SOC 134: Mediation and Negotiation

Syllabus, Weekend College Summer, 2006

Sat   

2:50 PM -  4:20 PM

Sun  

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
12:40 PM - 3:10 PM

 

Instructor: Mr. Charles Bunce

Office:  DH 108 (1st office on left)
Office hours: TBA

Phone: 310-954-4212 (email preferred)

Email: cbunce@msmc.la.edu

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The examination and practice of theory and skills required for formal and informal dialogue, understanding, or resolution of differences. Focus will be on student development of mediation and negotiation skills through application of techniques to group, community, and interpersonal issues.

 

TEXTS

1.        Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, R. Fisher and W. Ury;
ISBN 0140157352

2.        Conflict Diagnosis and Alternative Dispute Resolution, Laurie S. Coltri; ISBN 0130981095
 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

  1. To develop an awareness and understanding of theories, models, and concepts related to conflict management, mediation, negotiation, and problem solving.
  2. To develop skills in analysis of complex conflict situations and the application of appropriate concepts and models to resolve or address that situation. 
  3. To develop an increased awareness of your personal approaches conflict management, negotiation, and consensus building.
  4. To develop greater inter-personal skills in communication, persuasion, negotiation, and problem solving.

 

COURSE OUTLINE

WEEKEND

TOPIC

READINGS

1 (May 20-21)

 

Syllabus; Communication basics; Intro to Dispute Resolution

DAY 1 ASSIGNMENT

Coltri chs. 1-2

2 (June 4-5)

Conflict Preconceptions and issues; Conflict Diagnosis
 
JOURNALS DUE

Coltri chs. 3-5

3 (June 24-25)

Harvard Negotiation: “Principled Bargaining”

 

Ury/Fisher

Getting to Yes

4 (July 8-9)

SAT: MIDTERM
 Steps of Conflict Diagnosis;
JOURNALS DUE

Coltri chs. 6-14

5 (July 29-30)

 

Mediation

LIVE NEGOTIATION PAPER DUE

Coltri chs. 15-18

 

6 (Aug. 19-20)

 

Arbitration, Nonbinding Evaluation and other ADRs
 SUN PM:
FINAL; JOURNALS DUE

Coltri chs. 19-22

 

Sat, Aug 26th

LIVE MEDIATION PAPER DUE

 

 

DAY 1 ASSIGNMENT

Explained in first session of class.

 

BLACKBOARD (http://msmc.blackboard.com)

Any and all material posted on BlackBoard (unless otherwise stated) is for study purposes only, and is provided on a strictly voluntary basis. Failure on the part of the instructor to post, or failure on the part of students to access additional materials (i.e. lecture outlines, review sheets, etc) is absolutely no grounds for special exemptions or exceptions in class work, assignments, attendance, or exams.


IN-CLASS PARTICIPATION, ATTENDANCE, and MAKE-UPs

Attendance is expected. Students are expected to have completed the reading assignments and come to class ready to review and explore the topics of the assigned chapter.  On most class days up to five points will be awarded for appropriate participation in class discussions, role plays, and other in-class activities. Points for missed in-class assignments cannot be made up.  It is the responsibility of the student to get any missed information from your fellow class members. You may use the class roster on BlackBoard to contact other students in the class. Moreover, if you will be unable to come to class for the midterm, the instructor must be notified prior to the exam. Excepting those with documented disabilities*, all make-up exams and/or exams proctored outside of the classroom will be more extensive and detail oriented than the one presented in class on the scheduled examination date. Extra credit opportunities may be offered throughout the semester, with a limit placed on how much can be applied to final grades.  Finally, turn off all cell phones before entering the classroom. Ringing/vibrating cell phones during class or exams will result in a loss of in-class points or midterm/final credit.  See BlackBoard for additional classroom etiquette guidelines.


LIVE NEGOTIATION/MIDTERM PAPER
For your midterm paper, you must actually go out and conduct a live negotiation. The substance of this negotiation may be anything of value and a major purchase, something related to a job or employment search, relations with peers or coworkers, etc.

