Principles of Negotiation

Principles of Negotiation

In Business As in Life, You Don't Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate.

Name of minor:

Principles of Negotiation



Teaching language:


Offered by:

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM); Department of Technology and Operations Management

Other programmes which are contributing to the minor:

not applicable


See admissions matrix


Negotiation training requires both intellectual training and developing skills. The main assumptions of this course are: (a) negotiating is a process that can be understood and (b) negotiating is a skill that can be taught and can be learned. The core questions posed in this course are:
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of various strategies?
  • What do these strategies require for success?
  • When would these strategies be most appropriate?
The course is a combination of reading & understanding theory (through the assigned book and academic articles) as well as applying the theory in simulated negotiation role-plays and a research project. The minor consists primarily of plenary lectures based on required theoretical literature. Each lecture consists of a part of discussing the theory and a part where students are applying this theory (e.g. in-class role plays). In parallel students prepare and execute a research project (e.g. field experiment, survey based study) where they actively apply insights from the theory while focusing on a topic of their choice. The main contents covered in this course are:
  • The theory of negotiation, including behavioural decision making and decision analytic perspectives to negotiations,
  • Conceptual frameworks to analyze conflict situations in personal and business related settings and to design negotiation strategies to successfully resolve them.
  • Negotiation techniques and their underlying theoretical explanations.
  • Multi-party and intercultural negotiations.
  • The role of power, influence and persuasion in negotiations.
  • The role of emotions in negotiation situations.
  • Online negotiations using software agents.
  • The role of gender and personality style in negotiations
  • The role of non-verbal communications and lie detection in negotiations
  • How to manage difficult negotiations/people and the role of negotiation ethics.

Learning objectives:

In terms of skills the minor will give you the opportunity to develop:
  • Your capacity to reflect and learn from your experience in handling conflict situations
  • New skills by “stretching your comfort zone”
  • Your proficiency in personal negotiation skills
  • Your ability to persuade others and understand their tactics in conflict situations
  • Your capacity to evaluate outcomes of negotiations  
In terms of academic knowledge the minor provides insights into:
  • General theories of negotiation (e.g. distributive, integrative).
  • Frameworks that provide structure and help you understand any negotiation situation.
  • The importance of strategy and planning in negotiations.
  • Behavioral theories linked to negotiations (cognitive biases, influence and persuasion theories).
  • Theories on managing multi-issue and multi-party negotiations.

Specific characteristics:

This course is designed for students from various backgrounds. The required skills for the course are: good knowledge of English. Basic knowledge of statistics and any related software (e.g. SPSS, STATA, R, Excel) would be helpful for the research project. Presence in the lectures is mandatory.


Maximum number of students that can participate in the minor:


Minimum number of students that can participate in the minor:


Study load:

The total minor comprises 15 ECTS = 420 hrs. (Contact hours in class = 54 hours)

Overview modules:

This course is designed for students from various backgrounds. The required skills for the course are: good knowledge of English.

Module 1: Negotiation Theory and Role Playing

  • Content:

    Students are introduced to the theory of negotiation process and apply these theoretical concepts in role plays, case studies and experiments.
  • Contact hours:

    Plenary lectures, 6 hours per week.
    This module consists of plenary lectures (6 hours per week), interactive negotiation exercises and simulations, movies, class discussion and guest lectures.
  • Teaching materials:

    Books, academic and business articles, role play instructions and movies will be used as educational material. 

Module 2: Applying Negotiation Theory to a Real Life Situation

  • Content:

    Students do research and write up a paper (25-30 pages) on a topic of their choice, for which course concepts might provide key insights.
  • Contact hours:

    Plenary lectures, 6 hours per week. This module starts around the second week of the course and runs in parallel with module 1. Students work in teams and have teamwise feedback sessions with the lecturer.
  • Teaching materials:

    Students collect their own material in consultation with the lecturer.




Method of examination:

The assessment for the minor consists of the following components: Component 1:  Individual Reflection Journal (40%) (Individual Assignment)
  • Analyze the process and outcome of in-class negotiation exercises (role-plays) and relate to relevant behavior & tactics used. Identify & explain concepts from the course that may shed light on what happened during the negotiation.
Component 2:  In-class Tests (10%) (Individual Assignment)
  • Students are participating in online in-class tests in every session. The students are tested in topics related to the respective session.
Component 3:  Research Paper (30%) (Group Assignment)
  • Conceptualize and implements a research project in the field of negotiations. The project should have a clear contribution in the theory and should be managerially relevant and feasible.
Component 4:  Research Paper Presentation (10%) (Presentation)
  • Present in class the research project findings.
Component 5:  Video Creation (10%) (Group Assignment)
  • Groups create educational videos related to theoretical constructs around negotiations. 
There will be no individual written test. There is no minimum grade requirement for the assignments. Students Retaking the CourseStudents retaking the course must complete all the grade components (tests & assignments) as they are required for the current academic year. The examination for re-takers is thus based on the content and conditions that apply to the current academic year (2017-2018). Examination PerusalThe date, time and place of the perusal will be announced when the grades are published.

Contact information

Contact person:

Dr. Dimitrios Tsekouras
Phone: (010) 408 2406
Room: T09-06

Faculty website: