Ethics Negotiation Role-Play:

Biography, The

Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone
Two-party negotiation between a teaching fellow and a student about the student's grade on a paper exploring biographical and racial issues

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SCENARIO:

A Student recently handed in a mid-term paper for a class called “Biography and Race.” He was extremely proud of the paper, which was written about his Latina nanny. He even sent her a copy. He was dismayed to receive a C+, and called for a meeting with his teaching fellow (TF). The TF in turn is dismayed by the lack of understanding shown by the student, who is one of only two white students taking the course.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Role Specific:

  • Confidential Instructions for the Student
  • Confidential Instructions for the Teaching Fellow

 

Teacher’s Package

  • All of the above

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This role simulation is a good tool for demonstrating, active listening. The two parties understand the situation very differently. How well they are able to listen to the other position is extremely important to the resolution of the problem.
  • Issues of race, and cultural sensitivity are extremely emotional issues which can quickly derail a negotiation. Both of the participants see the other as deficient in understanding other races. How these thoughts are broached is crucial to the success of the negotiation.
  • This is a simulation with no clear ending. Do the people playing the student just want their grade changed, or do they want to understand what the TF wants? Does the TF want to calm the student down, and provide them with a way to get a higher grade, or do they want to improve the student’s sensitivity and writing style? Is the paper the center of the negotiation, or just a side-line?

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

 

 

Biography, The Attributes

Time required:
30 minutes – 1 hour
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
None
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
No
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.