Teaching

Professor Weiss teaches International Business Negotiations, Introduction to International Business, and Leadership Skills. He has also taught Strategy Field Studies, Managing Across Cultures, and Advanced Negotiation. He has received the top awards for graduate teaching from the Schulich School and from the Faculty of Graduate Studies at York University and in 2015, received the Outstanding Educator (career) Award from the Academy of Management's International Management Division. "Training the Trainer" is another area of interest. Professor Weiss has co-delivered five faculty development workshops sponsored by the CIBERs at Duke University and George Washington University.

Course Descriptions

International Negotiations: Analysis, Strategy and Practice Whether you are selling a product or service, attracting an investor, dealing with a supplier or government agency, or resolving a dispute with partners, you are usually negotiating. Moreover, those around you—your stakeholders as well as competitors—are also negotiating. It is crucial in business, especially international business, to make sense of these negotiations and to conduct them effectively. This course provides structured approaches to understanding, planning, and doing business negotiations in international contexts. Students apply their business knowledge in a series of interactive exercises and written assignments in order to develop analytic, strategic and practical negotiation skills. On two Saturdays, students conduct complex negotiation simulations (e.g., alliance formation, foreign market entry) and receive performance feedback from experienced negotiators. Ultimately, this course is designed to help you:
  • learn about state-of-the-art thinking and research on international negotiation
  • equip yourself with ideas, tools and skills that enable you to achieve superior results in your work with others in international settings.
Specifically, the course will enable you to:
  • understand fundamental negotiation concepts
  • describe (report on) a negotiation effectively
  • explain outcomes
  • suggest improvements in process and outcome
  • expand familiarity with standards and practices in particular countries and industries
  • enhance awareness of particular facets of business transactions and tasks
  • set goals, develop strategies, and articulate plans
  • increase interpersonal effectiveness in four key skill areas of negotiation.
In sum, this is an intensive course in negotiation analysis, international business, strategy formulation and implementation, and interpersonal skill development.
Click here for Course Outline
International Business - Strategic Overview for Managers This course examines issues and challenges that arise when business transactions and organizations transcend national boundaries and become international, regional or global. Entry strategies and adjustments to managerial functions are considered for multiple sectors/industries (e.g., manufacturing, services; autos, pharmaceuticals, advertising, hotels) and a variety of countries in the major regions of the world (Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa/Middle East). As an introduction to international business, this course surveys various aspects of business relationships and activities that cross national boundaries. In particular, it is designed to help you:
  • identify key factors that affect operations and performance in international business
  • develop ideas about how to adapt basic functions for international arenas
  • deepen your familiarity with selected countries and regions
  • make decisions in a variety of problem situations requiring action by a manager
This course may be taken by students who plan to take only one international business (IB) course. It may also serve (as does Applied International Economics) as a first course for those who plan to take additional IB courses such as International Negotiations or International Marketing.
Click here for Course Outline
Managing Across Cultures Working effectively with people and organizations that have developed in different social contexts is an essential capability for the 21st century manager. Many managers learn this set of skills only by trial-and-error, while others do not learn them at all. The resulting costs can be tremendous for their organizations as well as their careers. At the same time, there is an up-side to effective cross-cultural management that should not be underestimated. This course helps you develop the knowledge and skills you need to succeed in this business world. In particular, it is designed to help you:
  • become more aware of your values, habits and expectations and the effects of culture on your behavior in business settings
  • predict and systematically understand the mindsets and behavior of business counterparts from cultures other than your own
  • develop effective management behaviors for two-culture and multicultural settings
The countries and cultures to be studied in depth include Canada, Colombia, Japan, China, Thailand, India, Nigeria, Turkey, and France—in short, examples from every major region of the world.
Click here for Course Outline

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Material

Three types of materials appear below: 1) cases for discussion, 2) interactive exercises - international mega-simulations, and 3) interactive exercises - negotiation role-plays. The sections below contain complete and partial (illustrative) files. For complete files, contact the source indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, all products below were developed by Steve Weiss.
