67 Fish Pond Lane

SCENARIO:

67 Fish Pond Lane in Cambridge, MA was purchased five years ago for $95,000 by two lawyers. Since then, its value has at least doubled. The owners, expecting to stay for some time, kept the house in excellent condition and added several unique features, including an elegant high-tech aviary for exotic birds. The owners recently moved to California, however, and the house has been on the market for a month. Two graduating business school students are interested in purchasing the house. One or both of them plan to meet with one or both of the owners while the latter are in town for a few days to see if a sale can be arranged.

MECHANICS:

The exercise is a little more natural as a one-on-one negotiation with absent partners, but two-on-two negotiations also work and provide some interesting team dynamics. All instructions are neutral as to sex and marital status.

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • Map

 

Role specific:
Confidential Instructions for:

  • Buyer(s)
  • Seller(s)

 

Teacher’s Package:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching note

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This exercise usually generates difficult negotiations. In this familiar context the stakes seem large, and while there are many objective criteria on point, they are neither fully consistent nor determinative. The tendency to haggle is strong, and a variety of bargaining tactics can be used. Review can explore which tactics were effective under what circumstances, and why.
  • Many important concerns and legitimate criteria in the case are intangible and/or difficult to measure. This raises the question of how arguments can persuasively be turned into numbers.
  • The exercise is a good one for focusing closely on what specific events cause parties to change their offers, and what brings them to the point of closing the deal.
  • A discussion of deadlines, their effects and how to create them, is usually appropriate.
  • Comparison of results also raises questions about what techniques, attitudes and tactics produce more competition and/or animosity? How does amicability correlate with pareto optimality of results?
  • A variety of questions are raised concerning the concept of BATNA. How does a party’s perception of its BATNA affect conduct in the negotiation? How should it? How can BATNAs be improved? When is it ethical to try to change the other side’s BATNA for the worse? When not? What are some ways of doing that?
  • This exercise also facilitates a rich post-mortem consideration of how the parties might have prepared better.

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Anchoring; BATNA; Bluffing; Closure; Commitment; Fairness; Information exchange; Interests, dovetailing; Interests, quantifying; Joint gains; Legitimacy; Misrepresentation; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Reservation price; Systems of negotiation

Ad Sales, Inc.

SCENARIO:

Ad Sales, Inc., a firm that sells advertising space in business publications, has a new management team that will negotiate its first contract with the union representing its employees. Tension has been building, and both sides have been maneuvering for strategic advantage. Some issues to be addressed are salary, vacation time, pensions, sub-contracting, compensation, and work assignments.

 

MECHANICS:

The two teams will meet separately for an hour to discuss their strategies and objectives. Then the two teams will meet and negotiate for two hours. The threat of a strike is motivation for progress in the negotiations.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Information
  • Supplementary Information and Stated Positions

 

Role Specific:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • Lawyer on Management Team
  • Regional Sales Manager
  • Vice President for Sales
  • Vice President of AFL-CIO Local 1502
  • Representative of the International Advertising Workers Federation
  • President of Local 1502
  • Supplementary Instructions for all of the above roles

 

Teacher's Package (24 pages total):

  • All of the above

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • Interval team conflicts must be ironed out before union-management negotiation can proceed smoothly.
  • This case encourages parties to trade across issues and within issues. Players must decide what their BATNA's are and the differences in values of issues will determine the amount of trading.
  • This is a good exercise for people in actual contract negotiations.
  • This game allows the players to explore the influence of threats and promises on the behavior of other parties. These must be handled carefully.
  • The problems of power imbalance, typical of employee relations, are highlighted. This is probably a good case for a mutual gains approach, but useful objective criteria may be hard to come by.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Agenda Control; Anchoring; BATNA; Bluffing; Caucusing; Coalitions; Communication; Consensus Building; Currently perceived choice analysis; Drafting; Emotions; Fairness; Financial analysis; Interest analysis; Interests, quantifying; Joint gains; meaning of "success"; Offers, first; Partisan perceptions; Precedents; Pressure tactics; Risk perception; Threats

Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

(This video has been made freely available by the Program on Negotiation for educators and diplomats to learn about using a team of negotiation experts to bring about peace.)

The civil war in Colombia lasted 52 years, taking the lives of at least 220,000 people and displacing up to seven million civilians. In 2012, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos initiated peace process negotiations with the FARC guerrillas that resulted in an historic agreement in 2016, ending the last major war in the hemisphere. Before the start of the negotiations, President Santos convened a team of international negotiation advisors to bring best practice negotiation advice from other peace processes around the world. This Peace Advisory Team made over 25 trips to Colombia over the ensuing seven years. Upon receiving the Program on Negotiation (PON) Great Negotiator Award in 2017, President Santos remarked that if there were one piece of advice he would give another head of state embarking on a peace process, it would be to convene such a Peace Advisory Team.

