6.9260 Multi-Stakeholder Negotiation for Technical Experts

*EECS/GEL Course

Spring • Tuesdays Noon-2pm • Room 32-044* (or Online on Zoom and Slack when announced)

Units: 2-0-4*

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor required (limited to 24 students)

Instructor: Samuel "Mooly" Dinnar, Lecturer, GEL Program (sdinnar@mit.edu)


Technical experts don’t just negotiate one-on-one. Engineering team members and leaders are required to deal with their own team, other stakeholders within their organizations and many external parties. This is true of academic lab settings, and also of commercial technology development environments and government projects. When the number of stakeholder increases, so do the complexities associated with communications, relationships, cultural differences and power dynamics. Effective professionals need to be able to map a multi-party situation and decide when and how to negotiate, facilitate, build winning coalitions, resolve conflicts and strive for consensus.

The course is designed primarily for graduate students in engineering and joint engineering-business programs (such as SDM, IDM, and LGO) with no (or some) prior education or experience in the fields of negotiation, and is open (with instructor permission) to all gradaute students. Students will be provided with a repertoire of proven negotiation strategies, practice-based approaches, and analytical frameworks that will enable them to develop their skills experientially and reflectively through simulations, role plays, case studies and video analysis. 

The course was first offered in 2020 and again in 2021, 2022, and 2023 receiving very high student evaluation feedback, with students successfully learning both in-person and online negotiation skills. Students will be required to be available in person and agree to be video recorded for analysis and learning purposes.

Some of the most important work in the field of multi-party negotiation and dispute resolution is being done at the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), which MIT is a part of. This course builds on the research at PON.

This graduate course is offered by the Daniel J. Riccio Gradaute Engineering Leadership Program.**

For questions, please email Samuel Dinnar (sdinnar@mit.edu)

Syllabus, Dated January 9, 2024

* Syllabus may be changed during the semester to accommodate unplanned opportunities or circumstances. 

** Students can count this course or one of our other grad classes (6.9270 Negotiation and Influence for Technical Leaders, 6.9280 Leading Creative Teams) to fulfill part of the engineering doctoral minor and GEL's new Technical Leadership Certificate Program.