(1) CASES FOR DISCUSSION
"James Bay Hydroelectric Project in Québec, 1971-1994," a pre-film study guide for "Power: One River, Two Nations" (film).
Abstract. The James Bay Project in northern Québec is one of the world’s largest hydroelectric systems. Built for Hydro-Québec in stages, the project began in 1971. Phase 1 entailed construction of three power stations on La Grande River at a cost of C$13.7 billion. At the time, this region was home to 5,000 Cree and 4,000 Inuit. The project damaged their communities and flooded 11,500 km2 of wilderness land. During Phase 2, which began in 1987, Hydro-Québec added a fourth station on La Grande and proposed construction of a new hydroelectric complex on the Great Whale River. This documentary film (“Power”) covers reactions to this proposal between 1989 and 1994.
Click here to access the pre-film study guide.
Distributor for additional material: National Film Board of Canada (Campus section) or Steve Weiss. This teaching material consists of the pre-film study guide (background information), a post-film update (1995-2017), a teaching note, and a transcript of the entire film. The teaching note includes questions for discussion and film segments to analyze in detail.
Click here to access the film.
"Snohetta-Ras Al-Khaimah Negotiations over the Design of an Icon"
Abstract. In 2006, Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta received an invitation from the Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al-Khaimah (RAK) to propose a design for a new capital city. RAK, which neighbors Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is the least populated of the emirates. The Crown Prince envisioned a beautiful, environmentally friendly city that would attract people to RAK. Over the next 7 months, Snøhetta conceived various designs and presented them to the Crown Prince’s top advisor in an iterative progression toward an acceptable design. Several interactions—negotiations—were documented in a film titled “The Sand Castle.” This teaching material consists of a study guide (background information and questions) for key segments (20 minutes in total), a teaching note, and a transcript of the entire film.
Click here to access the pre-film study guide.
Click here to access the film.
Distributor: Steve Weiss
"ElGen Ltd.-Agio Toma (Venezuela) Negotiation over Rescheduling", Parts A, B & C, with teaching note.
Abstract (Part A). This case illustrates the communication and coordination challenges for a manager who must negotiate internally and externally to solve a problem. Tom Prescott, a procurement contract manager at ElGen Ltd. [disguised name], a Canadian subsidiary of U.S.-owned ELGEN, was responsible for locating an elevator for an industrial boiler that ElGen was constructing in Venezuela. Requests for quotes were sent out in early 1992, ElGen began construction of the boiler in April 1993, and in June, ElGen Project Manager David Ryan insisted that award of a purchase order for the elevator was “very urgent.” Ryan was increasingly concerned about completing the entire project on schedule. In July 1993, Prescott entered into final contract negotiations with Agio Toma (Venezuela). They proposed to complete installation on a date that was 2 months after the project deadline. This part of the case emphasizes Prescott’s communications with Ryan over this issue.
Distributor: The Case Centre, Case #395-121-1, 395-122-1, 395-123-1, 395-121-8.
"ElGen Ltd.-Region Manu. Corp. Negotiation over Specifications", Parts A & B, with teaching note.
Abstract (Part A). How can a Canadian purchasing agent negotiate a good price from a sole local source for steel in Taiwan when time is running out? That was the challenge before William Lowe, a senior purchasing agent for ElGen Ltd. [disguised name]. In 1991, while preparing its bid on a C$200-300 million project to build four 550-megawatt boilers in Taiwan, ElGen had reached an agreement with steel supplier RMC on a fixed price per metric ton. ElGen won the contract in early 1992. ElGen and RMC then spent months trying to reconcile their estimates of the total quantity of steel needed for the boiler houses. By February, 1993, further delays threatened to be very costly. This case describes ElGen and its bid for the project, industrial boilers, doing business in Taiwan, and the vicissitudes of its relationship with RMC.
Distributor: The Case Centre, Case #395-119-1, 395-120-1, 395-119-8.
