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Cooperation, Conflict, and Negotiation




Admissions requirements

Social Psychology


Negotiation, you do it every day! For example with your parents about how high your allowance is (if you get any), with your friends about what movie to go to or with your boss about your salary, promotion or vacation days.

This course is an introduction to negotiation, the art and science of creating and securing agreements between two or more interdependent parties in a conflict situation. It is designed to expose you to negotiation problems and give you practice in applying negotiation theory to specific managerial situations. The main goal of this course is to help you acquire problem solving negotiation skills. These skills will help you for the rest of your career (and life!) to get better deals for yourself, craft mutually beneficial win-win agreements, and secure cooperative working relationships.

This is an interactive course based on the idea that becoming skilled at negotiation is best achieved through practicing it. Therefore this course contains weekly negotiation exercises where you can practice your skills in a safe environment on your fellow students. The exercises will be combined with reflection, discussion, readings, assignments and presentations to enhance the overall learning.

Course objectives

After the course, you will
1. possess advanced knowledge and insights about social psychological issues of negotiation and related organisational behaviour;
2. be able to explain central concepts in negotiation, as they apply in a variety of contexts;
3. manage to prepare effectively for negotiation, and understand when to negotiate, and when not to negotiate;
4. apply multiple approaches to resolving unproductive negotiations;
5. employ negotiation skills and understand how to create value and reach mutually beneficial agreements;
6. be able to analyse and predict the behaviour of others in negotiation;
7. have increased your confidence in your negotiation skills.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

This class applies an experiential learning approach. This means, the class is built around a number of exercises and debriefing in class discussion. Crucial elements in this format of instruction are:

Negotiation Exercises: The course is built around a series of negotiation exercises. You will conduct several negotiations with other students. Some of the negotiations are “one-on-one;” others are “group-on-group.” I will occasionally observe the negotiations to provide tailored feedback.
Preparation for Negotiations: Your classmates expect you to be fully prepared for each negotiation exercise. Prior to most negotiations, you are required to submit a planning document. Also, note that some exercises require you to prepare outside of class as a team.
Negotiation Debrief: We will debrief the negotiations in class. You are expected to participate in these class discussions. Your agreements will be revealed so that the class can analyse the relationship between different negotiation strategies and outcomes, learning from everyone’s experience.
Learning: You are encouraged to experiment with alternative styles in this “safe” environment. This is where you can lose a “million” euro and, in retrospect, be happy because you learned a critical lesson! Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and track your individual progress.
Readings: It is recommended to do the week’s readings AFTER the negotiation. The concepts will be more comprehensible if you have already experienced them directly, and foreknowledge of the concepts could prevent the mistakes that you need to make in order to learn. Required readings are one book and several recent journal articles, SFX links to which will be available through Blackboard after each meeting.


The following contribution by students are graded:

In-class participation and class discussion, incl. debriefing of negotiation exercises (20%), preparation of short planning documents for the negotiations (10%),
reflection reports (10%) and
analysis of one or more role-play negotiations (10%),
development of an own negotiation exercise (10%; this is a group exercise),
an analysis of a real-world negotiation (10%), and
one or two multiple-choice exam(s) about the required readings (30%, note that the exam might be split into two small exams, one in week 4 and one after week 7, which both count 15%).

Note that the outcomes you achieve in the role-play negotiations are not graded (with one very small exception, which will be announced beforehand). The role-play negotiations are meant to give you a safe environment to practice and improve various negotiation styles. In order to create this safe environment and give everyone the possibility to learn from experience and mistakes, only quality of your reflection on your behaviour is graded, but not the actual outcomes you achieve in these negotiations!


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

Besides several articles (which will be available through Blackboard), the course literature consists of a selection of chapters from this text book: Lewicki, R. J., Saunders, D. M., & Barry, B. (2015). Essentials of negotiation (6th International Edition). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN:9789814577274


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. W. Steinel, Institute of Psychology, Leiden University, email:


This course combines theoretical insights with a strong focus on acquiring skills through practice and reflection. You should be aware that, at times, the negotiations might make you uncomfortable or emotional. I urge students to be creative, practice newly learned behaviour, and experiment with tactics and strategies. You will learn most by truly engaging in the simulations, making the situations as real as possible.