Developing Negotiation Case Studies
James K. Sebenius
Copyright © 2010 by James K. Sebenius Working papers are in draft form. This working paper is distributed for purposes of comment and discussion only. It may not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder. Copies of working papers are available from the author.
Developing Negotiation Case Studiesi Edited version forthcoming in the Negotiation Journal October 6, 2010, v2.51 James K. Sebenius, [email protected]
Harvard Business School Abstract While a great deal of excellent advice exists for producing case studies on managerially relevant topics in general, negotiation cases have distinctive aspects that merit explicit treatment. This article offers three types of tailored advice for producing cases on negotiation and related topics (such as mediation and diplomacy) that are primarily intended for classroom discussion: 1) how to decide whether a negotiationrelated case lead is worth developing; 2) how to choose the perspective and case type most suited to one’s objectives; and 3) in by far the longest part of the discussion, ten nuts and bolts suggestions for structuring and producing an excellent negotiation case study. Suppose you read about, participate in, or otherwise become aware of a negotiation that intrigues you as a possible candidate for a case study. Perhaps a student, colleague, participant in an executive program, or private client suggests such an episode. You may consider researching and writing up the case yourself or you might supervise someone else for this purpose. Should you proceed with an investment of your scarce time and resources? If so, how? What’s the best casewriting advice you can give to a research assistant, a student (team) grappling with a course assignment to produce a case study, or someone else who is simply interested in writing up a negotiation for discussion purposes?ii ...
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