"Managing Bombardier’s Global Express Program" (with S. Felx), with teaching note.
Abstract. In March 1997, Jeff Duncan becomes Program Director of Bombardier’s Global Express (BGE), an ultra-long range, high speed business jet in the last stages of development. Conceived in 1991 and expected to cost up to C$3 billion, the aircraft was rolled out for the first time in August, 1996. Aircraft production, which Bombardier entered only in the mid-1980s, accounts for 50% of the company’s employees and total revenues. The BGE is an important, high-profile addition to the company’s product line. Since last August, two more pre-production BGE aircraft have been completed. The fourth and last of the developmental aircraft (A/C9004) is due to be completed by May 28, 1997, but its production is behind schedule.
As the new director of the BGE program, Duncan faces a slew of diverse challenges, tradeoffs, and tight deadlines. They include building a new management team, motivating line workers, getting internal and external partners to cooperate effectively, and the timely arrival of components (e.g., wings built by Mitsubishi). Duncan needs to prioritize these and other issues quickly and make some important decisions.
Distributor: The Case Centre, Case #300-134-1, 300-134-8.
"Negotiating about Pandas for San Diego Zoo (with S. Tatrallyay)," Parts A, B & C and teaching note. Designated by Harvard Program on Negotiation as “Best-in-Class" Negotiation Case Study (Fall 2014).
Abstract. The executive director of a zoo in the U.S. seeks two giant pandas, an endangered species, from their only source on the planet: China. Compounding the difficulty, many other zoos are also trying to obtain giant pandas—the “rock stars” of the zoo world. Yet, as if relative bargaining power were not enough to preoccupy the zoo director, it is not his only major challenge.
His zoo’s initiative attracts attention from a wide range of stakeholders, from nongovernmental (NGO) conservation groups to government agencies on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. Several of these organizations ardently oppose the zoo’s efforts, while others change their positions over time. All of this attention influences the zoo’s negotiations. Therefore, a second challenging task for the zoo director is to monitor events in the negotiating environment and manage their effects on his negotiations with Chinese counterparts.
This three-part case is based on the actual negotiations and offers lessons for business, law and government.
Distributor: Program on Negotiation at Harvard-Teaching  
(2) INTERACTIVE EXERCISES: INTERNATIONAL MEGA-SIMULATIONS
These multi-party simulations are built on factual (non-disguised) information from real negotiations. Each simulation package for instructors consists of a teaching note, the core case text and exhibits, confidential material for individual roles, and debriefing/case aftermath information to current day. Format: multi-party: multilateral and bilateral between teams Participants: 12 people (standard, but possible with 10-15) Time required: 1-2 days of face-to-face negotiation, preceded by 3 weeks of preparation. See also “Mega-Simulations in Negotiating Teaching” article in Publications.
"Catalytic Software in India: Negotiating Entry"
Abstract. In late January 2000, two ex-Microsoft executives-cum-founders of Catalytic Software, an eight-person U.S. firm specializing in high-end software development, were in India trying to identify candidate sites for their operations. They had spent weeks touring the country and visiting commercial property for rent and ultimately dissatisfied, thought about building their own space near one of two cities in southern India: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh or Bangalore, Karnataka. The founders were leaning toward construction of a corporate campus—what locals called an “information technology (IT) township.” This would be Catalytic’s entry into India; in fact, it would be their first foreign venture. The state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were aggressively trying to attract foreign investment, particularly in the IT industry, with various IT development policies and incentives. In addition to choice of location, Catalytic had to consider the form of entry: for instance, a wholly-owned operation or some type of partnership with a local company such as HCL Technologies. Whatever the path it preferred, Catalytic had a number of issues to discuss with the governments. A partial list included the overall plan for the community, the cost of purchasing and developing land, infrastructure needs, funding, employment, government regulations and incentives, and business growth opportunities.
Click here for Core Case Excerpt (p. 1).