In October of 2018, PON hosted a small conference with President Santos and his Peace Advisory Team to draw out the lessons of this pioneering innovation in international peace process negotiations. In this 45-minute video, the members of the Peace Advisory Team reflect on the Colombian peace process negotiations, explain what happened behind closed doors, assess what worked well and what did not, and distill what lessons can be carried forward for resolving future conflicts.

This video features:

  • Juan Manuel Santos, Former President of Colombia, 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient
  • William Ury, Harvard Negotiation Specialist
  • Dudley Ankerson, Political Consultant, Expert in Latin America
  • Jonathan Powell, Chief British Negotiator of the Good Friday Agreement
  • Bernard Aronson, US Special Envoy for the Colombian Peace Process
  • Shlomo Ben-Ami, Lead Negotiator at Camp David

Produced by:

  • The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Aerospace Investment

OVERVIEW:

This is a two-person scored negotiation simulation involving a venture capital investment. Individuals are scored on their ability to attain favorable investment terms for themselves and on the quality of the relationship they develop with their potential business partner. The simulation introduces the incorporation of process and relationship interests into negotiation strategy. Relationship-straining conflict has been purposefully included in the negotiation to assess students’ ability to deal with difficult demands while maintaining a positive relationship.

The venture capital (VC) firm Aerovent Capital is considering a $100 million investment in the startup company Earth Escape. The founder of Earth Escape and the lead partner from Aerovent Capital must negotiate a term sheet outlining eight significant terms of the investment. Both parties are concerned with structuring a deal that protects their substantive investment interests and with creating a positive foundation for their potential collaboration. Thus, both individuals are scored on their ability to negotiate favorable investment terms for themselves and on the quality of the relationship they develop with their potential business partner. Each negotiator’s Total Score is a sum of Substantive Points, awarded according to the agreed-upon terms of the investment, and Process Points, awarded according to each partner’s perception of the negotiation process.

The eight negotiable terms of the investment constituting the Substantive Points include: VC equity percentage, type of stock, dividends, antidilution rights, number of VC-appointed board members, vesting of the founder’s shares, CEO replacement provision, and “no shop” provision. The confidential instructions for the venture capitalist and founder outline specific point values and resistance points for each term. Both parties’ BATNAs (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) are described and quantified. After the term sheet has been agreed upon, the VC and the founder independently fill out questionnaires that ask them to evaluate each other on five attributes to determine the amount of Process Points they are awarded. These attributes serve as proxies for assessing the future of the business relationship based on their experiences during the negotiation. Both negotiators aim to maximize their individual Total Scores. Familiarity with venture capital investing is not a prerequisite for this simulation.

You can see the Aerospace Investment negotiation game being played by participants in this short, two-part video. Part A:

And Part B:

MATERIALS:

Participant materials include:

  • General Instructions for both parties

 

Confidential materials for Venture Capitalist, including:

  • Confidential Instructions
  • Confidential score sheet
  • Process evaluation of the Founder

 

Confidential materials for the Founder of Earth Escape, including:

  • Confidential instructions
  • Confidential score sheet
  • Process evaluation of the Venture Capitalist

 

Teacher's Package includes:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note
  • Results and Analysis by Professor Gordon Kaufman from his 2010 course

Appleton vs. Baker

SCENARIO:

The Appletons and Bakers own homes on adjacent parcels of land. The Appletons are selling their house, and they also want to sell the half-lot which rests between their home and the Bakers'. The purchasers of their home are not interested in buying the lot. The Bakers are interested in the lot. There is a large bargaining zone ($5,000 to 20,000), but neither party knows of the other party's interests.

Note: After debriefing, it is an option to have a five-minute re-negotiation once everyone knows the actual constraints placed on the other party.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role specific:

  • Appleton
  • Baker

 

Teacher's package:

  • English version: Copies of both participant roles plus teaching notes
  • Non-English versions: Copies of both participant roles only

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • When several pairs negotiate simultaneously, the sale prices vary dramatically, which provides for a good discussion of the results of different strategies.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of making the first offer can be explored, as well as techniques for doing so.
  • Advantages and disadvantages of disclosure are also illustrated.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

Arms Control on Cobia

SCENARIO:

The negotiation is set on the fictitious continent of Cobia, composed of eight countries. A race has developed on this continent between the two major countries, Algo and Omne, as well as Algo's smaller ally, Utro, for the development of a new chemical weapon, PS-182M. Furthermore, both major powers are racing to develop means to deliver this chemical weapon against the other by air, to overcome a natural barrier between them in the Smokey Mountains. There is great concern on the continent both about the dangers of conflict between the opposing alliances using this weapon, as well as about the environmental consequences of its use for the three nonaligned states on the continent. Therefore, the International Arms Control Conference has been called in St. Anton, capital of nonaligned Ingo, to try to negotiate a ban on this weapon, or at least its testing, as well as other related issues. During the course of the negotiations "news bulletins" may be issued changing the international environment within which the negotiations are taking place, either by the outbreak of a major crisis among the participants or by the attainment of a major agreement resolving other outstanding disputes only indirectly related to the content of this negotiation.

 

MECHANICS:

This issue is negotiated in one conference room where all eight countries (and perhaps a Secretary-General) are seated around a single table. If possible record the negotiations. In addition, the negotiators need to be able to consult with their Foreign Minister (normally played by the instructor or teaching assistants) in a nearby consultation room. The negotiation normally lasts three hours, and it is desirable to have at least a half-hour for preparation prior to the actual opening of the negotiation and another half-hour for debriefing. Therefore, it is best run in a block of four hours, though this can be modified by one hour in either direction without serious consequences.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • Description of the issues under negotiation
  • Description of each of the countries of Cobia
  • General Instructions
  • Joint Memorandum
  • Map of Cobia
  • New Bulletins

 

Role specific:

  • Representatives of the Republic of Ingo
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Exton
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Carta
  • Representative of the Republic of Omne
  • Representative of the Principality of Sarto
  • Representative of the Kingdom of Algo
  • Representative of the Republic of Utro
  • Representative of the Federated States of Bata
  • Secretary-General

 

Teacher's package (48 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note
  • Suggested Readings

 

MAJOR LESSONS

  • This is a complex, multi-issue, multi-party negotiation that requires considerable problem-solving for the negotiators to arrive at agreement. Since some issues turn out to be non-negotiable, the negotiator's ability to disaggregate (or fractionate) the issues is critical to their success.
  • In order to avoid unnecessary frustration at trying to reach agreement on non-negotiable issues, clear commitments by the major parties about their BATNA's tends to facilitate negotiating success.
  • The existence of the Foreign Minister who issues negotiating instructions means that all negotiators must be responsible to a domestic constituency, which places limits on their latitude to negotiate freely. Negotiators must thus learn to negotiate in a constrained environment, and to negotiate equally effectively with the Foreign Minister as well as with the other parties to the negotiation.
  • The assumption by the nonaligned states of active roles as mediators between the two competing alliances tends to contribute to an ability to reach successful agreements. Furthermore, the ability of the nonaligned to maintain a position of perceived neutrality is crucial to their playing this mediating role effectively.
  • Implications for several "real world" international analogues may be discussed by the instructor as part of the debriefing; suggestions along this line are contained in the Instructor's Manual.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Agenda control; BATNA; Caucusing; Coalitions; Commitments; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Currently perceived choice analysis; Enforcement and verification of agreement; Formula-detail negotiation; Fractionation; Group process; Integrative bargaining; Issue control; Joint gains; Managing uncertainty; Mediation; Political constraints (dealing with); Power imbalance; Pressure tactics; Risk perception; Systems of negotiation; Trust; Yesable propositions

Athens-Melos Role Play

The Athens-Melos Role Play is a simulation from the Workable Peace Curriculum Series unit on Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian War.

OVERVIEW OF THE ATHENS-MELOS ROLEPLAY:

The Athens-Melos Role Play is based on the historical conflict between the Greek city-states of Athens and Melos, in the year 416 BCE. It takes place during the seven-year interlude of peace in the middle of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta.

As background to the simulation, Melos is an island in the Aegean Sea that is culturally connected to Sparta, yet deeply values its independence. During the first phase of the war, Melos had favored neutrality, but in 426 BCE Athens had attempted to invade Melos. Melos successfully fought off the invaders, and, according to the report of a captured Melian sailor, appeared to have contributed money to the Spartan war fund.

In 416 BCE (the setting for the role play), Athens has sent a fleet and soldiers to demand that Melos join the Delian League, a coalition of Greek city-states led by Athens for more than 60 years. Athens is particularly worried about Melos’ connection to Athens' enemy, Sparta, and is also interested in converting Melos into a democracy. The leaders of Melos do not want to give up their stable oligarchic government or their independence, and immediately send a messenger to Sparta to ask for help. Now, delegates from Athens and Melos are meeting to see if they can avoid war. The delegates must decide (a) whether Athens and Melos will establish a military truce to reduce tensions during the negotiations; (b) whether Melos will join the Delian League; (c) if so, whether Melos will contribute tribute, troops, or ships to the League; and (d) whether Melos will retain its own form of oligarchic government.

 

GOALS OF A WORKABLE PEACE ROLEPLAY:

The Athens-Melos Role Play aims to:

  • Provide accurate historical and background information on Ancient Greece, the Peloponnesian War, and the conflict between Athens and Melos, and provide opportunities for students to engage with this history in a direct and realistic context.
  • Stimulate and motivate student learning through active participation, as well as through reading, writing, class discussion, and other forms of analysis and expression.
  • Build students’ negotiation and conflict management skills by asking them to take on the roles of participants seeking to resolve a conflict through negotiation, with support and feedback as they prepare, conduct, and debrief the role play.
  • Challenge students to find the links between the conflict presented in the role play and the conflict resolution steps presented in the Workable Peace Framework, and the links to other conflicts in history and in their own lives.

 

Teacher's Package includes:

  • History and General Instructions
  • Confidential Instructions for the Athenian Admiral, the Ruler of Melos, the Athenian General, and the General of Melos
  • Framework for a Workable Peace
  • Teaching Notes

 

If you would like additional information about the Workable Peace framework and teaching materials, including information about teacher training and support, please contact Workable Peace Co-Directors David Fairman or Stacie Smith at:

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc. 238 Main Street, Suite 400 Cambridge, MA 02142 Tel: 617-492-1414 Fax: 617-492-1919 web: www.cbuilding.org Email: stacie@cbuilding.org

Axis Affair

SCENARIO:

Version A: Axis Electronics is a huge Silicon Valley-based computer firm with its Microcomputer Development division of sixty employees located just outside Boston. Richard Van Heusen, Executive Vice President of Microcomputer Development, hired Denise Webster, a life-long New Englander with high academic credentials in microcomputers, to work as a manager in the division; she is the first female manager in that division, and the only professional woman with whom Richard has dealt in twenty years of business. An extremely challenging work assignment (solo development of a mouse/drawing pad prototype), followed by a series of social advances by Richard, leads Denise to work at home and miss work without explanation. Richard, stating that the project is in jeopardy and that Denise is not committed to Axis, demotes her from her position as project head and gives her notice of termination. Denise's attorney meets with Axis' in-house counsel to discuss the situation and attempt to resolve it before commencing any formal legal activity. Neither party knows much about the other's interest. Resolution of the situation is possible without litigation; while there are salary and profit figures to be handled, and agreement should not occur unless the specific problems of possible sexual harassment and gender discrimination between Richard and Denise are discussed and settled, and a company policy and grievance process for future situations is discussed as well.

 

Version B: Same as Version A, except that Axis Electronics is a 500-employee computer firm located in Massachusetts; Denise is not specified to be a lifelong New Englander, and has experience with personal computers as well as microcomputers. In this version, it may be possible to gloss over the current situation, but it will not be possible to reach an agreement which involves rehiring Denise but does not set up a company policy and grievance process for handling future situations involving possible sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

 

MECHANICS:

The exercise works best with one attorney per side. The parties' instructions require 20-30 minutes to read and analyze. Negotiation can take 40-50 minutes; review can last anywhere from 40-90 minutes.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS (Both Versions):

For all parties:

  • Review Questionnaire

 

Role Specific:

  • Axis Electronics Attorney
  • Denise Webster's Attorney

 

Teacher's Package (26 pages total):

  • All of the above material
  • Teaching Note
  • List of Suggested Readings

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • The partisan perceptions on each side can contribute to difficulty in understanding the other party's "take" on the situation and its causes. Attempts to educate can take place at two levels: educating the other negotiator, and educating the client. Participants can discuss how partisan perceptions affected their acceptance of differing interpretations of the case at hand, and the methods they used to try to educate their negotiating partner. The group can discuss possible ways to educate clients, in the initial interviews and in the post-negotiation discussion and presentation of an agreement for approval (this will be helpful for the client memos each side is required to write after the exercise and review).
  • Fairness and power imbalance questions are triggered by the issues of sexual harassment and gender discrimination present in the exercise. These two problems can be specifically addressed, or they can be broadened to serve as a base of discussion of difference issues in negotiating. Participants can explore the possibilities of miscommunication, societal causes, how the presence of a possible stereotype or difference affects negotiating strategy, and how to balance a desire for social change with the client's interests in this case.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Attorney/Client relations; BATNA; Disclosure; Issues of difference; Fairness; Interests, dovetailing; Interests, internal ordering; Lawyering; Objective criteria; Partisan perceptions; Power imbalance

Bakra Beverage

NEW – ALL-IN-ONE CURRICULUM PACKAGE 

If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth on the fundamental negotiation concepts, the Bakra Beverage All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need to teach negotiation.

