The Long‐Term Impact of Negotiation Training and Teaching Implications

Date01 December 2014
Published date01 December 2014
C R Q, vol. 32, no. 2, Winter 2014 129
© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. and the Association for Confl ict Resolution
Published online in Wiley Online Library ( • DOI: 10.1002/crq.21110
The Long-Term Impact of Negotiation Training
andTeaching Implications
Cherine G. Soliman
Arnaud Stimec
Nicolas Antheaume
is article presents the subset of research on the enhancement of cooper-
ation in negotiation with a focus on the intraorganizational context. It
studies the long-term eff ect of negotiation training and its implications
for the teaching of negotiation. We chose a qualitative approach over
two cycles of action research. Cycle 1 was performed in a training course
with sixty-four managers over six months. Cycle 2, using the focus group
method, was carried out with eleven individuals selected from cycle 1
population over twelve months.  is experiment enabled us to propose a
dynamic typology of negotiator styles, which led us to suggest a number
of recommendations to improve the teaching of negotiation.
W hatever defi nition is given of negotiation, most scholars insist on two
dimensions (Deutsch 1973; Schelling 1980; Walton and McKersie
1965): cooperation and competition. If negotiation were only cooperation,
it would be a sheer problem-solving issue. And if negotiation were only
competition, it would be just a struggle. When no party is absolutely domi-
nant or independent of the other but when interests and intents are not 100
percent convergent, negotiation appears to be a serious option (Dupont
1994). Negotiation is characterized by the coexistence of cooperative and
competitive issues that create a dilemma (Lax and Sebenius 1986).
is dilemma may be driven by the context (e.g., in game theory) or by
the negotiators’ behaviors (e.g., in social psychology research).  e analysis
of context and the knowledge of negotiation techniques may help to choose
the right behaviors.  is is why most negotiation training courses associate
C R Q • DOI: 10.1002/crq
the two issues of context analysis and behaviors through simulations or case
analysis. An underlying assumption, rarely discussed, is that people are free
to adopt whatever style they believe is best.  is opens the way to one-size-
ts-all negotiation trainings where trainees would learn the one best way.
How far are people able to switch from one negotiation style to another?
What type of training is required to favor this change? How do diff erent
individuals react to the training? How do behaviors adjust to reality after
a training session? Since most training courses do not include a longitu-
dinal follow-up, we do not have answers to these questions. To address
these issues, an eighteen-month, two-cycle, action research training was
designed and conducted with Egyptian middle- to top-level managers who
had enrolled for evening MBA or DBA classes.
We designed a training course based on recommendations from the lit-
erature. We identifi ed negotiator style prior to, during, and after the train-
ing. We tested the impact of three variables on these styles: (1) the impact
of negotiation knowledge (through the train ing), (2) the impact of com-
ing back to the organizational environment after the training, and (3) the
impact of time (six months for cycle 1, another twelve months for cycle 2).
We begin with an investigation of training design issues that we identi-
ed in the literature. We then explain how we designed the training and
measured negotiator profi les and the impact of our three variables.  is is
followed by a presentation and analysis of our results. Finally, we discuss
how our research contributes to understanding negotiator profi les and the
implications for teaching negotiation.
Teaching How to Manage Cooperation and Competition
Almost all negotiation manuals or training courses address the issue of
cooperation and competition. Unfortunately, it is not always clearly stated
if this is related to context analysis, individual profi les, or a mix of the two.
Moreover, teaching often takes for granted that this choice between coop-
eration and competition is a question of knowledge and rational choice
and that the context is stable.
From Dual Concerns to Dual Contexts
In this section, we distinguish attitudes and behavioral work and con-
text analysis research (although they may be handled simultaneously),
two complementary approaches.  e rst stream of research focuses on

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