Role Simulations

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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.

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Role Simulations

Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

67 Fish Pond Lane

Elizabeth Gray, Mark Gordon and Bruce Patton
Two-party distributive and potentially integrative negotiation between principals over the sale of a house
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Ad Sales, Inc.

Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, multi-issue contract negotiation between management and union members of a publishing firm
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Aerospace InvestmentBalancing Venture and Relationship Capital

Nicholas Sabin
Two-party term sheet negotiation between a venture capitalist and the founder of an aerospace start-up company in which participants are scored both on their substantive performance and on the other party's perception of the relationship
Role Simulation
The Consensus Building Institute
Six-party nonscorable negotiation among nonprofit, business, and community representatives regarding the most appropriate methods for fund raising and distributions
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Alplaus Supply Company

Duncan MacLaren
Two-party negotiation between a company field representative and a large corporate customer over a possible product return
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Amending Approval for the Storyville Pulp and Paper Mill

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
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Ancolet Corp. v. Elson Realty Trust

JAMS/Endispute
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Appleton vs. Baker

Michael Wheeler and Lawrence Susskind
Two-party, single-issue distributive negotiation between principals regarding a potential real estate sale
Role Simulation
Taline Aharonian and Agieszka Klich
Complex 13-party, two-team facilitated negotiation between private citizens from both sides of an actual long-term ethnic conflict
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Arms Control on Cobia

P. Terrance Hopmann
Multi-issue arms control negotiation among representatives of eight fictional countries
Role Simulation
Imam Soliman under the direction of David Fairman
The Athens-Melos Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War.
Role Simulation
Labor Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Axis Affair

Anita Ramasastry and Erin Monaghan
Two-party negotiation between attorneys for a male executive and a recently terminated female employee regarding allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination
Role Simulation
Law / Courts Negotiation Role-Play:

Baker & Irwin v. Department of Human Services

Bruce Deming
Two-party negotiation between attorneys for a state agency and a gay advocacy group regarding a state policy that led to the removal of two foster children from the home of a gay couple
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Bakra Beverage

Dan Vogel, under the supervision of Robert Bordone and Gillien Todd
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Bamara Border Dispute

Michael D. Landry
Two-team, multi-issue negotiation between representatives of two fictional countries regarding a disputed border and a military stand-off
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Bentley Convertible

Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton
Two-party distributive negotiation over the sale of a rare automobile
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Binder KadeerConsultation in the Company

Lawrence Susskind, Deborah Kolb, Paddy Moore, Margaret Borne and Peter Shapiro
Three- or four-party consultation by one or two human resources representatives to manage an affirmative action complaint by an employee against his supervisor
Role Simulation
Consumer Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Blender, The

Bruce Patton
Two-party, single-issue negotiation between a customer and a department store clerk about the return of a defective blender
Role Simulation
Melissa Manwaring, under the direction of David Fairman and Stacie Nicole Smith
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among governmental, organizational, and family stakeholders regarding the implementation of court-ordered racial integration measures in Boston public schools and possible improvements in education and community relations
Role Simulation
Labor Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Brachton Collective Bargaining Exercise

Michael Wheeler
Two-team, multi-issue employment contract negotiation between three teachers' union representatives and three school committee representatives; includes internal team meetings before external negotiations
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Browning Brothers Search

Jeswald W. Salacuse
Five- to six-person negotiation between search committee members asked to reach consensus on characteristics needed for a new leader to right a financial company in crisis
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Bullard Houses

Ron Karp, David Gold and Mox Tan
Two-party, multi-issue real estate negotiation between representatives for a buyer and seller, where BATNAs are important
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Bunyon Brothers

Mark Gordon, Elizabeth Gray, and Bruce Patton
Three-party, multi-issue internal corporate negotiation in preparation for external negotiation with community representatives
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Canada-China Panda Acquisition Negotiation

Stephen Weiss
Two-team (6 person), multi-issue contract negotiation between Canadian zoo CEOs and representatives of Chinese organization responsible for giant panda loans
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Casino

Sheila Heen, Scott Peppet and John Richardson
Two-party intra-organizational discussion between a newly-promoted manager and her division vice-president over work performance, responsibility for a new computer game project, and office environment issues
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Chestnut Village

