Role Simulations

You have no items in your cart.

More than 200 role-play simulations are available through the Program on Negotiation Teaching Negotiation Resource Center. These put participants in hypothetical situations and challenge them to deliberate and make decisions in new and different ways. Role-play simulations foster both individual and collective learning that can be transferred to “real world” situations. They also provide safe and flexible settings for experimentation.

Role-play simulations combine the best of traditional learning exercises, which feature fixed rules that limit the range of possible outcomes, along with role-specific assignments that leave room for creative problem-solving. Learners are given common general instructions that set the stage along with confidential instructions (based on interviews with people who have played those actual roles or something close to them). Role-play simulations are usually followed by debriefings in which participants – with the help of an instructor – reflect on how the exercise progressed, what they learned, and how these lessons relate to or diverge from their real world situations.

Technical information plays an important role in some role-play simulations, but the emphasis is primarily on human interactions. The role-play simulations in the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center are ultimately designed to help learn become better negotiators and become more self-conscious about what they are doing and why.

View by:

Role Simulations

Role Simulation
Consensus Building Institute and Alberta Environmental Appeal Board
Mediation of a three-party dispute among a paper mill, a community group, and an environmental regulatory agency over the paper mill's air pollution permit
Role Simulation
Author(s): Marjorie Corman Aaron and JAMS/Endispute
Four-person mediation and/or arbitration of a personal injury claim, among plaintiff, plaintiff's lawyer, and counsel for defendant's insurance company; arbitrator roles include possible plaintiff or defense bias
Role Simulation
Holly Goo and Lawrence Susskind
Seven-person, three-issue mediation among a landowner and representatives of an engineering firm, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, town council, and environmental interests over cost and timing of removal of an unauthorized extension of property into a river
Role Simulation
Albie Davis and Ericka Gray
Six-party mediation with employees, employer, and legal counsel over the contested result of a sexual harassment grievance procedure
Role Simulation
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a small, beachfront community.
Role Simulation
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a medium-sized coastal community
Role Simulation
Bruce Patton
Six-person, multi-issue mediation between two construction company representatives and two neighborhood residents over a construction project's safety and noise issues; mediated by two representatives of the bank financing the construction
Role Simulation
Lawrence Susskind, Thomas Dinell, and Vicki Shook
Six-party, multi-issue, facilitated negotiation of a dispute over environmental issues, native rights, and commercial development interests in Hawaii
Role Simulation
Pat Aaron
Three-person mediated small-claims dispute between a dry cleaning business and a customer over compensation for torn shirts
Role Simulation
Lawrence Susskind
Five-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among industry, environmental, labor, and government representatives to develop single-text regulation of toxic industrial by-product
Role Simulation
Jeffrey Litwak and Lawrence Susskind
Six-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among industry, environmental, consumer/community, labor, and government representatives to develop single-text regulation of toxic industrial by-product
Role Simulation
Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld and Roger Winthrop
Three-person employment mediation between a truck driver and his company's personnel director, mediated by an Employee Assistance Program representative, regarding a positive drug test; a four-person version also includes a union representative
Role Simulation
Tracy Dyke, under the direction of Lawrence Susskind and Susan Podziba
Seven-person, non-scoreable, facilitated negotiation among planners, regulators and activists regarding the cleanup and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated property
Role Simulation
Kate Harvey and David Kovick, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind and Jennifer Brown
5-person nonscorable mediation between an employee and his/her corporate employer regarding potentially conflicting values and interests around issues of homosexuality and religious faith
Role Simulation
Sarah Hammitt and Jessica Artiles under the direction of Professor Lawrence Susskind
A seven-party, environmentally-focused role-play simulation, Flooding deals with an investment firm that is in the final stages of a multi-year planning process for a large, riverside mixed-use development. FEMA recently updated Evantown’s Flood Insurance Rate Map and the development falls within the 100-year floodplain. In addition, a study by the local university concludes that altered precipitation patterns brought on by climate change will put more and more properties at risk of flooding in the future. Should the firm be allowed to go through with the development? How and to what extent should Evantown take measures to protect itself against flood risks? Who is responsible for paying for whatever adaptation measures are used to protect vulnerable areas?
Role Simulation
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, environmental, and engineering representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a small coastal city
Role Simulation
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a mid-size coastal city.
Role Simulation
Karen Falkenstein Green
Three-person small-claims mediation between a motorist and a city attorney regarding liability for damage to the motorist's automobile due to a pothole
Role Simulation
Lawrence Susskind, Sarah McKearnan, Mike Gordon, Adil Najam, Joshua Secunda, Granville Sewell, Parag Shah and Andrea Strimling
Thirteen-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among eight country representatives, four NGO representatives, and a working group chairperson must draft a treaty aimed at reducing harmful organochlorines; also known as "Chlorine Game"
Role Simulation
Michael Maturo, Kate Mahoney, Francisco Ingouville and Anthony Wanis St. John, under the direction of David Fairman
Six-person mediated negotiation among representatives of the Guatemalan government, military, rebel groups, indigenous people, and U.S. government to address post-armed-conflict human rights, land claims, and cultural and political rights issues
Role Simulation
