Summer 2016 - CMNS 858 G100

Selected Topics in Communication Studies (5)


Class Number: 6006

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 1415, Vancouver

  • Instructor:

    Bob Anderson
    Office: K-9666 (Burnaby)



Specialized graduate course offering on a topic related to the current research of school faculty or visiting professor.


[Co-taught with CMNS 447-4]


This course provides frameworks and tools through which to understand and evaluate negotiation and dialogue as forms of communication, and answers the question “How do dialogue and negotiation relate to one another in specific complex situations?” The course objective is to understand the role of communication in the negotiation and dialogue process, and to examine the consequence of different kinds of intervention strategies in competitive and conflictual situations. What methods and decisions lead to more stable outcomes? This course combines theoretical discussion with practical case-studies; involves students with guest-negotiators and dialogue-makers; and provides an appreciation of the world-wide scale, and importance of, dialogue and negotiation as a basis of clarifying relationships in conflict. When possible, students will be involved in events at the Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

Note: The course project is expected to be of direct relevance to a thesis or dissertation, and graduate students will meet separately every week to discuss progress on these projects, and explore the conceptual issues in the class discussions and readings. From my experience, graduate students sometimes don’t fully realize that their thesis or project has a strong ‘negotiation’ and/or ‘dialogue’ quality. Graduate students are expected to participate in the guest case study events.  

Seminar Topics:

1.     Concepts and Definitions.
2.     Conflict Analysis Frameworks.
3.     Language, Negotiation and Dialogue.
4.     Intercultural Negotiation and the Culture of Dialogue.
5.     Negotiation, Dialogue and Media: Game Theory.
6.     Communication in Courts: An Established Method of Conflict Management.
7.     The Rashomon-Effect in Dialogue and Negotiation.
8.     Framework Review and Mid-Term Exam (Take-Home).
9.     Case Study1: Guest Negotiator Case Study.
10.   Case Study2: Guest Negotiator Case Study.
11.   Student Conference – Presentation of Projects.
12.   Student Conference and Course Review.


  • Mid-Term Exam (Take-Home) 30%
  • Project and Presentation 60%
  • Team Report for Case Study Guest 10%


The school expects that the grades awarded in this course will bear some reasonable relation to established university-wide practices with respect to both levels and distribution of grades. In addition, the School will follow Policy S10.01 with respect to Academic Integrity, and Policies S10.02, S10.03 and S10.04 as regards Student Discipline. [Note: as of May 1, 2009 the previous T10 series of policies covering Intellectual Honesty (T10.02), and Academic Discipline (T10.03) have been replaced with the new S10 series of policies.]



A detailed outline with bibliography will be available at the first class. Readings will be available in electronic form (via Canvas). A mini-library on negotiation and dialogue will be on Library Reserve at Harbour Centre.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site contains information on what is meant by academic dishonesty and where you can find resources to help with your studies.  There is also a section on tutoring.