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University of Exeter Business School

Applied skills: Becoming an effective Negotiator/influencer

Module title Applied skills: Becoming an effective Negotiator/influencer
Module codeMBAM854
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Professor Deborah Goodwin (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

5 days

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

How good are you at negotiating and influencing? Are you ready for the needs of your chosen career? Would you like to be better prepared?Everyone talks about the importance of negotiation, but rarely are we supported in developing our negotiation skills, especially when we could ground them in sound academic research and proven practical application. Within this module you will learn about negotiation behaviours and strategies, how people think and react, develop effective negotiation and influencing techniques, apply your skills, assess the effects, and witness real-world negotiations. The skills you will be taught are those used by global professionals, and you can complete this module with a professional negotiation toolkit ready for your working (and personal) life. You don’t need any prior knowledge to choose this module and it is also recommended for interdisciplinary study pathways. Negotiation is a life skill- so can you afford to just ‘get by’ when here is your chance to excel?

The core emphasis in this Module is empowering you to become a professionally accomplished and knowledgeable negotiator/influencer. This module has the rare distinction of combining an appreciation of formal studies and frameworks together with a proven developmental and applied practical skillset for you to use in your chosen career. The Module convenor has significant international standing in academic research in negotiation per se, usefully combined with global practical experience as a qualified crisis negotiator including supporting the UN. By undertaking this module, you will be helped to become an applied practical negotiator in your chosen professional context.

An effective negotiator/influencer can be nurtured and trained and is not pre-destined. You have chosen studies that require you being able to successfully and confidently influence, communicate and persuade others in many professional contexts. Here at Exeter, we offer you this rare opportunity to undertake an advanced module that will result in a personal professional skillset in negotiation competency, balanced with an appreciation of formal thinking in this subject. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This Module is applied learning and so is lively and highly interactive as this subject requires. You will have ample scope to try things out, challenge and investigate, discuss at length, receive feedback and suggestions to help you develop your professional skills and confidence. Most importantly, it will facilitate your future professional role where understanding and persuasion are crucial. 


Main aims:

  • To explore the nature of influencing and negotiating
  • To examine crucial aspects of human behaviour in an influence setting
  • To analyse communication skills and approaches in order to influence

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically evaluate formal negotiation frameworks
  • 2. Demonstrate substantive knowledge and applied understanding of the main factors in negotiation and influential thinking, behaviour and strategy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Outline key negotiating elements of Positions, Interests, Active Listening and Influencers
  • 4. Apply formal theories and frameworks to inform practical application in a business negotiating context

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Practice improved self-awareness and better understanding of others
  • 6. Communicate effectively with others, displaying emotional intelligence and listening skills
  • 7. Apply a practical skillset for personal application in post-University professional contexts

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover a range of the following topics: 


  • The significant role of negotiation in business, corporate strategies, managing people, dealing with conflict, conflict resolution and de-escalation approaches at all organisational levels
  • Applied learning opportunity: specially created multi-party business context simulation exercise for students to apply learning and techniques, and receive feedback 
  • Deep analysis of significant negotiation case-studies
  • Professional Active Listening and Negotiation applied communication skills
  • Understanding human behaviours, biases and schemas in negotiation discourse
  • Understanding yourself and others (biases and schemas) and what affects thinking
  • Persuasive and influential dialogue techniques
  • Professional negotiation planning and analysis tools
  • How academic theories and models usefully inform the practitioner
  • By experiencing and evaluating real negotiations opportunities, you will critically assess what you see and hear to build your own influence skills
  • The value and impact of the Plan B in negotiation
  • The effect of trust and risk issues in negotiation
  • The impact of applying different personal negotiation discourse styles
  • Option creation ideas
  • What does a mediator do?
  • Building your own Negotiator’s Toolkit and devising own dialogue strategies

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities14Seminar & ELE Case-study analysis
Guided Independent Study6Pre-reading: Preparation for practicals and formative exercises
Guided Independent Study30Assignment preparation and research

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dyadic negotiation (in seminar) 1 hour2,3,4,5,6,7Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case-study analysis (podcast) (Subject chosen from a set topic list) INDIVIDUAL100Podcast (10 mins maximum) Student to supply full script and references of podcast also.1-7written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Case-study analysis (podcast) INDIVIDUALPodcast and full script re-submission1-7Next reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Case-study podcast- students can choose to re-work their original subject choice or choose a new subject from the required podcast topics list for re-assessment, in discussion with Module Convenor.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Thompson, Leigh (1998). The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator. Prentice Hall


Fisher, R. and Ury, W.(2012). Getting to yes : negotiating an agreement without giving in.     Random House Business.


Cialdini,R, B. (2007). Influence: the psychology of persuasion. Collins.

Key words search

Negotiation  business communication human behaviour influence strategy

Credit value5
Module ECTS


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date