SPÅ 2902 Business Communication - Negotiations and Presentations

SPÅ 2902 Business Communication - Negotiations and Presentations

Course code: 
SPÅ 2902
Communication and Culture
Course coordinator: 
Yanique Fletcher
Course name in Norwegian: 
Business Communication - Negotiations and Presentations
Product category: 
Bachelor of International Management- Programme Courses
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This course is relevant to students who recognize that negotiations play a daily role in both their professional and personal lives - whether it is negotiating salary, the price of a new apartment or terms of a contract with a customer. In this highly interactive course, students will learn negotiation theory and acquire the practical skills and techniques to engage in a variety of negotiations. Students will apply negotiation theory in in-class negotiations and will practice creating and delivering presentations. These activities will enable them to strengthen their skills in two important areas of business communication that must often be carried out in English: (1) negotiations and (2) presentations.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The overall objective of this course, in common with the other English course (see SPÅ 2901), is that students develop skills which will enable them to communicate effectively in an international business environment. By the end of the course students will first have developed their competence as negotiators and will be able to reason and reflect orally in English on both the theoretical aspects of negotiation strategy and on their experience from negotiation practice. Second, they will also have developed their skill in preparing and making an effective business presentation in English.

Students will acquire a thorough theoretical knowledge of the two major approaches to negotiation theory: principled negotiating and distributive negotiating, and be able to explain them in their own words. Students will also acquire an appreciation of business presentations as a communicative exchange.

Learning outcomes - Skills

Students will develop the formal language skills necessary for negotiating in English. In addition, they will test their acquired theoretical knowledge of negotiation strategies by trying to apply it in the practice of several negotiation cases. Students will be able to identify, assess, and address ethical concerns within negotiations. Students will, also, acquire the skills necessary for preparing and delivering a persuasive business presentation in English.

General Competence

Students should be able to reflect on the appropriateness of particular negotiation strategies in specific negotiating situations and to evaluate their usefulness so that they can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of them. Students should also be able to reflect and analyze the ethical implications of the decisions made during their negotiations. They should also be able to reflect on the communicative context in which a particular business presentation is delivered and how that ought to affect the content of the presentation they deliver.

Course content
  1. Business cases and negotiation techniques.
    • Introduction to negotiating
    • Distributive bargaining
    • Principled negotiating
    • Criticism of the negotiation theories
    • Seven business cases requiring students to negotiate. Each process concluded with discussion/reflection over the negotiation process.
  2. Presentation
    • Introduction to presentations.
    • What makes a presentation effective?
    • All students develop their own presentations with advice and guidance.
    • Dress rehearsal presentation in front of an audience with feedback.
Teaching and learning activities

Students should start the course by learning what will be required of them in the oral exam. They can do this by reading carefully the document which describes the procedure for the oral exam. They can test how well they have understood its contents by taking a multiple-choice test on Its Learning. The questions for the test will be generated randomly from a larger list of questions all of which are based on the procedure for the SPÅ 2902 exam. 

  1. Business cases and negotiation techniques. Students must be active from the start in acquiring knowledge of two alternative negotiation strategies provided in the compulsory literature. Time is also allotted for classroom teaching to help in this process. The course provides students with four business cases in which they can try to implement these theoretical negotiation ideas in practice. This process requires students to reflect on both their own negotiation experiences as well as providing a peer-review of another student team’s negotiating. It is completed with a review session with the class teacher in which students must reflect on and analyze how well they managed to apply a negotiation strategy to the particular case.
  2. Presentation
    Students are themselves responsible for identifying a suitable topic for their presentation, constructing a suitable context within which their presentation could be delivered and then developing it, practicing it and, ultimately delivering it at the oral exam. Class teachers provide advice and guidance to students during this process.

The workload for students. According to ECTS norms, a student should work 200 hours including lectures and exams to obtain 7.5 credits. The following allocation of time is provided for students as a guide. 


Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

The exam for this course focuses not only on the student's knowledge and understanding of negotiation theory but also on the application of negotiation theory during in-class negotiations. Therefore regular attendance is strongly recommended.


Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.


Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

English from upper secondary school or equivalent.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Oral examination
20 Minute(s)
The oral exam consists of two sections which are weighted two to one (2:1). Candidates must achieve a passing grade in both sections to pass the exam. The course grading guidelines provide a comprehensive description of what is expected of the presentations and the ‘negotiations’ discussion. All candidates are required to acquaint themselves thoroughly with these guidelines and are therefore, expected to follow them in the exam. The two parts of the exam are, in chronological order:

1) A 6 to 7 minute presentation in a business/professional/organizational context which occupies one third of the examination time and counts for one third of the overall grade. The student, in his/her role of presenter, must make an explicit attempt to persuade the audience that they should either do something or think something which they otherwise would not.

2) A 12-13 minute ‘negotiations’ discussion, which, occupying two thirds of the available examination time, counts for two thirds of the overall grade. The business case selected for discussion is chosen at random. No second choice is permitted. The discussion is led by the examiner and is based on the negotiation theory which is studied during the course and the experience of the candidate in attempting to use the theory in the negotiation of the business cases that they attempt to solve during the course

NB. The exam can either be taken individually or with one other course participant. For those opting for a pair evaluation the times indicated above should be doubled. Candidates receive an individual grade.

Examination support materials:
PowerPoint slides for the business presentation. Notes are NOT permitted on either section of the exam.
Exam code: 
Grading scale: 
Examination every semester
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
42 Hour(s)
- Presentation – rehearsals
- Participation on negotiation theories
- Negotiation of four business cases
Student's own work with learning resources
157 Hour(s)
- Presentation - development of presentation
- Negotiating - reading the course literature thoroughly/carefully
- Preparation for seven classroom negotiations
- Post-negotiation evaluation of the four cases
1 Hour(s)
Oral exam (20 minutes)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.