Mega-Simulations in Negotiation Teaching: Extraordinary Investments with Extraordinary Benefits
A mega-simulation is a complex-negotiations teaching exercise involving complicated issues and challenging conditions that is undertaken by three or more teams of students. In this article, I draw on two decades of teaching with mega-simulations in international business negotiation courses to discuss potential learning goals for this type of experiential exercise, effective ways to organize the experience, challenges for the instructor, and the distinctive educational benefits that justify the substantial investment of time and resources required to implement these mega-simulations. These simulations can help students to develop greater sophistication in basic negotiation skills, become more extensively exposed to complex skill sets, and develop a deeper understanding of negotiation subject matter and complex processes than they would by conducting standard role plays. Mega-simulations offer major opportunities for students to move to advanced levels of negotiation skill not just in international business, but in diplomacy, law, engineering, and a host of other professional arenas.