Thomas Wiegand
Multi-party, multi-issue negotiation between 3-4 construction company representatives and 5-6 neighborhood representatives over safety and nuisance complaints regarding a local construction project; internal team meetings precede external negotiations
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Collective Bargaining at Central Division

Lawrence Susskind, Charles Hecksher, and Elaine Landry
Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining contract negotiation between three union representatives and three management representatives for a telephone company; includes an internal team meeting before external negotiations
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Collective Bargaining at Southern Express

Lawrence Susskind and Charles Hecksher
Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining contract negotiation between three union representatives and three management representatives for a major airline; includes an internal team meeting before external negotiations
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Common Measures

Paddy Moore, Hal Movius, and Lawrence Susskind
Five-party, four-issue negotiation among managers at an aircraft engine company with the goal of improving quality and operations processes
Role Simulation
Global Treaty-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Computer Waste Policy Simulation

Lawrence Susskind
Ten-party, multi-issue chaired policy dialogue among government, environmental, and industry representatives in the fictional nation of Sweland over reform of the country's waste policies, in effort to gain membership in the "European Trade Area"
Role Simulation
Education Negotiation Role-Play:

Conference with a Professor

Bruce Patton
Two-party short awareness-building exercise in which student and professor meeting regarding problems arising from a borrowed manuscript and the student's research aspirations
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Contract Negotiations in the Building Trades

Lawrence Susskind
Nine-party, multi-issue contract negotiation among three coalitions involved in the building trades; includes internal coalition meetings before the external negotiations
Role Simulation
Education Negotiation Role-Play:

Death in the Family

Bruce Patton
Two-party, short awareness-building negotiation between a professor and a student over an assignment submitted late due to a death in the student's family
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Designing an Integrated Account SystemFacilitation in the Company

Deborah Kolb and Lawrence Susskind
Five-person, multi-issue, facilitated negotiation among four managers and a Human Resources facilitator over the design of the company's new account system
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
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

DirtyStuff II

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
Ethics Negotiation Role-Play:

DONS Negotiation

Robert Bordone and Jonathan Cohen, adapted from PONS Negotiation by Nevan Elam and Whitney Fox
Four-person, two-party, two-round between a former couple and their lawyers regarding the knowing transmission of DONS, a fatal disease communicated through sexual intercourse
Role Simulation
Health / Medicine / Pharmaceutical Negotiation Role-Play:

Drug Testing in the Workplace

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
Law / Courts Negotiation Role-Play:

Eazy's GarageTwo-party (lawyers only) version

Bruce Patton
Two-party negotiation between lawyers for an auto mechanic and a customer over a disputed auto repair bill
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Fishladder Claim

Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind
Three-party, two-round internal negotiation among agency officials over whether to litigate or pursue non-binding arbitration to settle a contract claim against a private contractor
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Flagship Airways

Paddy Moore, Hal Movius and Lawrence Susskind
Six-person, four-issue negotiation between three representatives of an industrial manufacturer and three representatives of its primary client over restructuring of an existing purchase agreement
Role Simulation
Catherine Preston and Lawrence Susskind
Twelve-person, two-round negotiation between six foundation board members and six school board and community leaders over efforts to address racial disparities in academic performance; internal negotiations precede external
Role Simulation
Global Treaty-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Global Management of Organochlorines

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
Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Dale Bricker and Lawrence Poe
Two-team, six-issue negotiation between three teachers' union representatives and three school district representatives over a meeting agenda and a proposed wellness program, among other issues
Role Simulation
Robert Smith and Ericka Gray
Two-party, multi-issue negotiation between a human resources director and a prospective employee over terms of hire that highlight cultural differences
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Homelessness in Niceville

Edward Scher and Lawrence Susskind
Six-person facilitated integrative negotiation among advocates for homeless people, community and business leaders, and a foundation regarding the allocation of a grant to alleviate local homelessness problems
Role Simulation
Jennie Hatch under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation focused on issues of public engagement in hydropower-based energy development
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Jefferson Hazardous Waste Negotiation

Vicki Arroyo and Lawrence Susskind
Eight-party, five-issue negotiation among community, environmental, business, and government interests over the formulation of a statewide hazardous waste siting policy
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Jerry

Ron Karp and Bruce Patton
Two-party conversation between an employee and his supervisor regarding the employee's recent poor job performance and potential termination
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Juvenile Justice Restorative Circle

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