                The following rules apply:

                a.             You must negotiate for something nontrivial (i.e., you should care

 how the negotiation turns out).

                b.             The opponent(s) may not be another student in this class or the

instructor.

                c.             The opponent(s) must not be aware either before or during the

negotiation that it will be used to satisfy course requirements.

                d.             You must articulate (privately, in writing) a strategy beforehand.

                e.             If at all possible, you should try to interview your opponent and/or                                         observers about the negotiation after it is over.

Students must write a midterm paper on the live negotiation. The paper should be approximately 6-8 typed, Times New Roman font, double-spaced pages. Your paper should describe your reactions, perceptions, impressions, and significant insights gained from participation in (and reflection on) the negotiation. You may talk about yourself or the behavior of other people. I encourage you to address such points as the following:

Writing the paper should encourage you to engage in thoughtful analysis and understanding of the negotiation. It should incorporate the use of theory and research from the readings and lecture material. Although there are many creative formats for papers, a good paper usually includes the following elements:

 

LIVE MEDIATION/FINAL PAPER
Similar to the live negotiation/midterm paper, for your final paper, you must actually go out and conduct a live mediation. The basic guidelines are the same, with a few minor, yet important distinctions. The substance of this mediation may be regarding any type of conflict or dispute between two parties. 

The following rules apply:

Students must write a final paper on the live mediation. The paper should be approximately 6-8 typed, Times New Roman font, double-spaced pages. Your paper should describe your reactions, perceptions, impressions, and significant insights gained from participation in (and reflection on) the mediation. You may talk about yourself or the behavior of the other people. I encourage you to address such points as the following:

Writing the paper should encourage you to engage in thoughtful analysis and understanding of the mediation. It should incorporate the use of theory and research from the readings and lecture material. Although there are many creative formats for papers, a good paper usually includes the following elements:

JOURNAL ASSIGNMENTS

During the course, each student is expected to maintain a journal describing his/her role experiences and reflecting on learning experiences as a negotiator and/or mediator both within as well as outside of class. Keeping a journal encourages reflection on--and analysis of--the learning-by-experience simulations of negotiation and mediation we conduct in class and real life applications. Your comments also give me a sense of your individual progress, as well as some insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator/mediator. Your task is to describe your reactions, perceptions, impressions, or significant insights gained from participation in (or reflection on) the exercises in class, as well as any applicable negotiation/mediation experiences outside of the classroom. Examples of some of the types of points I encourage you to address include the following:

                a.             what you expected in the situation;

                b.             how you prepared for the negotiation/mediation;

                c.             how you and others in the group behaved;

                d.             what you learned about your skills; and

                e.             what you would do differently the next time around.

I regard the journal entries as a confidential communication between you and me. As a result, I expect you to be specific in identifying other people (by name) and their behavior in describing your reactions to the negotiation and/or mediation exercises and experiences.  Journals will be checked 3 times over the course. See course outline for exact dates.

 

EXAMS

There will be two exams – a midterm and a final – both of which will be essay and/or short answer.

 

 

GRADING:

 

 

REMEMBER

Class participation (approx)
Day 1 Assignment
Midterm + Final

Live Negotiation/Midterm Paper

Live Mediation/Final Paper

Journals (3 checks @ 25 pts ea.)

    45
    25
  200

    50

    50

    75

 

Please refer to the discussion of the following in the MSMC catalog:

 

1.  The Academic Integrity/Plagiarism Statement

 

2.  The Attendance/Participation Policy

 

3.  The Learning Disability Statement

 

 

 

4.  The Academic Freedom Statement

TOTAL

  445

 

 


Grades will be based on a percentage of total points earned:
94-100% of total points = A; 90-93% = A-, etc.

 

*MSMC, in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of disability.  If you are student with a documented disability, please see Michele Lewis, Director of Learning Assistance Programs, to make arrangements for classroom accommodations.  Her office is located in room 207 of the Humanities Building.  Additional disability related information and policies can be found in the Student Handbook on pages 12 and 27.