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Teaching International Business Negotiation: Reflections on Three Decades of Experience

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The author has taught international business negotiation in a wide variety of university courses and executive training programs throughout the world during the last three decades. He has taught international business negotiation both as an end in itself and as a means to teach law, an approach that he calls “the law in the shadow of negotiation.” This article examines three fundamental dimensions of that experience: pedagogical goals, course content and teaching methods. His principal pedagogical goals in international business negotiation courses have been three-old: better negotiation analysis, improved negotiation skills, and increased international business knowledge. Depending on the time available, the content of his international business negotiation courses covers three broad areas: the fundamentals of conflict analysis and the negotiation process, basic themes in international negotiation, such as the importance of negotiation, preparation and the management of internal negotiations, and the special obstacles faced in international business negotiation, such as cultural differences among the parties, the actual or potential role of governments in the negotiation process, and challenges to the stability of negotiated agreements. The author’s teaching relies heavily on experiential methods and materials, such as exercises, simulations and cases, although more didactic methods also have a role.

Affiliations: 1: The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University 160 Packard Avenue Medford, MA 02155 USA, Email:


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