Click here for Diagram of Participant Roles.
contact: Steve Weiss
"Nissan’s Search for a Partner: The Initial Negotiations"
Abstract. Situated in February, 1999, the simulation concerns the issues faced by Nissan Motor Corporation as it met with Renault SA and DaimlerChrysler over possible tie-ups. Simulation participants are put into an only partially structured negotiation situation in the sense that the simulation does not specify who is to strike deals with whom or what the broad outlines of any deal should be. All of that is left up to the participants. Thus this simulation should be used with experienced participants or with students who have already done other multi-team simulations.
Click here for Core Case Excerpt (p. 1).
Click here for Diagram of Participant Roles.
Contact: Steve Weiss
"IBM-Mexico Microcomputer Investment Negotiations” (revised with Tom Murtha)"
Abstract. In the mid-1980s, IBM planned to begin assembling microcomputers in Mexico at its existing plant for typewriters and minicomputers in El Salto. This expansion of operations required the approval of Mexico’s National Commission on Foreign Investment (the “CNIE,” in Spanish), but the CNIE rejected IBM’s March 1984 proposal in July. In September, IBM, while still interested in microcomputer production, was unclear as to why the CNIE had rejected its proposal. IBM and the CNIE had to work out a number of issues with each other in order to allow IBM to pursue its plans. Meanwhile, trade groups such as CANIECE (the official chamber for the electronics industry) and AMFABI (the group established by foreign-owned computer makers) opposed “Big Blue’s” entry into the fledgling domestic microcomputer industry. They sought responses to their concerns. Finally, SSCM, a rapidly growing local components and software developer, saw both opportunities and threats in the IBM plan. [SSCM was conceived solely for this simulation.]
Click here for Core Case Excerpt (p. 1).
Click here for Diagram of Participant Roles.
Contact: Steve Weiss
"GM-Toyota JV Negotiations” (revised version with Tom Murtha)"
Abstract. At the time of this case (May 1983), General Motors Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation had already reached a memorandum of understanding on forming a joint venture (JV) to assemble cars, but a number of issues, with various parties, remained to be resolved. The two companies had yet to finalize the JV’s organizational structure, supply sources, labor relations structure, and product liability, among other issues. The United Auto Workers (UAW) had made clear to both companies their position that the JV should hire laid-off UAW employees. And finally, the US Federal Trade Commission had to approve the deal. GM and Toyota personnel faced a multi-issue, multi-party situation. Each company could be involved in up to three simultaneous negotiations. There were also internal team dynamics to manage. Note: Because this simulation involves an already partly structured negotiation, it is effective with first-time participants in a mega-simulation and with less experienced negotiators. At the same time, it is sufficiently rich to engage highly experienced professionals.
Click here for Core Case Text
Click here for Core Case Exhibits
Click here for Diagram of Participant Roles.
Contact: Steve Weiss
(3) INTERACTIVE EXERCISES: NEGOTIATION ROLE-PLAYS
All of the following exercise materials are available with debriefing forms and slides.  Since complete packages include instructions for all participants, they are intended only for instructors.
"Canada-China Panda Acquisition Negotiation"
  • Format: bilateral between teams
  • Participants: 6 people
  • Time required: 2.5-3 hours
    Abstract: In 2010, after years of communication with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) concerning a loan of giant pandas, Toronto Zoo officials see a “ripe moment” to intensify their efforts and undertake formal negotiations. They designate a Chinese-Canadian spokesman and discuss partnering with Calgary Zoo. The Canadians face serious challenges, however. Giant pandas are an endangered species native only to one country: China. Moreover as “star attractions,” they are in demand by zoos all over the world. Political and economic factors within and between the two countries complicate the situation.
