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BSS: Great Negotiating Skills by Bob Etherington

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Cooperation and “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”

Realizing the value of human cooperation is at the heart of successful negotiation. “The Prisoner’s Dilemma” is a well known philosophical exercise used by most of the world’s business schools in order to set students thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of cooperation in business.

The situation presented to the students is as follows: two well-known felons are arrested by the police on suspicion of committing a crime. They are placed in separate cells and each presented with the following proposition. “We are quite sure that you two committed the crime but we have no proof. But if you tell us that your ‘colleague’ did it alone then we will put him in prison for ten years and release you without ...

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