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Transcending the Classroom: A Practical Guide to Remote Role Plays in Teaching International Negotiation

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Abstract

This article discusses the pedagogical value of using remote role plays in cross-cultural negotiations between two classes taught simultaneously at different and geographically distant institutions. We argue that remote role-play simulations provide valuable teaching and learning experiences, and are particularly helpful for managing issues associated with outside-group negotiation and cultural differences, the prenegotiation stage, electronic negotiations and distorted communication, and one-shot settings in which the negotiator lacks previous knowledge of the partner. The article begins with a discussion of some critical limitations of “traditional” in-class role plays, followed by a practical guide to remote role plays and a report of our experiences with them. Finally, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of remote role plays as a teaching tool for international negotiation classes and the key lessons for the participating students.

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