Leaders as Negotiators: Padmé vs. Palpatine

We’re thrilled to announce that our chapter on Leaders as Negotiators including a structured comparison of Padmé and Palpatine has just been published in a book edited by Jen Reynolds and Noam Ebner: “Star Wars and Conflict Resolution II“!

In our chapter, based on the framework introduced by Jeswald Salacuse in “Real Leaders Negotiate“, we explore the contrasting leadership and negotiation styles of these influential leaders and the profound impact they had on the fate of the galaxy. While Padmé epitomizes diplomacy, empathy, and a commitment to peaceful resolution, Palpatine embodies manipulation, deceit, and a relentless pursuit of power.

Throughout the “Star Wars” saga, Padmé Amidala, the former queen and senator of Naboo, emerges as a beacon of hope and resilience. Her negotiation tactics are grounded in compassion and a genuine desire for the greater good. Padmé navigates complex political landscapes with integrity and courage, striving to bridge divides and forge alliances.

In stark contrast stands Emperor Palpatine, a master manipulator and orchestrator of chaos. Concealed behind a facade of benevolence, Palpatine exploits fear and uncertainty to advance his sinister agenda. His negotiation tactics are shrouded in deception and coercion, serving only his insatiable thirst for domination.

Padmé’s unwavering commitment to dialogue and compromise teaches us the power of empathy and understanding in resolving disputes. Conversely, Palpatine’s cunning strategies shed light on the dangers of manipulation and the importance of vigilance in safeguarding against tyranny.

“Star Wars and Conflict Resolution II” offers a unique lens through which to examine timeless principles of negotiation and conflict. Through the lens of this epic saga, the authors explore the complexities of human (and alien) interaction and the enduring struggle between light and darkness.

May the Force be with you!

2024 Gregory Kersten GDN Journal Best Paper Award

We are delighted to share that our paper Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes, co-authored by Wolfram Lipp, Peter Kesting, and me has been awarded with 2024 Gregory Kersten GDN Journal Best Paper Award!

I remember how happy we all were when the paper got accepted by the Group Decision and Negotiation journal, but none of us ever thought it would earn us this prestigious award!


In our paper, we report on the results of two empiracal studies that suggest that counteroffers similarly to the first offers affect negotiation outcomes. We also introduce the concept of an “anchor zone” between initial and counter offers, which significantly influences final agreements.

The paper is a result of a great collaboration project between Technical University of Munich, Aarhus University, and HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. Thank you Wolfram and Peter for our long discussions and endless revisions. I genuinely enjoyed every minute, and it was definitely worth it!

The paper is available in open access and can be viewed and downloaded here. Please let us know what you think!

A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing

Delighted to share that our paper: A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing is available in open access on the website of Harvard’s Negotiation Journal!

Running negotiation competitions for students and professionals requires producing new negotiation simulations. Over the years, we’ve designed, written, tested, and assessed hundreds of negotiation simulations and our paper shares the lessons we’ve learned along the way. It includes also a step-by-step practical guide how to write effective negotiation simulations.

Many thanks to my partner in crime Peter Kesting for this excellent idea and Silvia P. Glick, Melissa Manwaring and other anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and feedback.

We are super excited and couldn’t wait to share it with you and look forward to receiving your feedback!

Source: A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing – Kesting – 2023 – Negotiation Journal – Wiley Online Library

The Negotiation Challenge for Professionals

Negotiation is an art we all practice, whether we realize it or not. It permeates various aspects of our lives, from deciding where to eat with friends to securing business deals that impact our economic well-being. Some of us even negotiate professionally, making negotiation skills a crucial asset for success in our careers. Given its ubiquity and significance, it becomes vital to introspect and ask ourselves: Are we good negotiators? Can we negotiate effectively when it truly matters?

As founders of one of the first international negotiation competitions, The Negotiation Challenge, we once struggled to pinpoint the exact factors contributing to negotiators’ performance. The journey began with intuition, but we knew we needed more. Over time, we crafted a comprehensive evaluation system grounded in solid academic research, which has since proven to be a reliable benchmark for assessing and comparing negotiators’ abilities.

Throughout human history, we have relentlessly pursued mastery and excellence in various fields. Whether it’s determining the fastest runner, the strongest warrior, or the most skilled musician, competitions have been our means of comparison and a catalyst for greatness. In the spirit of this quest, we established The Negotiation Challenge for Professionals, a fair and transparent competition designed to put your negotiation skills to the test and measure them against others in your domain.

No matter your professional background—be it sales, procurement, entrepreneurship, M&A advisory, strategy consulting, or legal practice—The Negotiation Challenge invites you to participate and systematically assess your negotiation prowess alongside passionate negotiators from diverse countries and cultures.

Why should you seize this unique opportunity to develop your negotiation skills?

  1. Negotiate with the Best – The Negotiation Challenge attracts top-notch negotiators from around the world. Facing off against them demands the utilization of a wide array of negotiation tools and methods to engineer value and strike astute agreements. This challenge is your gateway to becoming an even better negotiator.
  2. Network with Passionate Negotiators – Engaging in The Negotiation Challenge allows you to connect with fellow passionate negotiators from various companies and nations. Through these interactions, you can exchange experiences, broaden your network, and learn from different perspectives.
  3. Feedback from Negotiation Experts – The founders and judges of The Negotiation Challenge are not just thought leaders and experts in the field; they are seasoned negotiators themselves. Their invaluable feedback has helped countless participants diagnose weaknesses and optimize their negotiation styles for success.
  4. Develop Your Negotiation Skills – Confronted with intricate negotiation scenarios and competing against well-trained and experienced counterparts, participants receive an excellent opportunity to elevate their negotiation skills. The guidance and coaching provided by judges further aid in their development.

