Once learners have completed the Introductory and Intermediate courses, they are ready to move to the Advanced Level. Again, everything covered in the first two courses needs to be carried forward, but now new institutional dimensions have been added. For some people, these characterize the “special” negotiations that they are most interested in. Collective Bargaining at Central Division, for example, assumes contract negotiations between “labor” and “management.” These are highly stylized interactions governed by legislation in the United States (and other parts of the world). The people across the negotiating table represent large numbers of parties and the negotiators know that the “sides” have a shared interest in the economic viability of the economic entity involved as well as a continued interest in what are sure to be repeated rounds of negotiation. We then introduce ideas about the role of “neutrals” (i.e. mediators, arbitrators, facilitators and other “third parties.”
Playing Harborco with some of the six-party groups mediated and others not, allows direct comparisons about the contributions that neutrals can play. Humboldt raises the question of whether negotiations among governmental interests (within the same country) can benefit from someone playing a mediation-like role. Westville raises questions, though, about the pluses and minuses of someone playing the mediation role who is not entirely disinterested in the outcome. Hydropower in Santales asks the question of whether professional neutrals can help is situations in which national interests are at odds with the interests of indigenous people. All of the exercises in the Advanced Negotiation course bring new levels of complexity for learners to deal with. In Harborco there is at least one party that wants the negotiations to fail. We call such actors “spoilers.” Many people assume that everyone sitting at a negotiation table would prefer to find some agreement, but that isn’t always true. Several of these exercises include a bit more technical complexity. This raises questions about who is likely to do the best job of representing a group or organization in a negotiation — the most senior person or the most technically knowledgeable person? Finally, in the Advanced Negotiation Skills course, it is important to give learners a sense that in many negotiations, whether in business, international, community or other settings, how the parties relate to the people they represent creates opportunities and constraints that can override the hoped for effects of the negotiation strategies chosen (quite reasonably) by the parties. When there is tension between “agents” and their “back tables” skilled negotiators need to understand that the “two table” problem can overwhelm whatever “normal” negotiation dynamics they were expecting.
Harborco, by Denise Madigan, Thomas Weeks, and Lawrence Susskind, is a six or seven party, three-hour, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation among representatives of a port developer, labor union, environmental coalition, other regional ports, governor’s office, and department of coastal resources over a proposal to build a new deep-water port. Harborco is a consortium of development, industrial, and shipping concerns interested in building and operating a deepdraft port. It has already selected a site for the port, but cannot proceed without a license from the Federal Licensing Agency (FLA). The FLA is willing to grant Harborco a license, but only if it secures the support of at least 4 of 5 other parties: the environmental coalition, the federation of labor unions, a consortium of other ports in the region, the Federal Department of Coastal Resources (DCR), and the Governor of the host state. The parties have several issues to negotiate before deciding whether or not to approve the port, including the types of industries that will be permitted to locate near the port, the extent to which environmental damage be mitigated, the extent to which organized labor will be given preference in hiring during construction and operation of the port, the amount of any federal financial assistance to Harborco, and the amount of any compensation to other ports in the region for potential economic losses.
Collective Bargaining at Central Division, by Lawrence Susskind, Charles Hecksher, and Elaine Landry, available from the Program on Negotiation, is a two-team, two-hour, 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. Major lessons of this simulation include internal conflict and team dynamics, the significance of relationships in negotiations, and joint gains.
Humboldt, by Lawrence Susskind, Charles Hecksher, and Elaine Landry, available from the Program on Negotiation, is a two-team, two-hour, 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. Major lessons of this simulation include internal conflict and team dynamics, the significance of relationships in negotiations, and joint gains.
Hydropower in Santales, by Lawrence Susskind, is a six-party, four-hour, multi-issue negotiation focused on issues of public engagement in hydropower-based energy development. The Ortega Company is a new hydroelectric company that hopes to build a hydropower plant in the Cordillerana region of Santales, a fictitious South American country. In a departure from normal operations, the company has asked several different communities if they are interested in allowing a hydropower plant to be developed within their borders. Of the nine communities originally considered, two have expressed preliminary interest in the project. One is the town of Villaverde, located along the Reposado River. The development of the project could bring jobs and infrastructure investment to Villaverde, but would probably reduce the flow of the river, which could threaten the livelihoods of many community members. The Ortega Company is seeking broad support for the project and has invited representatives from the nearby indigenous community, local residents, the mayor’s office of Villaverde, and the local environmental NGO (nongovernmental organization) to meet with a representative from the company to discuss their concerns. Major lessons include the role of the mediator in constructing creative options and addressing fundamental value differences.
Westville, by John Forester and David Stitzel, is a three-person, two-hour, 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. Major lessons include trading across issues, achieving joint gains, and the role of the mediator.
Robert Mnookin and Lawrence Susskind, Negotiating on Behalf of Others, Sage Publications, 1999.
Robert Mnookin, Kenneth J. Arrow, Lee Ross, Amos Tversky, Robert B. Wilson, Barriers to Conflict Resolution, W. W. Norton & Company, 1995.