How Students Develop their Self-Efficacy for Negotiating: Understanding the Dynamics within Simulation Environments

Negotiation
 
Qualitative
 
Higher Education
 
Presenter
Dorothy Duchatelet
Universiteit Antwerpen
Authors
Dorothy Duchatelet
Universiteit Antwerpen

Abstract
Current research struggles to illuminate significant learning outcomes of role-play simulations of decision-making. This is particularly the case for more complex simulation environments such as Model European Union or Model United Nations. Previous research has shown that self-efficacy for negotiating is an important learning outcome that seems to increase over time within one simulation experience. However, results also show important individual variations in students’ development of self-efficacy for negotiating. Both contextual aspects (e.g. feedback) and individual characteristics (e.g. prior success) are known for influencing the development of self-efficacy. It is however unclear to what extent these or other aspects relate to stimulating or inhibiting conditions within a simulation environment that aims for fostering self-efficacy for negotiating. To increase our understanding of the simulation process, this paper presents a case study conducted during a four-day model European Union simulation, focusing on the conceptual development of negotiating and on students’ self-efficacy for negotiating as learning outcomes. Using a single holistic longitudinal case study design, four students of the same university participated in this study. Data were triangulated using both in-depth interviews on four time-points (1pre-, 3 post-interviews) and reflection reports. The following questions were posed. How did students experience the simulation environment? How are these experiences related to changes in their self-efficacy for negotiating? How are these experiences related to their conceptual development of ‘good’ negotiating? Results show variation in learning outcomes among students both for self-efficacy for negotiating and for how they conceptualise ‘good’ negotiating. A cross-case analysis shows the importance of the relational component, how other simulation participants may or may not contribute to the development of self-efficacy for negotiating by creating conditions that foster negotiation skills and/or by performing in a particular way e.g. to what extent is their performance related to reality, if and how is feedback provided.
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"Man is by nature a political animal" - Aristotle


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