The All-In-One Curriculum Package makes it easy to teach negotiation, track learning outcomes, and includes materials for the instructor as well as for students.

Materials include: 

  • Instructor’s Guide – Guide for instructors on negotiation concepts, simulation logistics, and debriefing simulation participants.
  • Instructor Background Reading List – List of background readings for instructors to complete before using the simulation to gain a better understanding of the negotiation concepts.
  • Student Background Reading List – List of background readings for students to complete before the simulation to gain understanding of the negotiation concepts.
  • Confidential Role Instructions – Confidential role-specific materials for participants in the exercise.
  • Pre-Negotiation Surveys – After completing the background reading and/or presentation of the negotiation concepts, participants complete the online Pre-Negotiation Survey to benchmark their understanding of the key learning points the game is intended to teach.
  • Agreement Outcome Form – Participants reporting the results of any agreements reached in the simulation.
  • Post-Negotiation Survey – After finishing the simulation, but before the debrief, participants fill out the Post-Negotiation Survey so Instructors can gauge participants understanding of the issues and concepts.
  • Class PowerPoint Presentation – The first part of the PowerPoint slide deck is for the instructor to use to introduce negotiation concepts, how to participate in a negotiation simulation, and Bakra Beverage. The second part is for the instructor to use in debriefing the simulation with participants.
  • Feedback Survey – At the conclusion of the exercise, participants can give feedback on the process and outcomes.

The Bakra Beverage All-In-One Curriculum Package requires a minimum of 90 minutes of class time, but is best run in a two and half or three-hour class. To order this package, you must purchase a minimum of ten copies. A separate copy must be purchased for every participant in the exercise. The materials are all single use and must be re-purchased for subsequent uses.

SCENARIO:

Structurally almost identical to the Sally Soprano role simulation, Bakra Beverage is a two-party, nonscorable negotiation between a beverage manufacturer and a soft drink distributor over the terms of a potential distribution contract.

BebsiCo is a multi-billion-dollar, multinational soft drink manufacturer interested in expanding its operations into the Middle Eastern country of Kumar. The distributor that was supposed to handle BebsiCo’s new distribution campaign, Kabir Cola, decided suddenly last week to close its Kumari operations and focus on other Middle Eastern countries. BebsiCo is eager to sign a new distribution contract with the Kumar-based Bakra Beverage, a financially troubled but reputable soft drink distributor. Indeed, BebsiCo headquarters has authorized its Director of Middle East Operations to offer Bakra up to $6.75 million per year for the contract, though BebsiCo would like that figure to be lower if possible.

Bakra desperately wants this contract, which would put it back on the map, attract additional clients, and give the company the confidence and certainty about its future that it has been waiting for to purchase Jayyid Juices (a juice and specialty beverage distributor). The contract is so important that Bakra would almost be willing to distribute for BebsiCo for free, except for the impact on future agreements and reputation.

In addition to the wide zone of possible agreement regarding the distribution fee, the simulation includes a range of possible criteria for determining the fee as well as numerous possibilities for value-creating options. Teaching points include the value of focusing on interests to create mutually beneficial options, the power of objective criteria, the effect of both parties’ BATNAs on the negotiation dynamic, and the importance of balancing both process and substance interests when a long-term relationship is at stake.

This simulation may be used as an alternative to Sally Soprano if a more corporate or international context is desired.

 

Participant materials include:

  • Confidential instructions for Bakra Beverage’s Sales Director
  • Confidential instructions for BebsiCo’s Director of Middle East Operations

 

Teacher’s package includes:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching note

 

ENHANCED VERSION AVAILABLE:

A digitally enhanced version of this simulation is available through the iDecisionGames platform and includes the following features:

  • An Instructor’s Guide summarizing the negotiation concepts covered in the simulation, a quick review of simulation logistics, and a ready-to-use set of debriefing slides;
  • Highlights from background readings that will help both students and instructors gain a better understanding of negotiation concepts and methods covered in the simulation;
  • Pre- and post-simulation questionnaires instructors can use gauge each student’s grasp of the core concepts before and after participating in the simulation;
  • PowerPoint slides that introduce key concepts before the simulation and highlight lessons for debriefing;
  • Real time, interactive, data analytics provided via the iDecisionGames platform.

