15.667 | Spring 2001 | Graduate

Negotiation and Conflict Management


Grades are based 50% on class work and 50% on writing: your Little Papers, the journal and Separate Pages. Please write in your confidential journal and write evaluations of your colleagues every week. I will read your papers, keep them confidential, and return the papers at the next class – no one else sees them.

Many of the documents that relate to these assignments can be found on the lecture notes page.

1 Introduction and Course Overview Please write your first journal soon after the first class. Note the page attached to this syllabus on writing a journal. The first journal should include:

  1. How did you feel about the class negotiations? Which negotiation strategies do you most naturally follow? Which conditions in a negotiation make you most and least comfortable?

  2. How do you handle conflicts? Read the Class Notes for Session 2 – the article “Options and Choice” includes an “Exercise” requiring you to observe how you personally handle conflicts, and how other people around you handle conflicts.

  3. Fill out the Thomas-Kilmann Questionnaire (see Session 1 lecture notes for questionnaire and scoring sheet). There is a triplex answering sheet – developed for this course – which permits you to think about yourself in three different contexts. In other words, you should answer the questionnaire in three ways, e.g. thinking about yourself at home, at work, with a boss or subordinates, etc. You could also copy it and ask a significant other to fill it out about you, if you wish. Please discuss your results on this questionnaire in the journal.

  4. Include a Separate Page, analyzing and discussing the negotiations or presentation of a classmate. There are pages on the study materials page with questions that may be useful analysisand feedback.

2 What Kind of Negotiator am I? Hand in your journal, which should include the following four assignments:

  1. The Class Notes reading assignment for today: Rowe, Mary. Options and Choice for Conflict Resolution in the Workplace, in Negotiation: Strategies for Mutual Gain, by Lavinia Hall, ed., Sage Publications, Inc., 1993, pp. 105-119, ends with an “Exercise” which is your first self-assessment. Write about your conflict management preferences and those of people close to you.
  2. Score the Thomas-Kilmann Questionnaire – the second self-assessment. Please write about your scores in three areas of your life. Some people photocopy the questionnaire and the answer sheet for a Significant Other before filling it out, either to find out the self-analysis of the Other, or to see how the other person thinks you would answer it, or both.
  3. Write about the $2 game: How did you feel about the negotiation conditions, and the tactics you used or observed in the $2 game? Whose negotiating behavior particularly impressed or irritated you, and why?
  4. Turn in at least one Separate Page, about the negotiation behavior of someone in the class which you found particularly noteworthy on the first day.

There are pages on the study materials page with questions that may be useful in this analysis. The separate page should include the name of the person whose negotiation you are describing. You do not need to sign the page but if you want to write an anonymous page – and also wish me to give you credit for writing a great assessment – then put your name on it with a sticky note, and I will remove the note before giving the page to the person named. These pages will be sent to all of you after the end of the course. Previous classes have suggested that this feed-back is useful to the recipients of the pages. My first interest, however, is that you should be able to analyze and understand how others negotiate, and how various negotiations strategies and styles affect you.

Case this week: Stratego Aero I. (Please save your copy of the case)

For next week: Please find the Ethics and Machiavelli Questionnaires, and scoring sheets in the Class Notes, for the assignment due in Session 3. Pick up your part in Terry and Josephine at Navigational Systems. 3 Distributive and Mixed Motive Bargaining Hand in: Ethics and Machiavelli Little Paper #1 (PDF)

The Ethics and Machiavelli Questionnaires are the third and fourth self-assessments of this class. You will find the Ethics and Machiavelli Questionnaires, and scoring sheets, in the Class Notes. If you wish, photocopy the questionnaires and give a copy to someone who knows you well, to fill out about you and return to you. NB: The Machiavelli Questionnaire is at best quaint and sexist, and there are no right answers. The point is to assess the extent to which you think or act in a way that others might think is “Machiavellian,” and to see if you believe that your thinking and behavior reflect your own values. Please feel free to (re) read The Prince, or recall anything you would like about Machiavelli, as you think about this. Alternatively, just deal with the image of “Machiavellianism” and whether you think it suits you.

Also – please write in your journal and, as usual, please write a separate page about the negotiation of someone in the class (journals are handed in during Session 6).

Case: Prepare your role in the Terry and Josephine case. If you can, prepare together with anyone who is playing the same role as you.

For Next Week: Pick up your roles for next week in the Hiring/Salary case (Barrister) and the Performance Evaluation case (The Yearly Review). Prepare with someone else with the same role if you can. 4 Integrative and Mixed Motive Bargaining
This week there is a lot of reading, writing and case preparation but nothing to hand in.

Write: Write in your journal, (which is due in Session 6). As usual, please write a separate page about your observations of someone in the class?

Cases: Prepare your role in Barrister, Counselor, Solicitor and Avocat, and your role in The Yearly Review. Please prepare together with anyone who is playing the same role as you.

Pick up copies of the Aggressive Competitive Negotiator and Tax Books cases to prepare for next week. Choose a partner for next weekthe negotiation next week will be two on two. 5 Competitive and Cooperative Styles and Do Gender or Culture Make a Difference? Write: Write in your journal, plus the “separate page” about the excellent (or otherwise remarkable) negotiation of a classmate.

