MGMT 3302 (NegotiatiNG IN BUSINESS)
Spring 2019 SYLLABUS
Day & Time: Tuesday & Friday, 01:35 PM - 03:15 PM
Location: 237 Forsyth Hall
Course pack: Dispute Resolution Research Center (look for email/invoice)
Please note: Failure to purchase the course pack by January 15, 2019 will result in exclusion from class activities and a grade of F.
Negotiation is a frequent activity in organizational life. It occurs every time that two or more people are in a situation where their goals and interests differ, at least in part. In addition to what we formally think of as negotiation (e.g., proposals, purchases, recruits, contracts, etc.), organizational members also are engaged in a continuous series of less formal negotiations-with bosses, subordinates, peers, group members, customers, clients, suppliers, etc.
Many feel a bit unsure going into a negotiation. Some worry about the impact to relationships of asking for too much. Others are afraid of looking "weak" by giving concessions. So, we often aren't sure how to proceed. As a result, when we close the negotiation, we don't always feel great about the outcome. Often, we feel we have “left money on the table,” or that our relationship with the other party has been damaged.
Additionally, we need to deal with the fears we have when we negotiate, including the fear that other person has all the power, the belief that bad things will happen if you put your own interests on the table, or the belief that walking away means the negotiation was a failure.
Thus, we need tools, structures, and models to draw from. More than anything, we need practice, feedback, and reflection so that we can develop the negotiation skills that are so critical to success in organizational life (as well as personal life, too).
Whether we realize it or not, we have been negotiating all our lives. As a result, most of us have some skills in negotiation, but limit ourselves to a narrow intuitive repertoire of familiar strategies, tactics, and general responses to conflict. However, today's workplace requires a wide variety of skills and creative techniques. For most, intuition is not enough; we need to broaden our repertoire.
In this course we will cover the basic elements of negotiation. Readings, role playing exercises/simulations, and discussions will provide students the opportunity to develop their negotiation skills. Specifically, by the end of the course, you will have the opportunity to:
Understand what causes many of us to be less effective than we would like to be
Develop skills in gaining better outcomes in your future negotiations
Gain a better understanding of your tendencies and blind spots as a negotiator
Understand the difference between integrative (win-win) and distributive (win-lose) negotiations and develop your skills at both
Develop alternative strategies to being “too hard” or “too easy” as a negotiator; develop skills as a “principled negotiator”
Gain experience in multi-party negotiations
Gain experience in negotiating with a co-negotiator
Understand the importance of planning for a negotiation and how to do it
Understand the psychological dynamics of negotiation including, anchoring, framing, norm of reciprocity
Understand the tactics often used in negotiation and how to deal with hardball tactics
Understands the basics of mediation and practice mediation skills.
Virtually every class will involve a role play and simulation. Class members will be asked to prepare carefully for these negotiations, to fulfill the assigned role to the best of their ability, and to satisfy their assigned interests.
Negotiations in real life can be frustrating and uncomfortable. Similarly, some of the experiences in this course may make you uncomfortable. It is unlikely that the material itself will create discomfort, but the process of discussing and resolving the situations presented in the activities could. By enrolling in this class, you are accepting this fact and expressing your commitment to take the negotiation (and its relation to the learning of others) seriously.
This course is almost entirely experiential, as almost every class will focus on planning for or engaging in role plays and simulations designed to demonstrate different aspects of negotiations. Therefore, attendance is critical to learning in this format. As a result, attendance is mandatory; you need to attend all classes barring an emergency or university-sanctioned absence. I understand this may seem overly strict. However, it is extremely impractical to make up a simulation or role play, and the experiential nature of this course means that one student's absence directly impacts another student's learning. Thus, students are asked to provide advance notice (at least 24 hours) for any absences to allow me time to adjust the simulations. Additionally, please note that the penalty for absences is severe, in that each unexcused absence will result in a +/- decrease in your final grade.
Similarly, arriving to class on time is important, as delays impact the flow of class and simulations. Also, if students are late, I have to assume they are going to be absent and adjust simulation pairings accordingly. Thus, students not present within 5 minutes of class starting will be considered absent.
Almost every class will involve a simulation/role play. You will be assigned a role and given a case with instructions and information. You will be asked to use this information to prepare and carry out a negotiation exercise for which you will be paired with one or more counterparts. It is critical for you and your classmates' learning that you conscientiously prepare for and carry out these exercises. You can imagine how you will feel if after carefully preparing for a negotiation, you are paired with someone who has not prepared. It is a waste of time and negatively affects learning.
You will receive confidential instructions for most of these exercises. In your negotiations, it is entirely up to you as to how much - if any - of this information to disclose to the people with whom you are negotiating. Under no circumstances, however, may you show the actual instruction sheet to anyone else. As a practical matter, this rule largely mirrors reality. After all, in most situations, you cannot simply show the full set of your real underlying values and information to your negotiating counterparts, but you can selectively reveal information about them during discussions.
At times, there will be a need for you to use out of class time to prep for a simulation in an upcoming class. The expectation is that assigned material for preparation will be digested (i.e., read, thought about, possibly even discussed with friends) prior to the class meeting for which it is associated, as it contains information that is critical for the upcoming simulation. Additionally, you are also expected to complete a PLAN for each negotiation (unless otherwise specified). Some of these plans will need to be completed outside of class time and turned in prior to the negotiation. Under no circumstances are you to share confidential information about your role with others prior to the negotiation.
Prepping for Class
The use of laptops and tablets is permissible in preparation for simulations, and during simulations as deemed necessary or appropriate by the professor. The use of laptops and tablets during the debrief is frowned upon. If you choose to take digital rather than analog notes during debrief sessions, it is your responsibility to convince me that you are engaged in the discussion (i.e., through your active participation) and not simply surfing the web or doing other work. The use of smart phones and watches at any time is prohibited. Failure to adhere to this policy will negatively affect participation grades.
ASsessment of Learning
The formal nature of your degree program (and my employment) requires that some quantitative and qualitative evaluation of learning take place throughout the semester. Because this course is so interactive, participation will constitute a large portion of the final grade. The rest of the course grade will be based on a reflection journal and an end of course exam. The following sections outline the nature of these assessments in more detail.
Students are expected to complete a plan for each negotiation. Some of these plans might be very simple, while others might be much more complex. Regardless, a hard-copy of each negotiation plan is to be turned in (unless otherwise specified) prior to the negotiation. These will be graded with a check-mark system, based primarily on perceived effort.
Each student will be asked to keep a journal (on Blackboard) with reflections on each exercise; entries should be made as soon after the exercise as possible (and always prior to the next class period). Click on the JOURNAL button in Blackboard and add your entry. Each entry should address the following questions:
What, specifically, did you learn about [the topic of the day] through the simulation?
What, specifically, did you learn about yourself, as a negotiator, through the simulation?
These entries will be graded with a check-mark system, based primarily on perceived effort.
At least once, and likely twice, this semester, there will be a quiz to assess your knowledge gained during the course. The first quiz will assess your understanding of the basics of negotiation. The second (potential) quiz will evaluate your ability to recognize elements of negotiation when you encounter them (in this case through observation and evaluation of a film).
Because you will be engaged in simulations with other students throughout the semester, a portion of your grade will come from a peer assessment. After each simulation, the other student(s) with whom you negotiated will rate your performance on a scale of 1 (would never want to negotiate with them) to 10 (would always want to negotiate with them), and provide comments. At the end of the semester, your composite rating and the nature of the comments will dictate the peer evaluation portion of your final grade. Additionally, I will provide you with the anonymized comments to aid in your development as a negotiator.
My assessment of your contribution to the learning environment will be based on my assessment of your engagement during the simulations, as well as the quality of your contributions to the class discussions (e.g., sharing insights during debriefs). This assessment will translate to a letter grade, based on the following standards:
A: I make major, substantive contributions to the learning of other students and have added unique insights to, or have made a significant impact on, the class discussion. I draw on my own experience where relevant. I listen carefully to others, balancing advocacy (i.e., restatement or agreement of views) and inquiry (i.e., building on and/or exploring others’ ideas) in order to further our collective understanding of the issues being discussed.
