Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

BMP Policy Meeting

Paddy Moore, Hal Movius, and Lawrence Susskind
Five-party, four-issue internal negotiation among employees of a major engine manufacturer to agree on procurement guidelines in preparation for external negotiations with suppliers

What to Buy?

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SCENARIO:

Eagle Aircraft Engines, a manufacturer of engines for military and commercial aircraft, is preparing to negotiate a major five-year procurement for over 1000 parts from its suppliers. Its Airfoils and Casting Division (A&C) is responsible for purchasing roughly 100 of these parts.

Over the last three years, A&C at Eagle has purchased 90% of its parts from two suppliers: Crown and JDC. In preparation for the negotiations with suppliers, the five key personnel within A&C need to generate a “Business-Managed Procurement” policy in which A&C personnel must unanimously agree on four schedule and quality programs. The key personnel involved in the internal negotiation include three engineers, a buyer, and a financial analyst. They have all been sent a memo from the Purchasing Director outlining the overall procurement strategy. The Purchasing Director is putting pressure on them for consensus, emphasizing the importance of certain issues over others in preparation for his/her own negotiations with suppliers.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role specific:

  • Confidential instructions for Ferguson
  • Confidential instructions for McGuire
  • Confidential instructions for Banks
  • Confidential instructions for Roberts
  • Confidential instructions for Archer

 

Teacher’s package (33 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • To insure relationships that promote quality within the organization, both long-term and short-term interests must be balanced very thoroughly.
  • Teams miss great opportunities to make “trades” with suppliers if they negotiate each issue separately. Packaging is crucial in this negotiation.
  • Deciding how much information to disclose depends heavily on risk-trust, and perhaps the nature of the interest. If the interest is one that will put others at risk, or is driven by professional ambition rather than team goals, it will be risky to share with others on the team.

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

  • