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S&O: Cooperation and Conflict


Admission requirements

Completed the first year ‘propedeuse’ curriculum and the B2-course Groepsdynamica.


Humans are social animals, and groups and organzations are an important part of our lives. Being in a group is advantageous because it enables you to do things you could not do alone. The problem of a group however, is that cooperation and conflict often go hand in hand; while pursuing your own goals, you may hinder someone else’s goals. People can negotiate to resolve there conflict. Negotiation is a constructive way to solve conflicts, and in this course we will focus on negotiation processes. We pay attention to the difference between two-party and multi-party negotiation, but also to cultural differences, emotions and cognitions. We also have a guest lecture by a conflict expert (e.g. mediator or professional negotiator).

Course objectives

Students will learn about different kinds of conflict management during the lectures. The focus is on negotiation, but also other kind of mixed-motive situations such as social dilemma’s will be discussed.

In the workgroups, students will focus on one particular aspect of conflict management by writing a research proposal and critically reading research articles about this specific topic. In de werkgroep zullen studenten een aspect van conflicthantering verder uitdiepen door het schrijven van een onderzoeksvoorstel en het kritisch lezen van artikelen.

This combination balances the acquirement of theoretical knowledge in the lectures with actively using and integrating this knowledge during the workgroups.


S&O: Cooperation and Conflict (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

There are eight lectures about “Conflict and Cooperation” in which the basic literature is discussed. The knowledge acquired during the lectures will be tested by a multiple-choice exam.

Besides the lectures, students take part in a small work Group (max. 15 people) that will gather for 7 meetings in which they will learn more about a specific conflict theme. The themes vary from year to year, but examples are: conflict and diversity, conflict and team performance, negotiation, or decision making. The workgroup programme consists of intensive reading and discussing of literature about the theme, and applying this knowledge to solve a societal or scientific problem. Students will write a proposal for this societal or scientific problem, based on a thorough analysis of the problem, and based on scientific research.

NB: The workgroup themes vary from year to year, and will be announced on Blackboard approximately one month before the lectures start. Students need to subscribe for a specific work group on a first-come first-served base. When a work group is full, you cannot subscribe for that group any more, and you will need to choose a different group. When a specific work group has too little participants, the work group can be cancelled and the participants will be replaced in another work group.

Be aware: Only part-time students are allowed to subscribe to the evening work groups.

Assessment method

The grade will consist of the mean of the multiple-choice exam (literature covered in the lectures, lecture notes and articles on BB) and the work group proposal. Both the exam and the workgroup proposal need to graded with a 4. If the exam or the proposal is graded below a 4, you will not receive an end grade. The workgroup grade will depende upon the content of the work group proposal and active participation during the workgroup meetings. The end grade can only be calculated when both the exam and the workgroup proposal are finished.

Lectures and workgroups are strongly linked, so students should follow the lectures and the work group within one semester.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on

Reading list

  • Will be announced

  • Workgroup: will be announced in the workgroup


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place in August 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place in January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Contact information

Dr. Fieke Harinck
Room 2A33
Tel: +31 (0)71 527 5344