Bruce PattonTwo-party, single-issue negotiation between a customer and a department store clerk about the return of a defective blender
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.
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).
- 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.
- Confidential Instructions for the Clerk
- Confidential Instructions for the Consumer
- All of the above
Consumer; Interpersonal; Psychological; Small claims
Apologies; BATNA; Communication; Credibility; Emotions, role of; Fairness; Interpersonal skills; Misrepresentation; Nonverbal communication; Objective criteria; Power imbalance; Threats; Yesable propositions
Blender, The Attributes
- Time required:
- Less than 30 minutes
- Number of participants:
- Teams involved:
- Agent present:
- Neutral third party present:
- Teaching notes available:
- Non-English version available:
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center
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 will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.
If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.
For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (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 email@example.com, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (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, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. 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.
Ordering copies for multiple participants
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 “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.
If you are ordering hard copies, 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 “Quantity.” 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.