To order the Bakra Enhanced Package click here.

Ballet’s Me Too

SCENARIO:

When a reinterpretation of West Side Story opened on Broadway, picketing and #MeToo demonstrations preceded and followed the opening. The protest publicized the sexual abuse and hostile work environment a female dancer suffered two years earlier when she worked with Amar Ramasar, one of the leads in the West Side Story production; a principal dancer and one of the first dancers of color at the New York City Ballet.

The lead producer of West Side Story and other investors are negotiating with the Salt Lake City Ballet West Board of Directors to perform in Salt Lake City for a run of at least four months.  The SLC Ballet West Board is concerned that the picketing and demonstrations will follow the show from New York, embarrass the Board and the community, and cause a drop off in ticket sales during the run.  The SLC Ballet West Board is seeking indemnification (and protection) if civil disruption occurs.

Major lessons in this exercise include:

  • How should concerns around sensitive issues like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter be taken into account in the design and management of negotiations?
  • The role of ethics and values in distinguishing between positions and interests in this type of situation.
  • How do relationships benefit or impede negotiations, especially when the parties will likely need to carry on working relationships long after the conclusion of the negotiation?
  • The role of the mediator, and what, if any, value added they provide in the dispute resolution process.

There are two versions of this simulation. Version A includes only the counsel for the parties, whereas Version B includes Waterbury and Ramasar appearing pro se.

Bamara Border Dispute

SCENARIO:

Durnia and Ebegon, two developing nations, have not yet settled their common border. This issue has become critical due to recent oil and mineral development opportunities that have arisen in areas of uncertain ownership. Unfortunately, the two departing colonialist powers left behind substantially overlapping claims, and the history of the region has been marked by tribal conflict. Relations have been deteriorating, and, with the good offices of the U.N., the two countries have sent teams to negotiate a border.

Each team is composed of representatives from its country's Ministries of Foreign Relations, War, and Finance–each of which has a different perspective of the national interest. During the middle of the negotiations, war breaks out. Each side receives a telegram blaming the war on the other side, but the military situation is so fluid that each side is also instructed to seek a cease-fire, a withdrawal of troops, and a resolution of the border, on the best possible terms. Any cease-fire must take into account the fact that where the troops end up will very likely determine the de facto border, unless other arrangements are carefully made.

 

MECHANICS:

Each team should prepare thoroughly, including meeting ahead of time to negotiate priorities and to discuss strategy. The principal negotiation between the two country delegations takes place in two hours.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • U.N. Report on Background of Dispute – includes maps

 

Role Specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for Durnian Diplomats
  • Confidential Instructions for Ebegonian Diplomats.
  • Initial War Telegram & War Map for Durnian Diplomats
  • Initial War Telegram & War Map for Ebegonian Diplomats
  • Subsequent War Telegram for Durnian Diplomats
  • Subsequent War Telegram for Ebegonian Diplomats

 

Teacher's Package (24 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teacher's Instructions

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This simulation provides a good vehicle for experimenting with different negotiating strategies. There are a fair number of interests with varying intensities, some shared, some dove-tailing, and other others conflicting. Options for joint gain are plentiful. There are a number of objective criteria as well, in the form of natural features and historical boundaries with varying degrees of legitimacy. Hence, there is no obvious "most fair" solution, and skillful semi-positional bargainers can do quite well.
  • The outbreak of the war can have various effects, depending on the relationship and communication patterns established by the negotiators up to that point.
  • Information exchange is helpful in ameliorating the military crisis and developing intelligent solutions that maximize joint gains. On the other hand, much advantage can be gained by not revealing certain important pieces of information — raising questions of deception and misrepresentation.
  • The simulation provides a good study of the effects of shifting degrees of risk. The war version places the parties under pressure that may result in a power imbalance.
  • Comparisons between internal and international negotiations are illustrative.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Agenda control; Anchoring; BATNA; Bluffing; Caucusing; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Constituents; Creativity; Ethics; Fairness; Force; Group Process; Information exchange; Interests, dovetailing; Joint gains; legitimacy; Linkage; Managing uncertainty; Meaning of "success"; Meeting design; Misrepresentation; Objective Criteria; One-text procedure; Options, generating; Partisan perceptions; Personality; Political constraints, dealing with; Power imbalance; Preparation; Precedents; Pressure tactics; Reality testing; Risk aversion; Systems of negotiations; Threats

