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Course 2018-2019 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  12 credits SECS-P/10) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - GIO (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Mission & Content Summary

Managing is largely a decision making activity, and this course is aimed at improving knowledge and skills in that fundamental field. The course provides concepts and tools for improving decision making and negotiation strategies, behaviors and solutions, utilizing and integrating tools from behavioral science and rational decision and negotiation models. In particular, it provides tools for sustaining effective and innovative decision and negotiation behavior in uncertain, risky and open problems, with applications in a wide variety of settings (not only business policy and entrepreneurial decisions, but also labor disputes, inter-organizational negotiations, political and judicial problems). The course format is based on active teaching, providing analytic models and developing skills through simulations and case studies.

  • Foundations of decision making. How to frame problems and objectives. Improving heuristics  for judgement under uncertainty. Alternative decision strategies and their selection.
  • When to employ decision teams. Governing team decision making dynamics.
  • When to negotiate. Types of conflict of interests and negotiation structures. Types of negotiation strategies. How to improve agreements.
  • Power and fairness in negotiations.
  • Organizational cultures in negotiations.
  • Multi-party negotiations and coalition analysis.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Distinguish effective and ineffective heuristics for decision making.
  • Select a decision strategy appropriate to a problem.
  • Recognize different game and negotiation structures.
  • Select negotiation strategies appropriate to the negotiation structure.
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Develop personal skills in problem solving and negotiating.
  • Evaluate strategies and behavior applied by other actors.
  • Diagnose the key features and address the challenges of decision and negotiation situations.
  • Devise appropriate behaviors and design superior solutions and agreements.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)

Each session includes an experiment or simulation in which to experiment the strategies and behaviors topic of the session. Conceptualizations and models are reconstructed on the basis of the analysis of the empirical evidence generated by the experiments conducted in class, connected and compared with the available results of  social science research on those behaviors. Three complex case studies are discussed as wrap ups for each part of the course (decision making, two-party negotiations, final complex organizational decision making case).

Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    

    Students are evaluated on a balanced scorecard composed by various elements, both individual and team-based, conceived as an ‘accumulation plan’ so that attending students have early feedback and knowledge on their learning and performance.  

    •  Case analyses assignments (19 points max):
    • 2 major  wrap-up  case analyses assignments. They include prior reading of a case and three phases of case analysis: an individual take home analysis to be delivered at the time of the session (worth 5 point s max); an analysis in teams in class (written on whiteboards, worth 2 points max), and a plenary analysis with teacher’s inputs and feedback. Individual analyses  can be sent by e-mail and delivered also in case of absence from the session (in which case only the individual work points are gained).
    • A final wrap-up case (only individual contributions evaluated, on a 5 point scale).
    • Final paper (10 points max):
    • An end course paper, conducted individually or in teams of up to 3 students each.
    • The paper should consist in an analysis of a real decision or negotiation situation selected by the student. The situation, and the information on it, can be based on experience – direct personal or by known others; or based on inteviews and/or documents (historical accounts, newspapers, multimedial accouts of historical events etc).
    • The projects have to presented orally, with the support of slides, in the final session(s) of the course. The presentations have three functions: collective learning on possible uses and applications of the course tools; feedback to teams for improving their final paper; evaluation of the project and the team competence.
    • The final papers have to be delivered  in written and printed  form in the first exam session.
    • The quality of both the oral presentation and  the written final report concurs to the final project- based evaluation.
    •  Individual class participation (4 points max):
    • 4 individual points for preparation and good individual interventions in class  discussions in sessions without evaluated assignments (2 points assigned before the semester break; 2 points after).

    The maximum number of points attainable through the above scheme is 33/30. If the total of points gained is superior to 30, the final grade is ‘30 cum laude’.

    • A written test with conceptual and applied questions (no multiple choice) on the  adopted books, in the official exam dates.
    • An individual paper (5 pages max) analyzing a real case of decision and/or negotiation (including personal experience, other people experience, journal reports etc) with the tools learned (to be delivered in print in the session in which the test is taken) .

    The two evaluations are expressed on the standard 30 point scale and each of them should be sufficient for passing. If this condition is met, the simple average of the two partial grades constitute the final grade.

    Teaching materials
    • L.L. THOMPSON, The mind and heart of the negotiator, Upper Saddle River, NJ, Prentice-Hall 2004 (or any subsequent edition).
    • Selected  Chapters on organizational decision making (indicated in the course Syllabus) from: A. GRANDORI, Organization and Economic Behaviour, Routledge 2001 (Available on Library Course Reserve).
    • Course Slides (posted).
    Last change 24/06/2018 21:23