MLB Students Reach around the Globe in a Simulated Negotiation

Master of Law and Business students negotiate a joint-venture agreement with students in Japan.


For the fifth consecutive year, students of the Bucerius Master of Law and Business Program participated in an online negotiation simulation with MBA students attending the Kyoto Graduate School of Management (GSM). The negotiation, administered by MLB lecturer Michael Friedman and Professor Will Baber of the GSM, challenged students to negotiate a joint-venture agreement between a Western retailer and a manufacturing company located in a developing Asian nation. But in an added twist, the agreement also needed the support and approval of a third party, namely the Overseas Development Agency situated in the manufacturer’s country.

“Multi-party negotiations are particularly intriguing as they inevitably introduce coalition dynamics. Negotiating power becomes much more relative and the importance of communication skills is magnified. The last thing any party wants is to find itself on the wrong end of a two against one situation,” explained Mr. Friedman.

After nearly two weeks of e-mails, Skype calls and careful planning, the final results were evaluated by the two instructors. The honor of best agreement went to Hannah Gowland, Sofia Haupt, Guilherme Levenhagen and Islam Zriba, with each student receiving a prize of 100 Euros to acknowledge their efforts and skill. Congratulations to all the participants!