In addition to the standalone courses in advanced negotiations that are available, graduate-level certificate and degree programs in negotiation or conflict management include coursework on the topic. In addition, such courses are found in supply chain management and law school programs. These courses and programs are most commonly offered at four-year universities, and they provide continuing education or professional training in the areas of negotiations, mediation, communication, process improvement and organizational development.
An overview course available is in advanced negotiation and dispute resolution. Students in this course learn to apply negotiation strategies and dispute resolution methods through the use of case studies and mock negotiations. The topics studied prepare students for more specialized courses in communication, organizational effectiveness and process improvement.
Supply chain management professionals can benefit from a course in process improvement, which deals with such issues as quality management, statistical process control, project management and communication. Those who are interested in proposal and contract writing may take a writing course that utilizes case studies to practice these skills. Managers of all types of organizations can benefit from a course in organizational effectiveness, which covers the areas of decision making, team development and conflict management.
Some common concepts taught during coursework in advanced negotiations are:
- Conflict management
- Social, urban, and environmental dispute resolution
- Negotiation strategies
- Organizational effectiveness
List of Common Courses
Advanced Negotiations and Dispute Resolution Course
Advanced techniques for achieving optimal negotiation results are the focus here. Topics cover how relationships and psychological dynamics relate to different negotiating strategies, as well as how to work with difficult personalities, with individuals already in dispute, and in situations involving a power imbalance. Students explore Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods, such as peer review, committee review, town meetings, and mediation. The role of the mediator in identifying issues and problem solving is discussed. Mock negotiations and case study analysis help students develop confidence and practical skills.
Improving Team and Project Processes Course
Effective managers understand the need to continually improve processes and ensure team members are on the same page. This course explores the project management tools that can make this possible, such as goal-setting, conflict resolution, information collection/dissemination and communication guidelines. Quality improvement is also examined and, depending on the course, may have a technical perspective. Statistical process control, inference studies and systematic problem solving may be covered in contract management or supply chain certificate programs.
Writing for Results and Clarity Course
Participants in this course explore how effective writing can influence negotiations and organizational process improvements. Using real-life case studies, students practice proposal and contractual writing, as well as writing styles used for reports and correspondence. Emphasis is placed on connecting with and influencing the reader.
Organizational Effectiveness Course
This course focuses on the importance of management techniques and organizational design in achieving a well-running operation. Topics include coaching, team development, motivation, time management, conflict resolution, and group decision making. Students learn how to create positive change while ensuring that organizational values are observed.