• close


The following are courses on Negotiation and Dispute Resolution offered at Northwestern University through various schools.

A. Kellogg School of Management

1. Negotiation
The objective of this course is to improve students' skills in all phases of negotiation including managing intragroup relations, integrative and distributive approaches; making choices in response to ethical and human problems; and negotiating in a variety of contexts, including multilateral negotiations and negotiating with the assistance of a third party.

2. Power and Politics in Organizations
This course examines personal and organizational factors that contribute to a person's political effectiveness in organizations. There will be an emphasis on developing awareness of different political strategies and tactics. The analysis of power will include an examination of ethical considerations as well as different strategies to protect yourself when you are the target of an influence attempt.

3. Strategic Decision Making
A decision maker faces two types of uncertainty: uncertainty about the state of nature (How much oil is on a tract of land?) and uncertainty about the strategic behavior of other decision makers (What pricing strategy will a competitor follow?). This course focuses on a strategic uncertainty and the uses of a decision maker can make of the concepts of game theory to guide his decisions. Topics include bargaining and arbitration, collusion and competition, joint cost allocation, market entry and product differentiation, and competitive bidding. Role-playing exercises and case analysis are used.

4. Conflict, Authority and Rules
A seminar examining the ways that authorities and rule structures cause or prevent conflict and manager conflict when it occurs. The class is interdisciplinary in focus, examining the writing of psychologists, political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, organization theorists, and law and social science researchers.

5. Individual and Competitive Decision Making
The purpose of this course is to understand and improve how we make decisions. This course is designed to complement the technical skills learned in other courses at Kellogg. A basic premise of the course is that a manager needs analytical skills to discover optimal solutions to problems. However, the intuition that lies at the core of these decisions may be faulty. This course will allow participants the opportunity to develop better decision making skills experientially. The course is designed to be relevant to a broad spectrum of decisions that are faced by the manager and professional.

6. The Theory of Games
Game Theory is concerned with the problems of conflict and cooperation between rational decision makers. It explores concepts basic to economic, political, and social theory. This course provides a rigorous introduction to the fundamental ideas of game theory.

7. Principles of Game Theory for Managerial Decisions
To formulate an effective strategy in a competitive situation, a manager needs to understand and anticipate the strategic behavior of his opponents. To do so, he must try to look at the situation from their point of view, as well as his own. Game theory provides a general framework for analyzing competitive situations and formulating optimal strategies that take into account the information and incentives of other decision makers. This course will develop the fundamental ideas of game theory as they apply to the analysis of managerial decision making.

8. Games and Decisions
A decision maker generally faces two kinds of uncertainty: uncertainty about nature, and uncertainty about other decision makers. This course develops the basic concepts for determining optimal decisions in economic problems involving both kinds of uncertainty.

9. Negotiation Strategies for Managers
Taught at the James L. Allen Center for the Executive Masters Program, this seminar uses the latest advances in the field of negotiations to help managers plan and implement more effective negotiation strategies. The emphasis is on creating opportunities for mutual gain in negotiations.

10. Leadership
Allen Center program that features Keith Murnighan and Leigh Thompson doing decision-making and competition.

11. Team-Building
Taught at the Allen Center features Leigh Thompson, Keith Murnighan, Dave Messick, Brian Uzzi and Deb Gruenfeld doing communication, interdependence and some conflict management.

B. Northwestern University Department of Communication Studies

1. Theories of Persuasion
This course is designed to make the student aware of major theoretical perspectives of persuasion. The student is expected to exhibit understanding and retention of key concepts and theories. As such, the primary course content comes from social scientific theory and research. We will explore general perspectives of persuasion as well as those focused on particular contexts (e.g., advertising, bargaining, and negotiation).

2. Interpersonal Conflict
This course is focused on processes observed in interpersonal disputes. Causes of conflict and methods of resolution will be discussed. Sources of information include research and theory drawn from communication, social psychology, and sociology. The course includes general models of conflict as well as material related to disagreements in specific contexts such as friendship, dating, and marriage. The primary method of teaching is lectures and students are encouraged to ask questions and offer examples.

3. Theories of Bargaining and Negotiation
A variety of theories and research projects that explain and predict behavior within negotiation contexts are the focus of this course. These theories are drawn from a variety of disciplines including organizational behavior, industrial relations, political science, social psychology, and communication. Much of the class material is drawn from social scientific theory and research and negotiation within a variety of contexts including collective bargaining, family interactions, sales, and international diplomacy. The primary method of teaching is lectures and students are encouraged to ask questions and offer examples.

4. Seminar in Persuasion
An overview of theoretical and research traditions in the scientific study of persuasion. This course was developed to meet two needs that have been expressed by the faculty and former doctoral students in the department. First, the study of persuasion is central to many of the areas of communication inquiry; hence, our doctoral students need a grounding in classic and contemporary theories of persuasion in order to develop important research questions. Second, after completing the doctorate, many of our students will be expected to teach a course in persuasion. Therefore, they need to be sufficiently familiar with the material so as to perform well in the classroom.

5. Persuasion
The goal of this course is to translate the product of the Seminar in Persuasion into practical applications to persuasion situations of interest to individual students. As such, the professor provides information about the theoretical frameworks that drive inquiry and the results of scholarship with a specific aim of showing its relevancy for everyday persuasion.

C. Northwestern University School of Law

1. Dispute Resolution
Of the disputes that come into a lawyer's office, only a small proportion are resolved by court adjudication. Yet legal education is almost exclusively concerned with this form of dispute resolution. The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the full range of dispute resolution processes -- negotiation, mediation, adjudication, and arbitration, as well as hybrid forms of these processes, such as Med-Arb, the Mini-Trial, and Rent-A-Judge.

2. Negotiation Workshop
For most lawyers, negotiation is a major part of their professional duties. Of those matters that come into a lawyer's office, the vast majority are resolved by negotiation. Negotiation -- communication for the purpose of persuasion - is also a major element of everyday life. This course is designed to give students experience in negotiation as well as a grounding in negotiation theory. The emphasis of the course is on experiential learning. Students will spend most of their time participating in negotiation simulations, as well as discussing negotiation problems. Students will frequently be observed in their negotiations and will receive immediate feedback. Some negotiations will be video-taped for later viewing and feedback. The negotiation simulations cover a wide range of situations. In past years, students have negotiated the settlement of lawsuits, neighborhood disputes, campus disputes, personal services contracts, contracts for the sale and purchase of commercial and residential property, intra-family disputes, corporate take-overs, international disputes and labor disputes.

© Dispute Resolution Research Center
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

All Rights Reserved.
Policy Statements | Site Map