• Course Introduction

        • Time: 24 hours
        • Free Certificate
        Negotiation is the interactive process we engage in to advance individual and joint interests. Almost every transaction with other individuals involves negotiation – in the personal, social, professional, and political spheres. In this course, we recognize that negotiation, conflict resolution, and relationship management are complex processes. Successful practitioners apply analytical, interpersonal, perceptual, and persuasive skills to create a productive business environment.

        Short and long-term relationships can thrive or break down based on their management approach. Functional conflict can be a positive force for change in the workplace when employees can freely voice their ideas and improve the status quo. This free expression is a form of negotiation that prompts leadership to promote new, innovative, and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks or goals. However, misunderstandings and personal clashes can create dysfunctional conflict and a caustic work environment.

        Conflict resolution can be formal or informal. The proper approach can resolve debates, differences, disputes, and other issues among individuals and larger parties. Failures result from misunderstandings, misperceptions, and miscommunications about the positions and interests of the other party.

        In this course, we study the negotiation framework and how to manage conflict. We focus on business negotiation skills and strategies to maintain healthy relationships. We explore concepts, ethical issues, processes, and strategies related to negotiation and conflict resolution. Finally, we identify appropriate conduct in multicultural business contexts.

      • Unit 1: Negotiation Strategy

        Negotiation (or bargaining) occurs in various contexts. While this course focuses on business negotiations, we can apply negotiation principles to various personal, business, organizational, and public situations.

        For example, you may need to buy or rent a new home or negotiate the terms of a new work assignment. Your work supervisor may ask you to draft a new purchasing contract with a vendor, establish project deadlines with your team, or broker a merger between two corporations. In the public sector, you may meet with the mayor to review a school board policy, write language for a legislative bill, or discuss the terms of a new international trade agreement.

        "Successful bargaining means looking for positives in every possible circumstance", states the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Your strategy may be economic, political, social, or international, depending on whether you are a small business or a multinational corporation. Knowing your motivations and those of your counterparts will help guide an appropriate, realistic plan. Understanding the principles, strategies, and tactics negotiators use will help you draw a confident roadmap.

        In this unit, we explore various biases that affect our decision-making and how we can use this knowledge to overcome obstacles to clear, objective, and effective negotiations. In subsequent units, we study how to apply these concepts to specific negotiation theories to add or create value for all negotiation participants.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

      • Unit 2: Managing Business Negotiations

        In this unit, we explore negotiating in an organizational context. Examples of these discussions include sales negotiations, engaging with vendors and suppliers, settling labor union contracts, and negotiating business mergers. As you navigate the unit, consider how you would negotiate as the underdog in business-to-business transactions. Transformational negotiations go beyond solving a certain problem or issue; they help build alliances. In these negotiations, your counterpart is a partner rather than an adversary. Engaging in a collaborative effort to build a long-term strategic partnership can solidify organizational alliances.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

      • Unit 3: Conflict in the Workplace

        Think about the last time you argued with someone. Perhaps it was a personal, domestic, or work-related dispute. As we navigate each day responding to the needs of others, conflict can occur as we negotiate and address our individual needs and concerns. Functional conflict can be a positive force for change in the workplace by fostering new, innovative, and more efficient ways to accomplish tasks or goals. However, misunderstandings and personal clashes can create dysfunctional conflict and a caustic work environment.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 6 hours.

      • Unit 4: Conflict Resolution Strategies

        Without appropriate intervention, dysfunctional conflict – caused by poor communication, biases, and personality disputes – can damage morale, workplace efficiencies, and general productivity. In this unit, we learn that it is rarely a good idea to rely on a court of law to resolve these issues. Litigation is time-consuming, costly, and often takes a mental and emotional toll on everyone involved.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.

      • Unit 5: International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation

        Negotiating across national and cultural boundaries raises additional challenges for participants and businesses. Culture creates biases in our perceptions, motivations, interests, and strategies, which may cloud the negotiating process. These aspects of culture may include language, dialect, societal norms, business etiquette, religion, values, cuisine, hygiene, comfort, and personal preferences.

        International negotiations are also often impacted by economic and historical events, geographic distance, legal restrictions, multilateral alliances, nationalism, tariffs, topographic conditions, and political conflicts. Sometimes international negotiations may appear as congressional and parliamentary discussions and budget items. In these cases, negotiation not only crosses cultures but has become part of the country's funding apparatus.

        In this unit, we examine several examples of cultural differences. Business leaders need to research these cultural norms to make sure they do not confuse or offend their foreign business partners. Our previous discussions about negotiation and conflict resolution apply to these situations.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.


      • Study Guide

        This study guide will help you get ready for the final exam. It discusses the key topics in each unit, walks through the learning outcomes, and lists important vocabulary. It is not meant to replace the course materials!

      • Course Feedback Survey

        Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

        If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org.

      • Certificate Final Exam

        Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

        To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.