Bankruptcy Multiparty Negotiation Simulation

SCENARIO:

This exercise is a six-party simulation of multiparty negotiations in a bankruptcy (reorganization) and mass torts context. The simulation represents a version of such negotiations which take place in the shadow of the Bankruptcy Code, with roles, interests and issues that have been stylized for educational purposes. In this exercise, a genetically-modified food producer has been sued by multiple consumers of its food products and is forced to file for bankruptcy protection in order to automatically stay (i.e., suspend) the flood of tort (i.e., personal injury) claims brought against the company, as well as those claims of the company’s secured and unsecured creditors. The company’s assets are “wasting” assets (i.e., they are deteriorating in quality, and therefore in value, rapidly). This means that the parties will have to reach an agreement quickly, if enough value is to be preserved to meet their diverse interests.

The simulation is primarily intended for use in a course on multiparty negotiations, though it also may be used in a bankruptcy course. It implicates such concepts as blocking and winning coalitions, BATNAs (Best Alternatives to A Negotiated Agreement), risk forecasting, and conflicting and compatible interests (the emotionally-charged and hard to reconcile interests of different kinds of creditors and a debtor).

This simulation requires at least ninety minutes to conduct: a ten-minute bankruptcy law background presentation (handout provided), ten minutes for individuals to read the general and confidential instructions and plan their strategies, five minutes of same-role strategic brainstorming, up to forty-five minutes of multiparty negotiation, and twenty minutes of in-class debriefing and discussion.

 

Participant Materials include:

For all participants:

  • General Instructions
  • Student Handout: Negotiating in the Shadow of Bankruptcy
  • Negotiation Summary Sheet

 

Confidential Instructions for:

  • NoDrink, Inc.
  • Secured Creditors
  • Unsecured Creditors
  • Severely Harmed Tort Claimants
  • Slightly Harmed Tort Claimants
  • Possible Future Tort Claimants

Bentley Convertible

SCENARIO:

Mr. Henry Soles, the wealthy owner of a 1927 custom-made Bentley convertible has hired an agent to sell his car. A corporation has made an offer. The only other likely buyer is Amelia Austin. Mrs. Austin has asked her personal secretary to make an offer for the Bentley. There is no current market price for this unique automobile, although there is some data on various Rolls Royce and other Bentley models. The two representatives are meeting to negotiate the purchase.

 

MECHANICS:

After preparation for as little as 5 minutes, this one-on-one negotiation should take 20-40 minutes depending on the skillfulness of the participants. Average review time is 20-40 minutes, or 60-75 minutes if two participants are asked to negotiate the case in front of class.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role specific:

  • Soles's Representative
  • Amelia Austin's Agent

 

Teacher's package:

  • All of the above

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This simple case was designed to explore positional bargaining in a classic situation where objective criteria are scarce. Techniques such as anchoring, asymptotic concessions, final offers, pleading lack of authority, low-balling, and so on, can usually be identified among participants' negotiation tactics.
  • The case also highlights the importance of the fear of being taken, and the role objective criteria can play in handling that fear.
  • The sparseness of the criteria, however, encourage their use as justifications for rigid positions rather than partial data about what might seem fair. This allows a discussion of how the difference manifests in practice and what its consequences are.
  • The relationship of BATNA to bottom line is clearly raised.
  • The differences between agent and principal interests, authority, and strategy are easily explored.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Anchoring; Authority; BATNA; Interests, quantifying; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Reservation price

Big Pipeline in Swagwit

SCENARIO:

Big Pipeline, a construction company, is building a pipeline through land owned by First Nation (Native American) peoples. Twenty years ago, a similar project by the same company left many of the indigenous peoples feeling dissatisfied and unhappy – this has resulted in tensions in this current negotiation. Happily, most of the issues between the Mountain Home Band, the group of First Nations people who will be the most affected, and Big Pipeline have been worked out. One major issue remains – allocation of job opportunities. How many laborers should be used for the construction project and how many of these jobs should be reserved for Mountain Home Band people?

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

It is possible to negotiate agreements that create gains for you and for them–you can both beat your BATNA. To create joint gains, use the Mutual Gains Approach:

  • Know your own BATNA and interests
  • Set your aspirations
  • Communicate your interests, and probe for their interests
  • Trade across issues you value differently
  • Use standards you can both accept to help you choose among options and packages

 

Manage the opportunities and dangers involved in setting aspirations:

  • Set your aspirations high
  • Be responsive to new information; don't be rigid.
  • When you do adjust your aspirations, be careful not to leave value unclaimed.
  • Help your partner do the same.

