Conflict Management and Negotiation
Conflict is unavoidable in every organization. The key question is how it will be handled: will it escalate to dysfunctional levels or will it be effectively managed? Hence, a first aim of the course is to develop your ability to analyze conflicts, to look beneath the surface rhetoric of a conflict, to isolate the important underlying interests, and to determine what sort of agreement (if any) is feasible. We’ll analyze which negotiation strategies are effective in different conflicts. We’ll also examine psychological and structural factors that create conflict and often pose a barrier to its resolution. But understanding how to analyze a conflict is not enough. To manage conflict effectively, you need a broad repertoire of behavioral skills. Developing these is the second aim of the course. To achieve this, negotiation exercises are used in every session. When playing a role in a simulated conflict, you will be free to try out tactics that might feel uncomfortable in a real one. You will get feedback from your classmates about how you come across. In sum, you can use this course to expand your repertoire of skills, to hone your skills, and to become more adept in choosing when to apply each skill.
This course is designed to improve students’ skills in all phases of a negotiation: understanding prescriptive and descriptive negotiation theory as it applies to dyadic and multiparty negotiations, to buyer-seller transactions and the resolution of disputes, to the development of negotiation strategy and to the management of integrative and distributive aspects of the negotiation process. The course is based on a series of simulated negotiations in a variety of contexts including one-on-one, multi-party, and team negotiations. When playing a role in a simulated conflict, you will be free to try out tactics that might feel uncomfortable in a real one. You will get feedback from your classmates about how you come across. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your experience in your negotiation paper. In sum, you can use this course to expand your repertoire of conflict management and negotiation skills, to hone your skills, and to become more adept in choosing when to apply each skill. This course represents a shorter, more intense version of OB 381-Conflict Management and Negotiations. Students should not take both courses, as there is considerable overlap in course content. Attendance and participation in the negotiation exercises is mandatory.
Perspectives on the Social Psychology of Organizations
This seminar focuses on topics relevant to organizational behavior, drawing primarily on social psychological and some sociological research. Topics vary from year to year. nnnIn Spring 2013 the seminar will focus on conflict and cooperation within and between groups and teams. Topics will include interdependence theory, behavioral game theory, negotiation, task and relationship conflict, social identity processes, and hierarchy in groups, among others. Prerequisites: Enrollment in a PhD Program.
Games, Decisions and Negotiations
Human thinking is geared toward understanding and mastering social interactions. OB 115N explores cognitive, affective, behavioral, social and organizational processes that shape how we manage strategic interactions. The course builds on concepts and research findings from decision theory, behavioral game theory, negotiation research, and other relevant streams of investigation in the social sciences. By the end of this course, participants should have a better understanding of the structural and psychological factors that underlie competition and cooperation, bargaining, contracting, social influence, dispute resolution, and other types of social and organizational interactions. In addition to understanding how to analyze human thinking, feeling, and action in interactive contexts, participants will have opportunities to develop their behavioral skills through in-class exercises and simulations. Participants will play assigned roles in simulated interactions that will allow them to try out tactics that might feel uncomfortable trying in actual situations, get constructive feedback from other participants, and learn how they come across. The course readings, which are aimed to complement the in-class exercises, debriefs, and discussions, are aimed to further stimulate participants’ interest in human cognition, emotion, and behavior in interactive contexts.To understand how decisions happen, we will use a combination of experiential exercises in class and in-depth discussions of theory and new and exciting research findings on cognitive and emotional aspects of decision making (e.g., what does “bounded-rationality” mean? how does power shape our negotiation behavior? how do our emotions influence our decisions?). We will play interactive games in our meetings to understand how various conditions, such as time pressure, power and uncertainty, influence our decisions. So, if you enjoy in-class exercises, you will enjoy our simulations. At the same time, if you enjoy analyzing human behavior and social interactions, you will like the readings and our discussions. After taking this course, you will be better able to identify and avoid common traps in strategic decision making and have a deeper understanding of other people’s thinking and decision making processes.
Us and Them: The Psychology of Intergroup Relations
Why do individuals participate in intergroup conflict? Should we celebrate differences or de-emphasize them to improve intergroup interactions? What roles do gender, race, and culture play in everyday workplace interactions, such as networking and negotiating? Intergroup relations in the 21st century raise significant theoretical and practical questions related to intergroup conflict and cooperation, prejudice and discrimination, and the interests, identities, ideologies and institutions that shape interactions between “us” and “them”. Together, we will explore cognitive, affective, behavioral, social and organizational processes that shape how we navigate intergroup interactions. This course builds on concepts and research findings from social psychology, judgment and decision making, sociology, cognitive science, and management. You will have opportunities to present, discuss and debate classic and current research findings in this field. You will also have opportunities to play an active role in intergroup exercises and simulations (e.g., a cross-cultural negotiation). By the end of this course, you should have a deeper understanding of the problems and the solutions that social scientists work on in the domain of intergroup relations, as well as of how academic research relates to ongoing efforts to promote JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) initiatives and policies in organizations and society at large. Your final grade in this course will be based on evaluation of your brief reflection write-ups, in-class participation in our activities, and final paper.