OPM 452 Processes and Strategies of Negotiation (Spring)


Negotiations occur in situations when it is impossible to attain one’s goals without the cooperation of others. Such situations arise in all areas of business and the ability to manage them successfully rests on a combination of appropriate analytical knowledge and practical skills. This module provides the theoretical background and the practical tools of negotiations. The content is relevant to a broad spectrum of application domains, but a special emphasis is put on negotiations in the procurement context.

The module addresses the general principles of the negotiation process from pre-bargaining stages (interests, BATNAs) all the way to deal closure. This includes distributive bargaining (zero-sum games) and integrative bargaining (positive-sum games), hard vs. soft negotiation styles and associated influence techniques, mixed motive bargaining, power/dependence differentials and fairness, reputation and repeated interactions, and human-related issues (perceptions, emotions, communication).


This module is recommended for anyone seeking an introduction to negotiation theory and practice. It is not primarily a “training camp” to enhance individual bargaining skills. The main objective is to understand the economic and psychological mechanisms underlying negotiations, in order to analyze and effectively tackle negotiation problems.

Starting from the key concepts and principles that guide negotiations, participants will learn: (1) how to strategically analyze negotiation situations and to develop comprehensive negotiation plans, (2) how to identify opportunities and barriers to creating and claiming value, (3) how to avoid negotiation “sand traps” and to take advantage of negotiation tactics to influence and deal with difficult negotiation counterparts.


  • Teaching teamProf. Dr. Christoph Bode
  • Language: English
  • ECTS: 3
  • Form of assessment: Home assignment (30%) and written exam (70%; tentatively scheduled for April after the Easter break)
  • Teaching material: There is no mandatory text book. Teaching material, additional readings, and information regarding supplementary text books will be provided in class.
  • ILIAS group: tba


The module is organized as a compact course consisting of six lecture blocks (2019: Feb-17, Mar-04, Mar-11, Mar-18, April-01, April-08; 10:15am - 1:30pm) with integrated lecture and exercise elements. Participation is limited. To enroll, please register via Portal2.