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DRI Leads Int'l Program to Redefine Negotiation Education

Most of the teaching models for negotiation education were developed nearly 30 years ago. Thanks to globalization and a host of other factors, the science of contemporary negotiation has become far broader, nuanced and complex in the intervening years. Hamline's Dispute Resolution Institue is hosting a series of global academic conferences focusing on the delivery of negotiation education with the goal of helping to create cutting-edge curriculum that reflects the changes in the field of negotiation during the past three decades.

The ambitious project will span four years and three countries: Italy, Turkey and China.  The first stage was the initial event held last May in Rome, Italy, where 50 internationally renowned negotiation scholars from around the world gathered. Participants in Italy observed a negotiation training based on current approaches, critiqued the training and then worked together in multi-disciplinary and transnational teams to write about how best to "re-think" negotiation teaching in light of culture and context. Hamline's new DRI Press has published the emerging scholarship from the event, RETHINKING NEGOTIATION TEACHING: INNOVATIONS FOR CONTEXT AND CULTURE (DRI PRESS 2009)with financial support from the JAMS Foundation. The book is available and may be downloaded free of charge at or bound copies may be purchased.

The second phase of this project took place October 14 - 17, 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey. Straddling Europe and Asia, this area has been described by many as the crossroads of the East and the West.  With the support and facilities of Istanbul Bilgi University, the program began with a one day executive style training, primarily for Turkish professionals.  The lead trainers, Hamline Professor Ken Fox and Manon Schonewille, Executive Director of MS&D International were joined by an international team of coaches including: Habib Chamoun-Nicolás, Noam Ebner, Vivian Feng, and Hamline Professor Barbara McAdoo.

Scholars were given the option of observing the training or meeting in small groups with English speaking Turkish business owners organized by the Institute for Interfaith Dialog. The dialogues took place at the leaders' place of business enabling participants to observe how everyday business discussions and commercial transactions are handled outside the tourist sites of Istanbul.  Among other things, the scholars explored how standard negotiation theory worked in practice in the Turkish (and Islamic) tradition.

The scholars then met for two and a half days to "field test" new content and pedagogy based on the lessons from Rome.  A special focus for this conference was on "adventure learning."  Participants also spent time in small breakout groups that explored how culture, gender, technology and even emotions can impact conflict resolution efforts. During the conference, scholars were encouraged to form interdisciplinary and transnational teams for the purpose of writing a second round of articles and book chapters, which will again be published by DRI Press.  In addition, the scholars were asked to begin to develop concrete lesson plans, templates and tools to effectively bring the newest ideas from the contemporary multi-disciplinary science of negotiation into the classroom. 

"The results of the intellectual stimulation that occured in Turkey and the lessons learned in the project will immediately see their way into dispute resolution courses taught at Hamline," said DRI Director Sharon Press.