Cases: Prepare the Tax Books case with a partner. NB: Please together choose a negotiating style and strategy and tactics that you and your partner will pursue – see the tactics sheet from Negotiation 101 (refer to the study materials section). Keep your plans secret from the other side, but please tell me in your journals how the planned choice of strategy, style and tactics influences (if at all) your negotiating, and the outcome of the case. See if you are able to figure out which strategy and style the other team adopted? In real life, can you recognize the strategy and style of others? (negotiated two on two)

Please also prepare the Aggressive Competitive Negotiator with your partner. Come up with several suggestions about how you might deal with this ACN.

Pick up your role in Telemachus, for next week. Please prepare with someone who has the same role. 6 Negotiating in Context Hand in your journalplus separate pages about people who have inspired you, or who have done something you find questionable, in class negotiations. The journal – covering classes and readings (and your life?) during the period of Session 2 up to today – is due today.

Case: Prepare Telemachus, (but not the Coalition case). Prepare together with anyone who is playing the same role as you in Telemachus. Please pay special attention to the question of choosing a strategy and style and planning your tactics – again please review the Tactics sheet from Negotiations 101 and review the possible roles Ury describes for a Thirdsider – two pages at the end of N101 (refer to the study materials section).

Next Week: Please do the reading for Session 7, before you write your Perceived Injurious Experience letter. Then read the instructions in the Class Notes on how to write a P.I.E. letter. This letter is your Little Paper #2, due in Session 7. You may turn this assignment in early if you wish to because you are taking a trip. Please try hard to follow the instructions even if you think they are too rigid. Holiday Week Optional Assignment: Enders Game, as suggested earlier and/or Joan Slonczewski’s A Door Into Ocean, Avon, 1986, science fiction, which presents a profoundly different view – from Enders Game – of sources of power in dealing with armed conflict. As with Enders Game, this book may interest you especially in the light of hostilities in many parts of the world. If you do read either or both books, please consider writing in your journal your responses to the questions I asked for Session 4, with respect to Enders Game. 7 Origins of Conflict – Dispute Prevention – Delegating Conflict Management to the Disputant Write: In your journal – and look for behavior in a classmate that will inspire a separate page.

**Hand in Little Paper #2: “Perceived Injurious Experience.”

  • Assignment Description for the PIE Letter (PDF)
  • Drafting – and Perhaps Sending – A Private Letter to a Person Who has Harassed or Offended You (PDF)
  • Joe and Josephine at Biochemix (PDF)

Please try hard to follow the instructions, even if you think they are too rigid? 8 Your Employer’s Dispute Resolution and Complaint Handling System Write: In your journal and, if possible, a separate page. If you read or skimmed the MIT Guide to Dealing with Harassment consider writing a paragraph of critique or commentary. Read the questions posed for last week and answer them?

Preparing for Next Week: Read the instructions (in the Class Notes) for Little Paper #3, “Seeing Both Sides of a Dispute”, due on Session 9.

Pick up Stratego Aero II. Check to see that you still have Stratego Aero I. You will need both I and II to prepare for next week.

Before you leave class please arrange to prepare together with one or more people playing the same role as you in the mediation next week. Preparing for any important negotiation is probably the most important skill in negotiations. It is especially vital if you are going into a mediation in any role. You will find the Moore readings useful, so try to do the readings for next week before you meet with a colleague who has the same role. See also the Moore chart: Figure 2.1 from Moore, Christopher W. The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict. 2nd ed. Jossey-Bass, 1996. Holiday Week Optional Assignment: Rent the video The Return of Martin Guerre. The question is, whom can you believe? Is it possible to tell if someone is lying? If so – how will you do it as a manager? If not – how will you manage? 9 Conciliation and Mediation Write: Write in your journal and – if possible – a separate page.

Hand in: Little Paper #3: Seeing Both Sides of a Dispute (PDF)

Case: Prepare Stratego Aero II. To do so, you should have re-read Stratego Aero I as well as your Stratego II Secret Instructions. Prepare together with someone who is playing the same role as you and please prepare carefully. Otherwise you will mess up your colleagues’ role-playing, and they will write me fierce notes about requiring people to prepare better.

Pick up cases for next week. These cases are somewhat controversial. Can you find a classmate, or someone else quite different from you, to read the cases together with you, and help prepare for the class discussion?

Remember the double class (6 hours) next week with pizza. 10 Investigation, Arbitration and Exceptionally Difficult People
(Double Class, 6 hours) Write: In your journal - and try for a separate page? By now you are totally exhausted with the semester, but the colleagues you write about will (probably) be grateful - and you need all the practice you can get in evaluating Others.

_The last journal (covering the period Session 6 through today) and separate pages, are due after this class, any time later this week.
Class: Certified Public Accountants, Inc. (Theft); Discussion of Cases Distributed in Class (Drugs, Whistleblowers, and a Convicted Employee).

Cases: Please prepare to discuss the cases. If you possibly can, prepare by asking people outside the class – preferably ask someone who is not of your own background – what should happen in any of these cases. There is no role-play preparation. 11 More Negotiating with Difficult People Hand in: Your journal (covering the period since Session 6) and separate pages are due today if you did not send them in during this past week.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2001
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments
Instructor Insights