Negotiations are an essential part of all professional activity, and for French town planners there are particular benefits that can be achieved by more effective performance in negotiating. However, teaching the skills to operate in a discretionary system is not common in the initial education of town planners. This paper aims to set out the author’s ideas and illustrate how this approach is grounded in theory and related to planning practice.
The subject of negotiating skills is set within the context of implementation studies and the paper focuses on the concept of integrated bargaining as the appropriate approach. The research consisted of the observation of student negotiating in role‐play exercises.
The effectiveness of the inclusion of negotiation skills in the curriculum has not been systematically measured, but anecdotal support from former students is strong. In addition, those students frequently offered the training course as practitioners as their careers progress often express a realization of the importance of greater awareness and skills in this area. Finally, it is evident that the professionals' value negotiation training, as this short course is the one most frequently runs in over six years of experience and one of those most frequently.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is now rising up the agenda of the legal profession in France and in Europe. The message seems clear to us: whether one's interest is in implementation or simply dispute resolution, planning students and practitioners should be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills of negotiation.
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