    Distributor: Program on Negotiation at Harvard-Teaching or Steve Weiss
    "Panda Negotiation"
  • Format: bilateral between teams in three distinct phases
  • Participants: 6 people
  • Time required: 2.5-3 hours (after preparation by participants)
    Abstract: After decades of communication about a long-term giant panda loan, the Toronto Zoo sees an opportunity for substantive negotiation with the Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG). The zoo has formed a partnership with two other Canadian zoos, in Calgary and near Montreal. Now the zoo partnership is poised to negotiate with CAZG, one of the two government-affiliated organizations able to provide pandas to foreign zoos. To the partnership (and zoos worldwide), giant pandas are “rock stars” while to the CAZG, they are a “national treasure.”
    Contact: Kellogg Dispute Resolution Research Center or Steve Weiss
    "Ocampo-SportsGear*"
  • Format: bilateral between individuals
  • Participants: 2 people
  • Time required: 30-45 mins
    Abstract: This negotiation concerns eight terms for a celebrity endorsement contract. The agent for Jos Ocampo, a world-famous football (soccer) player for a team in the US, has agreed to a meeting to discuss these issues with the public relations manager at SportsGear, a leading maker of athletic shoes and clothing. Born in Mexico, Ocampo lives in the US during the season but returns to Mexico and his family in the off-season. SportsGear, an American company, currently has no celebrity endorser. The items on the agenda include an annual endorsement fee to Ocampo, duration of the contract, exclusivity, and conditions for contract termination.
    This is a scorable negotiation exercise in that the options possible for each issue—and the value of those options--have been specified in each participant’s confidential role information. * Originally written by Hildy Teegen, revised by Steve Weiss.
    Contact: Steve Weiss or Hildy Teegan
    Alpha-Beta* (3 versions)
  • Format: bilateral between teams
  • Participants:  5 to 6 people
  • Time required: 30-45 mins
  • Abstract: Alpha Inc., a large, broadly diversified electrical company based in the nation of Alpha, has held preliminary talks with Beta Inc., the leading manufacturer of electrical machinery in Beta, about a manufacturing and marketing tie-up for robots.  Tentative agreements have been reached on some agenda items.  Essentially, the two-phase plan is that Beta will supply Alpha with robots to relabel and sell and then Alpha will produce its own robots with Beta technology.  The Alpha and Beta negotiation teams must now try to complete a satisfactory agreement. Three distinct role-plays have been built on this scenario.  (An instructor cannot effectively use more than one with the same group of participants.)  They may be used with or without a cultural component.
  • Version 1.  Originally developed by Tom Gladwin, this version centers on three main issues: the range of different Beta models to be supplied to Alpha in Phase 1, the total quantity of these units, and the royalty rate that Alpha will pay Beta during Phase 2.
  • Version 2. Elaborating on but distinct from the earlier version, Version 2 adds issue (e.g., unit price) and incorporates cost and profit information.  (Developed by Steve Weiss and Allen Zerkin.)
  • Version 3. Developed by Steve Weiss, this most recent version (2009) focuses on three issues: unit quantity, unit price, and dispute resolution.
  • Contact: Steve Weiss.
    "Bolter-Midlands*"
  • Format: bilateral between teams
  • Participants:  6 people
  • Time required: 45-60 mins
    Abstract: Bolter Turbines, Inc., a manufacturer of industrial gas turbine engines and natural gas compressors, is negotiating to conclude a sales contract with its client, Maverick Natural Gas. Outstanding issues include the base price of the compressor set, product options, and various terms and conditions. The members of each team have individually defined roles (e.g., sales representative, regional sales manager, applications engineer). *Originally written by John Graham, revised by Steve Weiss with data from P.L. Schul.
    Contact: Steve Weiss.
    "Brit Trips-Hotel Skedsmo*"
  • Format: bilateral between individuals or teams
  • Participants:  2-4 people
  • Time required: 10-30 mins
    Abstract: Brit Trips has located hotel rooms for 200 English football (soccer) fans who are travelling to Oslo to watch a match between England and Norway. A representative of the tour operator is meeting with the booking manager at Hotel Skedsmo to negotiate room prices and finalize reservations. Each side has additional concerns to raise and address. *Originally written by Brian Groth, revised by Steve Weiss.
    Contact: Steve Weiss
     
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