Internal Company Negotiations, Human Resources, and Reworking Existing External Contracts

Most business and management schools offer a course on negotiation. These cover what we would consider the most basic as well as a few intermediate negotiation concepts. There are more advanced negotiation courses offered by our PON colleagues at Harvard Business School and Sloan School of Management that focus on the financial complexities of deal-making. This short course focuses on a range of internal and external negotiation problems that highlight concerns about trust, relationship building, and modifying agreements or contracts that are already in place. Parking Spaces for Super Computer is a two-party negotiation which offers a chance to review the process of transforming what looks to be purely distributive disputes into integrative possibilities. Designing an Integrated Account System provides an opportunity to explore the tension between value creation and value distribution inside a company (where divisions or departments ought to acknowledge they are part of the same “team,” but can’t get out from under the pressure to pursue their separate interests). Team building is an important theme in business management negotiation courses. Teflex concerns the way a pharmaceutical company deals with the delay of a long-awaited release of a new drug. Consumer groups and the media have lost confidence in the honesty of the company. Flagship Airways involves a manufacturing situation in which the terms of procurement for an upcoming international purchase are up for discussion. GE International Contract offers an opportunity for learners to deal with their very different expectations about what the cost of services is expected to be. Binder Kadeer is a simulation that focuses on an affirmative action complaint. And, the final simulation in this short-course, Ellis v. Macro B explores the prospect of resolving a values-based dispute in the workplace in which views about homosexuality and religious beliefs are in conflict. These eight-role-play simulations highlight the multi-dimensional nature of business negotiations.

Recommended Simulations

Parking Spaces for Super Computer

Parking Spaces for Super Computer by Lawrence Susskind, is a two-party, two-hour, two-issue scoreable negotiation between an office building owner and commercial tenant over the terms of a lease for parking spaces. Super Computer Corp. just signed its second three-year lease for office space at 100 Blue Chip Street. This office building, managed by Prime Properties, houses the regional offices of several global corporations. Tenga Tenier (Super Computer’s office manager) and Rom Rosok (Prime Properties’ property manager for 100 Blue Chip Street) are about to enter their annual negotiation over parking spaces. Major lessons of this simulation include exploring interests, the value of objective criteria, and the tension between creating and claiming value.

Designing an Integrated Account System

Designing an Integrated Account System, by Deborah Kolb and Lawrence Susskind, is a five-person, four-hour, multi-issue, facilitated negotiation among four managers and a Human Resources facilitator over the design of the company’s new account system. Major lessons include coalition building and the role of the facilitator.

Teflex Products

Teflex Products, by Lawrence Susskind and James Lawrence, is a five-party, three-hour, multi-issue negotiation among representatives of a pharmaceutical company, a medical drug manufacturer, and three consumer organizations over the delayed release of a new drug. Major lessons of this simulation include option creation, mutual gains strategy, and the balance between competitive and cooperative behavior.

Flagship Airways

Flagship Airways by Paddy Moore, Hal Movius and Lawrence Susskind, is a six-person, two-hour, four-issue negotiation between three representatives of an industrial manufacturer and three representatives of its primary client over restructuring of an existing purchase agreement. Major lessons of the simulation include relationships in negotiation, the link between internal and external negotiations, and cross-cultural communication.

GE International Contract

GE International Contract by Duncan MacLaren, is a two-party, one-hour, potentially integrative contract negotiation between representatives of a large corporation and a consulting firm over very different expectations of the cost of services. Major lessons include BATNA, option generation, mutual gains negotiation.

Binder Kadeer

Binder Kadeer, by Lawrence Susskind, Deborah Kolb, Paddy Moore, Margaret Borne and Peter Shapiro, is a three- or four-party, two-hour, consultation by one or two human resources representatives to manage an affirmative action complaint by an employee against his supervisor. Major lessons of the simulation include managing emotions in negotiation, problem solving, and creative option generation.

Ellis v. Macro B

Ellis v. Macro B, by Kate Harvey, David Kovick, Lawrence Susskind, and Jennifer Brown, is a five-person, three-hour, non-scorable simulation focused on mediating values-based legal disputes; specifically, disputes involving potentially conflicting values and interests around issues of homosexuality and religious faith. Based on a real case, this simulation focuses on a dispute between an employee and his/her employer, a large, privately held software company. It also explores the role of attorneys representing their clients in negotiated agreements around values-based disputes.

Recommended Books

Guhan Subramanian, Dealmaking: The New Strategy of Negotiauctions, W. W. Norton, 2010.

Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro, Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate, Viking, 2005.