NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2012

Instructor Details

See, Kelly



Tisch 712


Course Meetings

M, 2:00pm to 4:45pm

Tisch T-LC21


Course Description and Learning Goals




Negotiation is the art and science of creating agreements between two or more interdependent parties. Negotiation skills are essential for success in almost any work life domain, whether your goal is to be an attorney, entrepreneur, film producer, business manager, or political leader. We negotiate daily with potential employers, co-workers, landlords, merchants, service providers, significant others, family members, and more. These negotiations often lead to outcomes are less than they could be, and at times they might also lead to conflict. Although we negotiate often, many of us know little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiation.

The main objectives of this course are to help you understand the structure of negotiation as it is practiced in a variety of settings, and to help you feel more comfortable and confident with the negotiation process. We will discuss theories and principles to guide our negotiations (the science). And students will develop and sharpen their bargaining skills by actually negotiating with other students in experiential exercises (the art).

This course is meant to complement other technical and diagnostic courses that you take at Stern. This is important because while analytical approaches are vital to coming up with optimal solutions to problems, you also need good negotiation skills to get these solutions accepted and implemented by others. Further, given that negotiations occur in so many aspects of life, your experience in this course should not only develop your professional skills but also facilitate your effectiveness in other life domains.

The course will highlight the components of an effective negotiation and provide participants with an opportunity to analyze their own behavior and that of others in negotiations. Thus, unlike real life, you will have access to very unique and rare feedback in this course: 1) how you performed in the negotiation, relative to other people in your same role, with the same information, negotiating for the same objectives; 2) how successful you were in maximizing the potential value in the negotiation, relative to what was objectively available to both you and the other party; and 3) how you were perceived by the other party.


The learning method in this course is experiential. The course is built around a series of negotiation exercises (simulations in class) and debriefs (discussions following each negotiation). The types of issues on the table, as well as the parties at the table, will vary in each exercise. The general principles highlighted in the exercises are relevant across contexts. We will conclude most classes with a brief lecture integrating your negotiation results and research-based negotiation theory, and then you will have assigned reading after class meant to reinforce what you learned that day. Note the following rules about the negotiation exercises:
• The written background material you will receive for each case is meant to represent the confidential preference and knowledge of real people. During the exercise, you may choose to reveal or discuss some of your confidential information, but you should not show anyone else your written material because in natural settings you would not show your counterparts this information. Likewise, some cases might involve issues with points or payoffs you can obtain for certain issues – never reveal your point structure to the other participants in the negotiation.
• Do not make up material facts that are not provided to you as part of your role information in the case. How you use the information you have is up to you, and you can make creative arguments, but you should not add facts in a way that materially changes the information provided to you.
• Do not share or discuss the exercises with students outside of the class. Other students who take a negotiation course might use some of the same cases at different times or in different terms. For that reason it is crucial that you do not divulge any information to other students regarding cases in this course.

The above rules will be upheld as part of the Stern Honor Code.


Course Outline



Required Course Materials

Required readings can be found in the books below and on the course Blackboard site (“BB”). The course schedule (starting on p. 5 of this syllabus) indicates where each reading is located and when it should be read.

The books below can be purchased at any bookstore you prefer, e.g., NYU, Amazon, etc.
1. The book, Bargaining for Advantage, by Richard Shell. Penguin Books, 2006.
2. The book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by Fisher & Ury, Penguin Books, 1983.
3. Class Handout Fee (for experiential exercises): The simulation exercises I will distribute in classes are proprietary materials, and thus there is a license fee for their legal usage. The cost for these materials is $35.00. Failure to pay the fee will result in your receiving an incomplete in the course. I will provide instructions to enrolled students before the course begins on how to pay this fee.


Assessment Components

Because the majority of learning in this course is based on the in-class negotiation exercises/cases, it is absolutely crucial that you are on time to class, fully prepared for each exercise, and that you participate in every exercise and debrief discussion. Your full participation is not only important for your own learning, but your classmates’ learning experience also depends on it. Students are paired up and assigned roles for the negotiation exercises in advance, and to do this, I must know who will be in class. You may miss one class session without penalty so long as you notify me of your absence at least 24 hours in advance (sooner if
possible) so that I can re-balance role allocations for the exercise. Missing a second class for any reason will have a penalty of 5% off your final course grade. Missing any class without notifying me in advance will result in a drop of one letter grade for the course. Recruiting and other job-related or student-related reasons for not attending class do not count as valid excuses. Students who anticipate heavy personal or professional obligations should consider whether they can make a commitment to this class right now.