Tyler Corson-Rickert and Mónica Oliver under the direction of Professor Lawrence Susskind
This is a seven-party, integrative negotiation between stakeholders in a city over how to implement housing retrofits to enhance resilience to extreme heat in the aftermath of deadly heat waves attributed to climate change.
Role Simulation
Lawrence Susskind
Eight-person, multi-issue mediation among regional government, environmental, development, and business interests regarding environmental and economic tradeoffs and ethical issues in the development of a manufacturing plant
Role Simulation
Catherine M. Ashcraft under the supervision of Professors Lawrence Susskind and Shafiqul Islam
Role Simulation
James Lawrence
Five- or six-person mediation between manufacturing company management and a former employee (and their respective counsel) regarding the employee's departure amid allegations of sexual harassment; optional extra role for manager accused of harassment
Role Simulation
David Baharvar under the supervision of Robert C. Bordone
Six- or eight-party mediated restorative justice circle among juvenile offender, offender's parent, victim, community member, facilitators supporting each side, and one or two mediators, regarding a juvenile shoplifting incident
Role Simulation
Clinton Andrews and Lavinia Hall
Six-party, multi-issue mediation among electric utilities, consumer interests, environmentalists, and mediator with technical expertise, over the best way to meet increased demands for electricity
Role Simulation
Karen Falkenstein Green
Two-party small-claims settlement mediation between two former friends over the sale of a problematic used car
Role Simulation
Catherine Ashcraft and Larry Susskind
A six-party, seven-person (including the mediator), multi-issue mediation among representatives of governmental, business, environmental, recreational, and tribal interests regarding a dispute over developing an instream flow action plan
Role Simulation
Armand Ciccarelli and Lawrence Susskind
Seven-person, multi-issue mediation among business, planning, environmental, and agricultural interests regarding growth management and comprehensive planning
Role Simulation
Rose Foley, under the direction of David Fairman and Laura Keane
Five-party, multi-issue, EU-mediated negotiation between representatives of Catholic and Protestant groups regarding a Protestant marching route through Catholic neighborhoods
Role Simulation
Geoffrey Fink and Maria Baute Stewart
Seven-party, multi-issue negotiation among a theme-park developer, neighboring mayors, a regional organization, and a national government representative over the development of a proposed theme park; involves coalition-building and cultural issues
Role Simulation
Jonathan Raab and Lavinia Hall
Five-person facilitated negotiation among environmental, industry, public utility, and government representatives to revise a proposed rule incorporating environmental costs into electric utility rates
Role Simulation
Three party, single-issue negotiation of a rabbi’s employment contract
Role Simulation
Karen Falkenstein Green
Three-person small claims court mediation between a rug company owner and a customer over the return of a made-to-order rug
Role Simulation
Orion Kriegman and Stacie Nicole Smith, under the direction of Stacie Nicole Smith and David Fairman
Six-person mediated negotiation among representatives of the Pullman Palace Car Company, its workers and others involved in a general strike, to address issues of workers' rights
Role Simulation
Pat Aaron
Three-person small claims mediation between a landscaping company and its client over a disputed bill and quality of service
Role Simulation
David Eun and Bruce Patton
Three-person mediation involving representatives of local Korean and African-American communities over racial tensions arising from an alleged shoplifting incident; a city representative serves as the mediator
Role Simulation
Pat Aaron
Three-person small claims mediation between a homeowner and repair company regarding unfinished roof repair
Role Simulation
Kate Harvey and David Kovick, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind and Jennifer Brown
This is a six-person, non-scorable negotiation simulation focused on mediating values-based legal disputes, specifically disputes involving conflicting views and values regarding homosexuality and religious faith.
Role Simulation
Patricia Moore and Lawrence Susskind
Five-party, four-issue negotiation among representatives for a financially struggling hospital's administrators, doctors, and nurses over budget priorities and expanded application of the managed medical model
Role Simulation
Patrick Field and Tracy Dyke
A two-team (four-party), co-mediated, multi-issue negotiation simulation involving a bitter property tax dispute between a small town and an Indian band living on a nearby reservation
Role Simulation
Lawrence Susskind and Bruce Patton
Three-person, integrative, facilitated negotiation with two department heads and a Human Resources observer/facilitator regarding the possible transfer of an employee from one department to the other
Role Simulation
Sean Cote under the supervision of Abram Chayes and Antonia Handler Chayes
Three-person mediated or arbitrated settlement conference regarding a contract dispute between a U.S.-based graphics firm and a Japanese digital printer manufacturer
Role Simulation
William Ury, Ibrahim Ibrahim and Roger Fisher
Three-team, multi-issue mediation involving two or more representatives each of the country of Tulia, the country of Ibad, and the Organization of African Unity (O.A.U.) regarding a cease-fire between the two warring countries
Role Simulation
Three new role-play simulations focus on the mediation of values-based disputes. They are now available with Teaching Notes and an Annotated Bibliography from the Program on Negotiation Clearinghouse.
Role Simulation
Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind
Seven-person, four-issue mediation among three Israeli water authority and regional representatives and three Palestinian water authority and political representatives over plans to drill a new well on the West Bank
Role Simulation
Marjorie Corman Aaron and JAMS/ Endispute
Three-person mediation between an architect and a real estate developer over responsibility and compensation for a major construction error
Role Simulation
Marjorie Corman Aaron and Jim Lawrence
Four-person grievance mediation among counsel for a welding company, a union representative, and a discharged employee over the legitimacy of the discharge, which was based on a positive drug test
Role Simulation
John Forester and David Stitzel
Three-person, three-issue, integrative, scoreable mediation among representatives of a homelessness task force and a neighborhood group, mediated by a planning department representative, over the terms of a proposed homeless shelter in their suburban town