Academic Case Study

Improving negotiation and mediation skills for Australia’s future law and business leaders

CMA has been working with a major Australian university provider to improve their student’s ability to enter their careers with unparalleled negotiation and conflict management skills.

The challenge

Our client was looking to develop the negotiation and conflict management skills of their students.

Our client’s students needed to:

  • build confidence in their ability to engage in pre-court and settlement negotiations
  • utilise a structured framework to comprehensively prepare and manage for negotiations
  • empower themselves to change their current approaches to negotiation and conflict management
  • strategically design and implement dispute resolution processes that best fit client needs

CMA’s Solution

Since 2001, every semester we have delivered an intensive course on Negotiation: Essential skills for dispute resolution. This unit provides comprehensive coverage of the theory and skills of Principled Negotiation and their applications in mediation. Students explore a coherent and systematic framework for understanding negotiation, and its implications for a mediator’s role; practise using guidelines for getting best results in negotiation, and for improving the effectiveness of mediation and related processes; practise techniques for defusing conflict within the mediation process; identify key assumptions that help define the various ADR processes available, and apply them in choosing an appropriate process for disputes; and examine practical and ethical tensions commonly faced by mediators.

On completion of this course, students are able to:

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the theory of principled negotiation and practical guidelines for simplifying the negotiation process and third party processes generally with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
  • Demonstrate advanced communication skills and a sophisticated appreciation of negotiation and process management objectives
  • Conduct applied research relating to principled negotiation based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to systematic frameworks for preparation, diagnosis and creative problem solving

The Results

Since 2001, we have taught hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of negotiation, mediation, and beyond. Many years later, we continue to deliver courses for our client, and receive consistent feedback that our subjects are among the best they have experienced.