Negotiation in Scientific and Technical Fields
This course is in development for the future.
The below description should be taken as an example of content and is subject to change.
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To accomplish our jobs, we negotiate every day with those we encounter, from coworkers and supervisors to vendors and clients. More and more, effective negotiation is an essential skill for professional success, particularly in fast-changing fields. Yet generic negotiation workshops fail to examine the special challenges faced in the science and technology fields.
Working with experienced faculty, you will learn strategies for effective and principled negotiation in these fields and associated work settings. Through structured role-plays, in-class discussion, and small-group coaching exercises, you will learn to analyze and conduct negotiations that secure important objectives and build or enhance working relationships, developing your personal style and repertoire in the process.
The program begins with fundamentals of principled negotiation, rooted in a clear understanding of interests, joint decision, and the psychology of interactive problem-solving in both competitive and “win-win” situations. It moves through progressively more complex concepts, such as value-creating trades, coalitions, and facilitation of multi-stakeholder agreements.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (40%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (10%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (50%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (40%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (60%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (80%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (20%)
The participants of this course will:
1. Discuss the challenges of negotiation in science and technology
2. Learn strategies for effective negotiation in these fields
3. Practice analyzing and conducting negotiations
4. Explore how negotiations can build or enhance working relationships
5. Develop a personal negotiation style
Who Should Attend
Professionals in industry, government or academia engaged with industry in the development of science and technology who:
- are involved with cooperative R&D, technology transfer, or entrepreneurship
- prepare for and/or conduct negotiations on behalf of their organizations or project teams
- are looking to improve their ability to negotiate within or across organizational boundaries
Our work together will build and draw on MIT’s long and deep engagement with the development of the science and technology fields, including innovative products, processes, and firms, as well as a 30+ year experience of teaching and researching negotiation, dispute resolution, and other approaches to multi-stakeholder problem-solving through the world-renowned, inter-university Program on Negotiation, which joins faculty and fellows at MIT, Harvard, and Tufts. For example, we draw continuously on empirical evidence—from psychology, experimental economics, political science, and other fields—about how negotiators behave in a wide range of circumstances. But we know that the most powerful way to learn negotiation is by doing it. As such, this short course employs a time-tested cycle of concept/practice/debrief over the course of two and a half days, using interactive lecture, role plays (simulations) that you will learn to prepare and conduct, and debrief and discussion. Breaks and meals allow for less- structured sharing of lessons among highly motivated and skilled professional peers.
We will provide a complete binder of hardcopy course materials, textbooks, and a thumb drive of soft copies as well.
Day 1 - am
Core concepts of claiming and creating value, the psychology of bargaining
With an initial focus on two-party bargaining, we will cover: a range of mental models of negotiation (from contest to interactive problem solving) and how they shape behavior; principles for engaging in distributive (zero-sum) elements of negotiation, including the psychology of anchoring, offers, and counter-offers; and strategic preparation for negotiations, improvement of alternatives, and other keys to expanding your bargaining power—all with illustrations from scientific and technical fields.
Day 1 - pm
Sources of joint gain: creating value, trades, bundling and sequencing
We will cover sources of value (joint gain) in “win-win” elements of negotiation, the relationship between claiming and creating value, concepts of optimality applied to real negotiations, the psychology of trading (both cognitive and emotional elements) and managing expectations, and the role of bundling negotiable issues (“packaging”) rather than approaching them one by one.
Day 2 - am
Coalitions and influence mapping
We will cover the more complex dynamics of multi-party, as opposed to two-party bargaining, where coalitions are possible and new strategic challenges are in play: Who should I approach first? How can I recruit allies? On what bases can I secure firm commitments?
Day 2 - pm
Facilitated bargaining and consensus building
We will cover the value and role of third-party facilitators, distinguishing “true neutrals” from interested parties who may facilitate multi-party negotiation. We will distinguish mediators from arbitrators and examine the key stages of consensus building, including the value of joint fact finding (for example, where there are conflicts over data, not just interests).
Day 3 - am
Identifying and developing your style and negotiator’s repertoire, continued professional development
We will review core concepts and practices, help you assess your repertoire of skills, and identify key elements of your negotiating style on which you can build. We will distinguish away-from-the-table skills, such as in negotiation analysis and recruitment of allies, from at-the-table interpersonal and analytic skills, such as “deal design.”
Course schedule and registration times
Class runs 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday and Tuesday and 9:00 am to noon on Wednesday. Breakfast will be available at 8:00 am Tuesday and Wednesday to facilitate informal study groups before class.
Registration will be on Monday morning from 8:15 to 8:45 am.
Special events include a welcome reception and dinner on Monday evening from 5:00 to 7:30 pm. Lunch is provided each day. All special events and lunch are included in program tuition.
About The Lecturers
Xavier de Souza Briggs
Course director Xavier de Souza Briggs is an associate professor in the MIT Department of Urban Studies + Planning and former associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, where he led work on economic innovation, risk management, and other challenges. He has designed and led professional education programs for leaders in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors since 1996, and taught negotiation to graduate, undergraduate, and professional education students for more than a decade. A former faculty member at Harvard, he has been a consultant or adviser to The Ford Foundation, The World Bank, and other organizations.
Lawrence Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Vice Chair of the inter-university Program on Negotiation, and founder of The Consensus Building Institute, based in Cambridge. An MIT faculty member for more than 40 years and a founder of the field of modern dispute resolution, his recent books include Breaking Robert’s Rules: The New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build Consensus and Get Results (Oxford).
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please contact the Short Programs office for further details.