Although our course on negotiations has just begun, you have all been negotiating for years – perhaps without even thinking about the exchanges as negotiations. Likewise, in the past, you have probably overlooked many opportunities for potential negotiations. To encourage you to think about the many everyday opportunities you have to negotiate, and to improve your negotiation skills, you are being asked to go out and negotiate!
You can negotiate for anything you would like. Be creative. Your negotiation could involve a good or service from a merchant, a salary or bonus with an employer, a discount from a service provider, or anything else. Also, note that you do not have to buy anything to complete this assignment. Similarly, your negotiations do not need to be a success – often, we learn as much from negotiations that fail as from those that succeed.
There are only two rules for this assignment:
1. You may not tell the person you are negotiating with that this is for a class project until the negotiation is complete (and then you can decide whether or not you want to tell them this).
2. You are not allowed to engage in a negotiation that you do not intend to follow through with if the outcome you desire is obtained.
After you have finished negotiating, you should write an analysis of the negotiation that includes a planning document, scoring system (if applicable), and a post-negotiation analysis. Your real world negotiation should be 5-6 pages (any supporting material, such as a planning document, should be included in an appendix). The appendix can’t exceed 3 pages.
As with the post-negotiation analysis, the key is to focus on an analysis rather than a description of the negotiation. You should critically analyze what occurred in the negotiation, including many of the same elements that were in your Post-Negotiation Analysis, but you’ll want to more deeply integrate concepts from the readings and class discussions, as well as offer your insights, lessons-learned, etc. You will not be penalized for writing about a failed negotiation–often we learn as much from negotiations that fail as from those that succeed! Your grade for this project will be based on your creativity and your analysis of the preparation, process, and outcome of the negotiation.
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