Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS403: Negotiations and Conflict Management

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.


Course Description

Perfect your negotiation skills and create strategies that will help you maintain healthy business relationships by examining the concepts, processes, strategies, and ethical issues related to negotiation and discussing appropriate conduct across a variety of business contexts.


Course Introduction

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, as it 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.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: What Is Negotiation?
  • Unit 2: Negotiation Strategies and Biases
  • Unit 3: Processes and Phases of Negotiation
  • Unit 4: Managing Different Types of Business Negotiations
  • Unit 5: Conflict Resolution
  • Unit 6: International and Cross-Cultural Negotiation


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • identify and explain the theory, processes, and practices of negotiation, conflict resolution, and relationship management;
  • identify and explain the principles, strategies, and tactics of effective negotiation and professional relationship management;
  • identify and assess the variables in negotiations;
  • develop reliable planning techniques;
  • identify and describe negotiation theories, concepts, and tactics to manage negotiations as well as professional relationships;
  • assess the importance of various factors that impact negotiations, including specific issues in question, different stakeholder positions, interests, relationships, and group dynamics;
  • develop and execute effective negotiation strategies and tactics for different scenarios;
  • identify and employ effective communication, problem-solving, and influence techniques appropriate to a given situation;
  • diagnose negotiation problems;
  • describe new negotiation ideas and practices;
  • explain how culture impacts negotiations;
  • identify characteristics of culture or national identity that negotiators should become familiar with prior to engaging in cross-cultural or international negotiations;
  • explain how Trompenaars' and Hofstede's theories of cultural dimensions can be applied to cross-cultural and international negotiations; and
  • describe the types of political and legal issues that might arise during the course of international negotiations.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.


Tips for Success

BUS403: Negotiations and Conflict Management is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 82 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.


Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:


Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.



This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

Last modified: Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 3:04 PM