 1292073330; or 5th edition (19 Sept. 2011)

Required Reading:
Rodger Fisher, William Ury & Bruce Patton, Getting to Yes: The Secret to Successful Negotiation, Random House (any edition).

Additional Landmark Readings:
Allred, K.G. (2000). ¿Distinguishing Best and Strategic Practices: A Model of Prescriptive Advice for Managing the Dilemma between Claiming and Creating Value.¿ Negotiation Journal 16: 387-398

Bazerman, Max H. and Kahneman, Daniel (2016). ¿How to Make the Other Side Play Fair¿. Harvard Business Review. Sep2016, Vol. 94 Issue 9, p76-103.

Cialdini, Robert B. (1993), Influence: the psychology of persuasion. New York: W. Morrow, c1993. (BF774 Cia.)

Lax, David A. and Sebenius, James K., (1986) "The negotiator's dilemma" from David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius, The manager as negotiator: bargaining for cooperation and competitive gain pp.29-45, London, Collier Macmillan.

Posner, Richard A (1984), ¿Economic Analysis of Law¿ in A. I. Ogus and C G Veljanovski (eds.). Readings in the Economics of Law and Regulation. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 335-347 (from R A Posner Economic Analysis of Law 2nd edition 1977 Chapter 21, pp335-347).

Raiffa, Howard (1982), The Art and Science of Negotiation. Harvard University Press, Chapters 3 and 4.

Rees, McKenzie, Ann Tenbrunsel and Max Bazerman (2019) ¿Bounded ethicality and ethical fading in negotiations: Understanding unintended unethical behaviour¿, Academy of Management Perspectives. Vol. 33, no. 1 (In-Press).

Schelling, Thomas C (1960), The Strategy of Conflict. Harvard University Press, Chapters 2 and 3

Walton, Richard E and McKersie, Robert B (1965), ¿A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations: An Analysis of a Social Interaction System¿, Cornell University Press (.331116 Wal)

White, Jim (1984), "The Pros and cons of `Getting to Yes'." Journal of Legal Education, pp. 115-124.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Through the active learning aspect of the course (the simulated negotiation exercises, which involve extensive role-playing), students will improve their interpersonal skills, numeracy and team-working.

Cognitive Skills:
- After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Understand the economic analysis of negotiation
- Be able to utilise social psychology in the context of a business negotiation
- Evaluate the potential for strategic behaviour in the context of a negotiation situation

Subject Specific Skills :
- After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Recognise that the proper understanding of negotiation requires we go beyond the traditional boundaries of economics and address notions of bounded rationality, biases in decision making, social influence and so on.
- Be familiar with the aspects of strategic behaviour that impact on negotiation (such as the negotiator's dilemma).
- Make extensive use of role-playing and group-based simulations will develop interpersonal and group dynamic skills.
- Evaluation of how the economics of the situation combines with the social psychology of the context to inform the strategic options available to the negotiating parties.
- Recognise a negotiating situation.
- Prepare for a negotiation by assessing own and counterparties positions and interests.
- Understand, speak and write the language of negotiation in order to communicate effectively with other seasoned negotiators and represent own thinking about a particular situation in clear analytical terms.
- Draw on recent developments in behavioural economics, social psychology and strategic behaviour to inform approach to a negotiation.
- Establish whether a negotiated outcome is possible.
- Craft a negotiated outcome that best addresses the interests of the party that you represent.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Brian Main
Tel: (0131 6)50 8360
Course secretary
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