• Course Introduction

        • Time: 82 hours
        • Free Certificate
        Negotiation refers to the interactive process we participate in to advance individual and joint interests. Almost every transaction with another individual involves negotiation. We often use the same methods of negotiation in our personal, professional, and political worlds. As we learn in this course, negotiation, conflict resolution, and relationship management are complex processes. Successful practitioners possess and apply a blend of perceptual, persuasive, analytical, and interpersonal skills.

        In the ever-changing, modern business environment, business managers start and expand their business operations by virtue of their successful negotiations and the long-term relationships they develop among two, three, or more parties. These relationships can break down due to ineffective negotiating behavior and conflict management approaches. Breakdowns can also result from misunderstandings and misperceptions about the other parties' positions and interests.

        We begin this course by studying the conceptual framework of negotiations, which applies to all areas of negotiation in the public and private sectors. We will focus on business negotiation skills and strategies designed to maintain healthy business relationships. Specifically, we will explore the concepts, processes, strategies, and ethical issues related to negotiation and appropriate conduct in multicultural business contexts.

        In this course, we study the theory, processes, and practices of negotiation, conflict resolution, and relationship management to help you be a more effective negotiator in a variety of situations. We examine effective and ineffective strategies, determine why they work well, and discuss successful alternatives if they do not. We also identify patterns of negotiation and conflict resolution in different national and cultural contexts to gain an understanding of how interpersonal style, personality, culture, and other variables influence our negotiation and decision-making skills.

        • Course Syllabus

          First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

        • Unit 1: What Is Negotiation?

          Negotiation (or bargaining) takes place in a variety of contexts. While the objectives of this course focuses on business negotiations, the principles of negotiation apply to a vast and diverse range of personal, business and public situations.

          For example, at home you may be negotiating a curfew with your teenager or a new home purchase. At work you may negotiate a purchasing contract with a new vendor, a new project with employees, or a merger between two major corporations. In the public sector, you may negotiate anything from a new school board policy, language in a bill with your Congressional representative, or an international trade agreement with China.

          Regardless of the context, the basic principles of negotiation are the same. Whether you are involved in a friendly exchange or a high-stakes conflict resolution, you are involved in a two-way communication with the purpose of reaching an agreement. The same skills diplomats use to negotiate international peace agreements will help you become a more effective business negotiator.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours.

        • Unit 2: Negotiation Strategies and Biases

          According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, "successful bargaining means looking for positives in every possible circumstance". You cannot accomplish this without careful planning. The product of the careful negotiation planning is your negotiation strategy. The strategy you use in a negotiation is heavily reliant on the outcome that you desire.

          Understanding the principles, strategies, and tactics effective negotiators use will help you become more confident as you choose a negotiation strategy that will help you accomplish your goals. Perhaps more important than planning an appropriate strategy is to become knowledgeable about what motivates us and our counterparts to make decisions. 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 in order to add or create value for all participants to the negotiation.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 13 hours.

        • Unit 3: Processes and Phases of Negotiation

          As we learned in Units 1 and 2, a variety of negotiation approaches are available to help manage conflict effectively. In this unit, we consider some basic principles from negotiation theory, such as a competitive and collaborative negotiation strategy. We examine four phases in the negotiation process and how to implement each phase to accomplish an effective negotiation. You do not always have to settle for your piece of the pie. A successful negotiation strategy can make the pie bigger for everyone concerned.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 15 hours.

        • Unit 4: Managing Different Types of Business Negotiations

          In this unit, we explore factors important to negotiating in an organizational context. These include salary negotiations, ironing out contracts with suppliers, settling contract issues with a labor union, and negotiating a merger. Consider how to negotiate as the underdog in business-to-business transactions. Transformational negotiations can go beyond providing a win-win solution to a problem; they can help build alliances. In these negotiations your counterpart is a partner, rather than an adversary, engaged in a collaborative effort to build a long-term strategic partnership.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 14 hours.

        • Unit 5: Conflict Resolution

          Conflict is a part of our daily lives. Consider the last time you disagreed with a co-worker during a meeting, faced a disgruntled customer, or expressed your dissatisfaction to a vendor. The views of our coworkers and employees rarely align 100 percent of the time. When voiced in an angry or combative way, conflict can damage an organization and destroy interpersonal relationships.

          However, when managed properly, conflict can be a valuable tool that generates a tremendously positive influence in a business and personal environment. When resolved effectively, functional conflict can provide an opportunity for us to learn about, and engage in, new and exciting opinions and ideas, generate deeper understanding, and help us enhance and strengthen our personal and professional relationships. In this unit, we explore some alternatives to the potential lose-lose outcome of conflict. You will become familiar with ways to diagnose conflict and apply new strategies for solving the problems associated with conflict.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 11 hours to complete.

        • Unit 6: International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation

          Negotiating across national and cultural boundaries raises additional challenges for negotiating participants. All of us are a product of the culture and geographical areas where we were raised and live. Culture creates biases in our perceptions, motivations, interests, and strategies, which may give rise to a host of conflicts in the negotiating process. Aspects of culture that may affect negotiations include language, dialect, societal norms, business etiquette, religion, values, cuisine, hygiene, comfort, and personal preferences. International negotiations are also often impacted by historical events, nationalism, legal restrictions, tariffs, geographic distance, topographic conditions, multilateral alliances, and political conflicts.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 23 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.