 

Negotiate as if relationships mattered:

  • Don't jeopardize long-term relationships by pushing too hard for short-term gain.
  • Effective "cross-cultural" negotiation depends upon making sure you are understood (and understand).
  • The rewards of modest risk-taking can be substantial. There will always be tension between the advantages of cooperation and the need to "compete."
  • Good negotiators develop a repertoire of negotiating styles.
  • You have to talk about relationships to improve them.

 

MECHANICS:

This negotiation may be run within 30 minutes with a 10 minute prep-time. You should allow at least 20 minutes for debriefing

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role specific:

  • Big Pipeline Project Manager + score sheet
  • Mountain Home Band Chief + score sheet

 

Additional Teaching Notes:

  • Summary of 'lessons learned'
  • Summary score sheet for 120 players
  • Chart of possible scores

Blender, The

SCENARIO:

The complaints clerk in a department store sees a customer coming with a blender recognizable as one of the store's special super-sale items. The store cannot return these items to the manufacturer. The clerk has a small weekly budget to absorb the cost of such items, if returned, and the department head has instructed that it be used sparingly. The budget for this week is overspent. The customer, having used the blender for over a week, believes it is either defective or an inadequate appliance, and has therefore decided to return it.

 

 

 

MECHANICS:

This negotiation works well as one-on-one, but can be extended to two-on-one, by including another participant on either side. It takes no more than five minutes to run; debriefing can last up to half an hour with several replays. The exercise can be run as is, or one or both parties can be given additional psychological instructions about their character (making it more of a role play for that party, instead of a negotiation).

 

 

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • The scenario makes it easy to slip into a negative, reactive mode, with unsatisfactory outcomes often resulting.
  • Those parties willing to consider the perceptions and interests of the other party as relevant can usually engage effectively in mutually beneficial joint problem-solving.
  • The persuasive effect of threats, cajoling, anger, helplessness, crying and other techniques can be explored.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for the Clerk
  • Confidential Instructions for the Consumer

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

 

SUBJECTS:

Consumer; Interpersonal; Psychological; Small claims

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Apologies; BATNA; Communication; Credibility; Emotions, role of; Fairness; Interpersonal skills; Misrepresentation; Nonverbal communication; Objective criteria; Power imbalance; Threats; Yesable propositions

 

Book Contract, The

SCENARIO:

Terry Holtz, a senior editor with a highly regarded, independent publishing firm has received a proposed book entitled Entrepreneurial Schools written by a young, up and coming, but never before published author. Terry is extremely interested in the book and is willing to pay an exceptionally high author's advance for the book. Jay McIntyre is a successful literary agent and represents Rachel Leonard, author of Entrepreneurial Schools. Jay has shown Rachel's manuscript to one other publishing firm than Terry's and has since found out that they are not interested. This coupled with Rachel's professional ambitions, which would be helped greatly by the visibility that comes with publication, has made Rachel anxious to close the deal with Terry's firm fast. She has told Jay to settle for what he can get from Terry's firm, but not to leave any money on the table.

NOTE: This exercise is analytically similar to the exercise Parker-Gibson in a different setting.

 

MECHANICS:

The exercise works best as a one on one exercise. Preparation should take 10-15 minutes and negotiation can take 10-30 minutes. Review and debriefing can last from 30-75 minutes.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for the Agent, Jay McIntyre
  • Confidential Instructions for the Publisher, Terry Holtz

 

Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This exercise is an excellent vehicle for comparing principled negotiation and positional bargaining. Depending on the skill of the other negotiator, both approaches can do well. Both parties should be risk averse, however, and wary of an adversarial approach that might get out of hand.
  • The knowledge that one's BATNA is weak often leads people to negotiate much less vigorously than they otherwise would. Is this ever justified? If so, under what conditions? The case affords a good opportunity to point out that any such analysis should be based on a consideration of the parties' relative BATNA's.
  • Since the case does have a strong competitive element, there is ample opportunity to explore techniques for indirectly and directly extracting information from the other side. Likewise, techniques of protecting oneself from "giving up" the possibility for gains that were unforeseen can be explored and discussed.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

  • GE International
  • A Salary Negotiation
  • Sally Soprano
  • San Morgan Contract
  • Tendley Contract

 

SUBJECT:

Business; Contracts; Interpersonal

 

PROCESS THEMES:

Anchoring; BATNA; Bluffing; Commitment; Confidentiality; Disclosure; Fairness; Information exchange; Meaning of "success"; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Options, generating; Precedents; Risk aversion; Trust