Grading Summary:
• Class Participation 30%
o Class discussion (10%)
o Planning documents (10%)
o Negotiation exercise scores (5%)
o Peer reputation ratings (5%)
• Exam/Quiz (mid-course) 20%
• Writing Assignments 50%
o External negotiation experience (20%)
o Final paper (30%)


Class Participation
Class discussion: You should be prepared to contribute to class discussions. Participation quality (thoughtfulness of comments/questions) is valued more than participation quantity (frequency of comments/questions). Excellent in-class comments offer a unique but relevant perspective and go beyond the facts of a particular negotiation into why and how it matters, as well as provide links between the topic under discussion with other exercises, lectures, or outside situations.
At the end of each class I will ask you to fill a 3 minute feedback memo. These memos will be read/evaluated but not graded. The memos are meant to establish a direct line of communication between us so that I can identify topics that might need further clarification. I also expect that you will treat this course as a professional context, and that all of your interactions inside and outside of the classroom will be courteous and professional. A lack of professionalism will affect your participation grade. Professionalism includes, but is not limited to, punctuality, appropriate interactions with others, attention to class instructions, courtesy in tone, respect for how you use the time of others, and a commitment to both your own learning and the learning of others in the class.

Planning/preparation documents – must use form/template on BB: As we will discuss in class, preparation is a major component to successful negotiations. One of my goals in this course is to help you develop a systematic approach to analyzing and preparing for negotiations. To help you prepare fully for the role you will play in each negotiation, you are required to submit a planning document at the start of class before you negotiate. Starting in the third class session, the required form you are to use for this (the “planning document template”) is located on BB – remember to bring two copies to class so that you can turn in one to me and keep one with you while you negotiate. The more complete your information, the more control you can assume over your own actions and reactions during the negotiation. When you do not have information about the opponent, you should make the best guess that you can. Planning documents will be graded as complete/incomplete.

Negotiation exercise scores: We will do eleven exercises in total this semester so that you are exposed to a range of different types of negotiations and settings. You will receive participation credit for every exercise. In addition, four of the exercises have quantified/scored point structures – for this small subset of exercises, which are indicated with an asterisk (*) on the course schedule, I will factor your performance into your participation grade (5%) by looking at the percentage of points you captured relative to the highest score that was achieved in your role. You will only be compared to others in the same role (e.g., buyers will only be compared to buyers, etc.). And as long as you have participated in all four of these scored exercises, I will delete your lowest score before computing your average.

Reputation ratings: Your reputation as a fair and effective negotiator is an important asset in real professional situations. Reputations have a tendency to spread within and among organizations, and your future relationships depend on how others perceive you through your past behavior. By the end of the course, you will have negotiated with many of your classmates, and the rest you will have gotten to know through our debriefing sessions. Everyone will rate anonymously each other along several dimensions that are important for effective negotiation. These ratings will be factored into your participation grade (5%).

There will be one test given in class approximately mid-way through the term (October 25). This will be a short-answer test based on readings, lectures, and class discussions covered up to that point. We will not always have time to discuss every reading in class, but you will be expected to know them and be prepared to answer questions about them. In addition, this conceptual knowledge will contribute significantly to your success as a negotiator and strategist. For fairness purposes, make-ups for the test will not be arranged without written documentation of an emergency that prevented you from being present during the scheduled test time.

Students whose performance may be affected by a disability should notify me early in the term and make arrangements with the Moses Center (http://www.nyu.edu/csd) to accommodate their needs.

Report on External Negotiation Experience
One of your assignments in this course is to go out into the world and negotiate for something, and then write a short report analyzing your experience. The assignment is designed to help you analyze your behavior in a real negotiation outside class and develop a deeper understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator. The paper will be due on XX (see course schedule on p. 5). The assignment will be explained in greater detail with a class handout in session 2.

Final Paper
The final paper assignment involves writing about a negotiations-related topic. You may work alone or in a group of up to three people in your enrolled section. The purpose of the project is to explore a topic of interest in more depth than covered in class and to increase your understanding of negotiation. For instance, you might decide to describe and analyze a particular real-life negotiation (e.g. peace negotiations in the Middle East), or interview negotiation ‘experts’ in a specific applied setting, or research any topic of particular interest to you (e.g. cross-cultural negotiation styles, non-verbal communication, gender differences, etc.). You will need to get approval from me (by November 8) on your project topic and note group members, if any, you choose to work with. The final paper itself is due on the last day of class. The assignment will be explained in greater detail with a handout in session 4.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges  as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well  you actually perform in this course.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course



Classroom Norms


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Printer Friendly Version