Service-based consulting projects: Real world, real time, real pressure learning in negotiation
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Negotiation is defined as an interpersonal process in which two or more parties attempt to allocate scarce resources or resolve a conflict (Pruitt & Carnevale, 1993). Scarce resources and conflict permeate, at varying levels and in numerous forms, all aspects of our personal and professional lives. That said, as an academic subject area, negotiation is something that students of every disciplinary domain should be exposed to as a component of their professional skill development. In this chapter, we describe a semester-long consulting project aimed at developing students¿ negotiation skills. Students work in teams, serving as consultants to a non-profit organization to produce a product or service designed to result in both short- and long-term positive outcomes for the organization's staff and clients. The project involves numerous, frequent, real-world intrateam and interorganization negotiations. Student learning is grounded in real-time, pressure-filled, chaotic, and often resource-poor environments: all components that mirror many of the constraints students will face in their future professional careers.
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