Principles for Designing Negotiation Instruction

John Lande
University of Missouri School of Law

Ximena Carolina Bustamante

H. Jay Folberg
University of San Francisco – School of Law

Joel Lee
National University of Singapore (NUS) – Faculty of Law

January 11, 2013

33 Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy 299 (2012)
University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-01


This article analyzes recommendations in the Rethinking Negotiation Teaching (RNT) series. Instructors teaching negotiation and other dispute resolution subjects have long had a hard time trying to cover everything they would like in their courses. The RNT project has documented (and, to some extent, stimulated) a growing profusion of ideas and techniques for teaching negotiation, which has multiplied instructors’ dilemmas in designing their courses. Since instructors cannot teach everything they would like, this article suggests some general principles for making decisions about what to include and how to conduct these courses. Clearly, there is no single right or best way to teach negotiation, so instructors should select approaches based on the particular audiences, settings, and goals of the instruction. It is valuable to include a widely-taught “canon of negotiation,” so that people can have a common “language” of negotiation theory and practice, while also tailoring instruction to the particular circumstances of each course. This tailoring should be oriented to the assumptions, ideas, and values that students bring into the classroom, as they will have to integrate new ideas and experiences into their pre-existing mindsets. Instructors should also design their courses to promote students’ motivation to engage in the course activities productively. This article catalogs a wide range of instructional enhancements beyond the traditional canon of negotiation, including a range of perspectives, theories, assumptions, topics for instruction, teaching methods, and related issues.

Principles for Designing Negotiation Instruction

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