Negotiation Theory and Practice

Professor Russell Korobkin
UCLA School of Law
Spring 2003

A more detailed discussion of my approach to teaching negotiation and options for structuring the course, along with detailed lecture notes and all materials necessary for weekly simulations, can be found in the Teacher's Manual and Simulation Exercises for Negotiation Theory and Strategy. For a free desk copy of the casebook and teacher's manual, please contact Aspen Publishers at 800.950.5259 or]

Course Materials:
Textbook: Russell Korobkin, Negotiation Theory and Strategy (Aspen, 2002).

Simulations and Exercises: Materials necessary for each of the weekly situations accompany the textbook. Each week, I will hand out in class the materials that you will need to read to prepare for negotiation simulations.

With slight modifications, we will cover one chapter of the text each week. I expect you to do the reading carefully, prepare thoroughly the “discussion questions and problems” that accompany each chapter, and (most weeks) spend some time outside of class preparing for a negotiation simulation. On one or two occasions, you will have to conduct a negotiation simulation outside of class as well.

Course Meetings and Structure:
We will meet Mondays from 3:05 until 6:00. Most course meetings will combine lecture, class discussion, and negotiation simulations. Because negotiating simulations require the presence of all students, class attendance is mandatory. Absences other than for illness or family emergency will affect your course grade. There will be no class Monday, March 10. That class will be made up on a date to be determined. I will excuse absences due to other obligations on the day of the make-up class.

Course Goals:
The primary purpose of the course is to make you a careful and critical observer of the negotiation process. That is, I want you to be able to watch a negotiation and understand not only what the negotiators are doing but why they are doing it and whether their tactics help to accomplish their objectives. The secondary and related purpose of the course is to help you to use your understanding of the process to become a better negotiator. There is no single “right way” to negotiate, but a thorough understanding of the process will enable you to thoughtfully develop approaches to negotiating that are consistent with your personal skills and temperament and will maximize the chances of achieving your negotiation goals.

Your grade will be based on the following three components:

1) Class participation (25%). This is a small class, and I expect every student to be an active and thoughtful participant in class discussions. This will require you to do each week’s reading carefully before class, and to be prepared to discuss the discussion questions and problems.

2) Final exam (50%). There will be a three-hour exam made up of a number of short essay questions. Most of the questions will come directly from the “discussion questions and problems” in the book. Other questions might combine, slightly alter, or build on questions from the “discussion questions and problems.” If you prepare answers to the discussion questions and problems before class each week, you should be well-prepared for the exam.

3) Negotiation simulations (25%). In eight of the negotiation simulations, you will receive a numerical score ranging from 4-10 based on the outcome you reach in the negotiation. Your score will score will be based on how well you do in comparison to other students who play the same role in the simulation (i.e., if you are the “buyer,” your outcome will be compared to what other “buyers” negotiate). The negotiator who receives an average outcome in any graded simulation will receive 7 points. If you are absent for one of the graded negotiations, you will receive 0 points. I will explain prior to each negotiation exactly how outcomes will be evaluated, and I will randomly assign your negotiation opponent each week. Your point total at the end of the semester will count for 25% of your course grade.

Contact Information:

My office is #3109 (third floor, library wing of the building). My phone number is 825-1994, and my e-mail is My office hours will be Wednesday from 2:45-4:45. If you cannot make this time, please email me to schedule an appointment at a more convenient time.


Class 1: Introduction to the Study of Negotiation

Reading: Chapter 1
Simulation: “Prado Scoot”

Class 2: The Bargaining Zone

Reading: Chapter 2
Simulation: “Bullard Houses”

Class 3: Psychological Aspects of Defining the Bargaining Zone

Reading: Chapter 3
Simulation: “Club West”*

Class 4: Integrative Bargaining

Reading: Chapter 4
Simulation: “The Blockbuster”*

Class 5: Power

Reading: Chapter 5
Simulations: “The White Album”*

Class 6: Social Norms of Division

Reading: Chapter 6
Simulation: “Eazy’s Garage”*

Class 7: The Negotiator’s Dilemma

Reading: Chapter 7
Exercise: “The Construction Venture”*

Class 8: Conflict Style

Reading: Chapter 8
Exercise: Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument

Class 9: Group Membership

Reading: Chapter 9
Simulation: “Alpha-Beta Robotics”

Class 10: The Principal-Agent Relationship

Reading: Chapter 10
Simulation: “Monolith vs. Sat-Lith”

Class 11: Multilateral Negotiations

Reading: Chapter 11
Simulation: “Harborco”*

Class 12: Using Mediation in Negotiation

Reading: Chapter 12
Simulation: “Rick’s Revenge”

Class 13: Misrepresentation

Reading: Chapter 13
Simulation: “Mossyback Lane”*

Class 14: The Law of Settlement

Reading: Chapters 14 and 15
Simulation: None

* Graded Simulations

Copyright 2003 Russell Korobkin. Teachers are free to copy these materials for educational use in their courses only, provided that appropriate acknowledgment of the author is made. For permission to use these materials for any other purpose, contact the author.