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2019/2020  BA-BBLCV1401U  Negotiation Skills and Conflict Management – Drivers of Success and Complexity

English Title
Negotiation Skills and Conflict Management – Drivers of Success and Complexity

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 45
Study board
Study Board for BSc and MSc in Business, Language and Culture, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Robert Ibsen - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Human resource management
  • Communication
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 15-02-2019

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Analyze and map – using relevant theories, models and tools – situations where two (or more) parties negotiate or try to resolve disagreements – including constiuent elements, i.e. driving forces, such as 1) relative power balance between the parties involved, and 2) overview of alternatives, and 3) relative importance of maximized result now vs. preservation of relationship long-term
  • Prepare, plan and actively participate in processes such as negotiations and similar meetings using relevant tools and models based on relevant and up-to-date insights in this field
  • Understand, analyze, map and actively use insights to drive a succesful negotiation or conflict resolution, including 1) obstacles to and drivers of expedient communication, and 2) intercultural differences and how to turn them from stumbling blocks into building bricks, and 3) trust and ethics and how such elements can make or break fruitful negotiations and relationships
  • Cultivate an understanding of 1) cognitive biases and how they can impact on rational thinking and behaviour when negotiating and communicating in general, and 2) interpersonal differences regarding motivation, communication styles and related issues and how these factors have the potential to impact on negotiation processes and outcomes
  • Drive performance through a structured approach to preparing, doing and evaluating a negotiation or conflict resolution session – this way seeking incremental improvements over time in overall performance
Course prerequisites
Very good fluency in English
Negotiation Skills and Conflict Management - Success and Complexity Drivers:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 7 days to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The key contents of the course will focus on these elements:

  • An overview of the field of negotiations and conflict management
  • Factors that must drive the negotiatior’s choice of overall strategy
  • Tools for managing the entire process (negotiation, conflict resolution etc.)
  • A number of supplementary competences related to communication in face-to-face interaction, including
    • intercultural issues
    • the important role of personality
  • Trust bases and ethics in negotiations and conflict management
  • Cognition and cognitive biases in business and human interaction in general


As for the overall pedagogical framework, all content elements will be leveraged and supported by a mix of lectures, discussions and exercises. 

Description of the teaching methods
The course and its pedagogical approach will, in essense, be built around three components, which will each contribute to the students’ successful completion of the course:
• input on and discussion of relevant theories, tools and models need in order to prepare and plan a negotiation, doing it as well as evaluating and reflecting on all aspects of the negotiation
• a large number of practical exercises and case studies to leverage the students’ understanding of learning points as well as enhancing their skills when it comes to carrying through negotiations and conflict management sessions
• articles, papers and other types of input to further lock in the students’ acquired skills and insigths
Feedback during the teaching period
Every session includes negotiation exercises done by all students present. These exercises are designed to anchor in learning points from the same session as well as learning points from previous sessions.

Negotiation skills, by definition, include a sophisticated set of skills to be mastered together with the required theoretical base. These skills are mostly acquired through experiental learning and feedback

During and in particular after these exercises, students get feedback on all aspects of their performance, including: correct choice of strategy, proper use of tactics, communication styles, grasp of the special elements from the curriculum, general performance and naturally suggestions for modifications/​improvements. This feedback/input is given as peer-to-peer input as well as, of course, by the lecturer.
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Preparation 130 hours
Examination 40 hours
Expected literature

Ibsen, Robert: Real Negotiations (Samfundslitteratur, 2017)


Articles, papers etc.

Exercises and cases

Last updated on 15-02-2019