Negotiations classes in B-schools

DatesExcelModels's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,165

Hey everyone,

I'm currently on exchange at a good B-school in the US (McCombs) from a target uni in the UK. The negotiations class we have here is really non-technical; there is no analysis of specific phrasing, and the line between a good and great answer seems really blurry. I wonder how negotiations classes are done at top B-schools (f.i. HSW) and if it's as fluffy of a course? The main benefit of this course is getting practice in, but it's far from perfect practice.

Comments (3)

Oct 20, 2016

Their are generally quantitatively scored outcomes in the MBA classes. Since most negotiations have both a "win win" and zero sum component, to use nontechnical terms, you are evaluated on both i.e. what was the overall level of achievement for both parties in the negotiations as well as your party's achievement.

Best Response
Oct 24, 2016

At Booth, the 'results' of our negotiations classes aren't graded at all. Most real world negotiations have concerns outside the ultimate price (i.e. long term or short term buyer/seller relationship , agent/fiduciary concerns, etc). We're graded solely on the strength of our preparation and analysis of both our understanding of our BATNA and our counter parties likely BATNA, our opening strategies and reservations prices and where we expect those to land for the other party. Also our understanding of any unique factors for the negotiation at hand.

In the real world, impact of negotiations is usually much less based on your ability to provide a technical analysis of what your exact intended outcome is and much more tied to your ability to read the other party and work the conversation in the room; so it is, in fact. a blurry art.

    • 2
Oct 24, 2016