The ability to navigate conflicts and negotiate wise agreements profoundly impacts the quality of our lives. Whether you are a seasoned negotiator or aspire to hone your negotiation craft, we extend our invitation to join The Negotiation Challenge. Together, we will shape a world where effective negotiation becomes a cornerstone of personal and professional success.

Unlock your negotiation potential and register for The Negotiation Challenge today! Embrace the opportunity to excel, grow, and become an extraordinary negotiator.

Differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs in funding negotiations

Happy to announce that our paper “Differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs in funding negotiations” has just been published in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research!

Serial entrepreneurs are generally able to secure more venture capital funding and on better deal terms than novices. Our study investigates the disparities in negotiation competencies between habitual and novice entrepreneurs during VC funding negotiations. We use a qualitative approach to investigate the variation in negotiation competencies between habitual and novice entrepreneurs, utilizing the negotiation competency model (NCM). Our findings reveal substantial differences between novice and habitual entrepreneurs in VC negotiations. The results indicate three primary dimensions contributing to these differences: expertise, reputation, and negotiation competences. Our study represents one of the earliest empirical investigations into the entrepreneurial negotiation competencies within VC negotiations. The findings narrow the gap between novice and habitual entrepreneurs in VC negotiations by pinpointing the distinct variations between these two groups, which hold significant practical implications.

We are already translating our findings into a negotiation training designed especially for entrepreneuers to prepare them for their most important entrepreneurial negotiations! Please reach out to me if you’re interested in such training!

Many thanks to Christian GladePeter Kesting, and Dominik K. Kanbach for a great collaboration on this project! We also keep on looking at the VC funding negotiations and hope to report further insights soon!

Source: Differences between habitual and novice entrepreneurs in funding negotiations | Emerald Insight

“What is Your Best Price?”—An Experimental Study of an Alternative Negotiation Opening (PDF)

Delighted to share that our paper “What’s your best price? – An Experimental Study of an Alternative Negotiation Opening” is available on the website of Harvard’s Negotiation Journal.

Our study investigates the impact of an negotiation opening frequently encountered in negotiations, especially after posting ads on classified services on economic and relational outcomes. Our results show that inducing the first offer seems to lead to better outcome than making a counteroffer and not to damage the relationship between the negotiating parties.

Many thanks to my co-authors Wolfram Lipp and Peter Kesting for an excellent collaboration!

Source: (PDF) “What is Your Best Price?”-An Experimental Study of an Alternative Negotiation Opening

Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes

Happy to share that our paper on counteroffers in negotiation “Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes” has been accepted for publication in Group Decisions and Negotiation!

In our paper, we analyzed the impact of counteroffers on economic and subjective outcomes. If you ever wondered whether counteroffers matter in negotiation, you might enjoy reading this paper.

Once again, many thanks to Wolfram Lipp and to Peter Kesting, my old partner in crime!

Source: (PDF) Beyond the First Offer: Decoding Negotiation Openings and Their Impact on Economic and Subjective Outcomes

What Does It Mean To Negotiate Well?

What does it mean to negotiate well and what is the panda bear effect?

In our chat with Kwame Christian from American Negotiation Institute, we talk about a topic that has been very important to me ever since we’ve launched our negotiation competition, The Negotiation Challenge. It is quite surprising that after four decades of research, we still do not have widely recognized standards for evaluating negotiators’ performance. This was mainly the reason behind our work on the Negotiation Competency Model.

While organizing and judging various negotiation competitions, we’ve also observed that the teams that usually do well display something, we called the panda bear effect. To find out what it is, tune in to our episode of Negotiate Anything!

https://play.acast.com/s/07e56094-8598-4d02-b073-738fdf0ae3fb/879c5894-1eff-11ed-8642-df41cc5e35b1

Toward a Process Model of First Offers and Anchoring in Negotiations (PDF)

Super happy to share that our literature review on first offers in negotiation “Toward a Process model of First Offers and Anchoring in Negotiations” has been accepted for publication in Negotiation and Conflict Management Research!

In our paper, we analyzed 119 articles that focused on various aspects of first offers in negotiation, ordered them in a process a process model and identified avenues for further research. If you ever wondered about what research has found out about the impact of first offers in negotiation, you might enjoy reading this paper.

Many thanks to Wolfram Lipp, who headed this project and to Peter Kesting, my old partner in crime!

Source: (PDF) Toward a Process Model of First Offers and Anchoring in Negotiations

In Search of Master Negotiators: A Negotiation Competency Model (PDF)

This paper systematically derives and summarizes the evaluation criteria we use in our international negotiation competitions for students and professionals. They are based on a systematic literature review connecting observable negotiation behavior with their impact on negotiation outcomes and summarized in a negotiation competency model. The model includes a set of selected negotiation competencies together with proficiency levels and their behavioral indicators. Our goal is to help scholars design more effective negotiation courses and fairer negotiation competitions, improve negotiation pedagogy, and train negotiators who are well prepared to handle conflicts in our increasingly complex society.

Source: (PDF) In Search of Master Negotiators: A Negotiation Competency Model