Research and Projects

Army Small Unit Leader’s Negotiation Handbook – Army junior leaders typically receive little to no practical training with regard to negotiation. Often, these leaders receive cultural awareness training in the name of negotiation training but it is found to lack a systematic training approach for preparation, conduct, defining a good outcome, and review. This guidebook will serve to help the junior Army leader be successful the first time they negotiate and learn from their negotiations to become even more effective over time. Content requirements are based upon interviews we conducted with both senior level Army leaders and MG390 graduates currently serving as platoon leaders and executive officers. 

Using Simulations to Enhance Negotiation Training – In the current era of organizational change, simulations are projected to take a central role in future Army training. This study continues development of a negotiation simulation that was started by the Air Force Negotiation Center of Excellence and a development team at Adayana Government Group. WPNP cadets on a summer internship worked on a project with Adayana.

Influencing Corrupt Networks – A team of cadets worked on a year-long project to assist a deployed WPNP senior member applying negotiation concepts to International Security Assistance Force anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan.  The project was funded by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  In the Spring of 2012, cadets presented their work at a West Point Network Science Center Conference and the Sunbelt Conference.

Multi-Party Negotiations – This study, to be carried on in conjunction with researchers at the University of Oregon, will examine the use of multi-party negotiations within the negotiation pedagogy. Currently used training methods withhold multi-party negotiation exercises until the latter stages of training. This study aims to determine whether shifting multi-party negotiation exercises to occur earlier in training may enhance learning outcomes.

Effects of Negotiation Training on a Deploying Unit – The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a negotiation program of instruction on the perceptions, assumptions, actions, and overall effectiveness of a Soldier conducting negotiations. In 2009 WPNP began collecting data from units who received training from one of our mobile training teams. Data from four separate units were collected analyzed.

Role of Gender and Race in Military Tactical Negotiations – The assumptions that one carries into a negotiation can critically impact both the conduct and outcome of that negotiation. This study will consider the roles that both gender and race have on tactical level negotiations, whether those assumptions come from the negotiator or the other party, and provide a recommendation for negotiators to become more effective when faced with biases that may hinder achieving a good outcome.

Developing Negotiation as an Organizational Asset – Based on the ideas discussed in Danny Ertel’s Harvard Business Review article entitled “Turning Negotiation into a Corporate Capability,” the WPNP established a relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) to pull lessons from what this organization has done to make negotiation a true asset. All SWAT members take a 40-hour negotiation course. They have their negotiators volunteer on suicide prevention lines for practice in empathy, effective questioning, and active listening. They follow up with past negotiation counterparts (the subjects) to determine what worked or didn't work in each case. Finally, they tape all negotiations for review. Using this model we developed recommendations for Army training programs and unit SOPs to help build negotiation as a core competency.

Ethical Negotiation with a Virtual Human – In collaboration with the Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at the University of Southern California, the WPNP is assisting in the development of a virtual human negotiation simulation. Trained negotiators interacted with a virtual human in a negotiation scenario – gathering information on a sniper attack. Feedback from the test and follow on discussions with both negotiators and research team members is allowing ICT analysts to improve the system so that it will allow for creative problem solving using the principled negotiation approach. The technology uses the latest in artificial intelligence and is expected to serve as an intermediary trainer between classroom instruction and full-on role-player type exercises.

Ethics Overlay with Negotiation Training – Working with an Army Research Institute team from Fort Benning, WPNP worked on a curriculum overlay for developing the ethical foundation of leaders through negotiation training and an assessment tool to measure actual ethical perception changes. This connection between principled negotiation and ethics is natural, allowing an opportunity to maximize leader growth.

Cadet Research Papers 

  • Influencing Corrupt Networks (Proposal) by Cadets Jacob Baxter, Andy Oswald, Greg Sacenti, and Rudy Weisz
  • Detecting Deceit in Negotiation (Presentation) by Cadet Stephen Koshansky
  • Military Leader as a Negotiator Simulation by Cadets Tim Dwyer and Daniel White
  • Managing Perceptions in Conflict Negotiations by Cadets Joe Gallo and Luke Hutchison
  • Managing Perceptions in Conflict Resolution Negotiations (Poster) by Cadets Joe Gallo and Luke Hutchison
  • Negotiating in Crisis Situations by Cadets Duncan Aylor, Emily McCarthy, and Wayne Pak