MEM 429: Negotiations for Engineers

Quarter Offered

Winter : Wednesday / 6:30 - 9:30 PM / Krebs Classroom ; G. Berger


We negotiate every day. We negotiate with potential employers, coworkers, roommates, landlords, parents, bosses, merchants, service providers, spouses, and even our children. What price we want to pay, how much we want to be paid, who will do the dishes ... all of these are negotiations. Yet, although people negotiate all the time, most know very little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiations. Why do we sometimes get our way whereas other times we walk away feeling frustrated by our inability to achieve the agreement we desire?

Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties. It is a craft that must hold cooperation and competition in creative tension. Therefore, the purpose of this course is to understand the theory and processes of negotiation as it is practiced in a variety of settings. The course is designed to complement the technical and diagnostic skills learned in other courses. A basic premise of this course is that while a manager needs analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, a broad array of negotiation skills is needed in order for these solutions to be accepted and implemented. Great analysis is of little value if you are unable to win support for the action it recommends.

Course Objectives

The best way to learn negotiation skills and actually internalize them is to negotiate in a setting where insight is offered, feedback is plentiful, personal reflection is encouraged, and careful analysis is required.

The course is designed to foster learning through experiential exercises. The exercises are designed to provide you with an opportunity to practice new strategies and tactics in a low-risk environment. In addition, you will learn more about how you react in specific negotiation situations, and develop more effective response techniques. Throughout the course you will receive feedback that will allow you to tweak your skills. Moreover the course is sequenced so that cumulative knowledge can be applied and practiced.

Sample Syllabus