I am very well prepared and have read assignments carefully and thoughtfully so that I am familiar with the facts, ideas, and concepts and can draw on them when I participate. I contribute to and am focused on the discussion in every class. My pattern of contribution has been steady; my participation frequency has not fallen off. Even when I have nothing substantive to add verbally, I stay engaged in the discussion, actively listening and following the flow of ideas.
B: I often contribute to class discussions, typically volunteering to answer questions. Most of my contributions have been fairly brief responses to straightforward questions. However, I am clearly prepared, have read through the materials before class, and am able to give appropriate answers that are helpful to the class discussion. The frequency and quantity of my participation have been steady, or have increased as I became familiar with the class.
C: I contribute infrequently to class discussions. I don’t volunteer often, and I have spoken primarily on straightforward topics. When called on, I may not have been well prepared to answer the question, or my answer may have been weak or insufficient.
D: I rarely participate in class discussions. It is likely that when I have spoken, I was called on when my hand was not raised.
F: I have not spoken in class and appear unprepared. If called upon, I have declined to contribute.
Additionally, the final journal entry is a summary of learning throughout the semester. You are expected to look over your past journals and reflect on what you learned throughout the semester, as well as your evolution as a negotiator and what you need to work on in the future. This final entry should be approximately 2 pages (double-spaced).
Negotiation Plans: 10%
Journal Entries: 10%
Peer Contribution Evaluation: 20%
My Contribution Evaluation: 25%
Reflection Paper: 25%
Final grades for the course will be calculated based on the assignment weights listed above. The following ranges will be applied to the weighted grade to determine the final letter grade reported to the registrar for the course.
A 93 – 100%
A- 90 – 92%
B+ 87 – 89%
B 83 – 86%
B- 80 – 82%
C+ 77 – 79%
C 73 – 76%
C- 70 – 72%
D+ 67 – 69%
D 63 – 66%
D- 60 – 62%
F below 60%
The “Fine Print”
“On my honor, I pledge to uphold the values of honesty, integrity, and respect that are expected of me as a Northeastern student” (https://www.northeastern.edu/registrar/courses/cat1213-univ-proc.pdf).
Northeastern University places utmost value on academic integrity. All students are expected to understand the University’s expectations and guidelines for what constitutes, as well as what violates, academic integrity (http://www.northeastern.edu/osccr/academicintegrity/.
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business takes the University’s Academic Integrity Policy and student Honor Code very seriously: “Essential to the mission of Northeastern University is the commitment to the principles of intellectual integrity. Academic integrity is important for two reasons. First, independent and original scholarship ensures that students derive the most from the educational experience and the pursuit of knowledge. Second, academic dishonesty violates the most fundamental values of an intellectual community and depreciates the achievements of the entire university. Accordingly, Northeastern University views academic dishonesty as one of the most serious offenses that a student can commit while in college. Academic dishonesty includes cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, participation in academically dishonest activities, and facilitating academic dishonesty. All members of the Northeastern University community—students, faculty, and staff—share the responsibility to bring forward known acts of apparent academic dishonesty. Any member of the academic community who witnesses an act of academic dishonesty should report it to the appropriate faculty member or to the director of the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution. The charge will be investigated and if sufficient evidence is presented, the case will be referred to the Northeastern University Student Judicial Hearing Board.”
The increased use of the internet has caused many cases of plagiarism and insufficient credit attribution to arise. Students using the Internet for research must be very clear when citing their sources. There are formal citation guidelines you are expected to follow that go beyond citing just the web address. The University Libraries website provides tips for avoiding plagiarism (http://library.northeastern.edu/get-help/research-tutorials/avoid-plagiarism, and a list of resources to assist students in citing sources (http://library.northeastern.edu/get-help/citations-bibliographies).
Student conduct for written assignments, presentations, projects, exams, or other work that violates University policies for academic integrity will result in zero points for the assignment and may be brought to the attention of the OSCCR. If there is any confusion about what is expected of you, please address the issue with me prior to turning in an assignment.
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Advanced notice and appropriate documentation are required for any special accommodations. Contact the staff at the Disability Resource Center (DRC) in 20 Dodge Hall (tel. 617.373.2675) for support: http://www.northeastern.edu/drc/aboutus/index.html. I encourage you to see or email me in the first week of classes if you know you would benefit from special accommodations that need alternative arrangements.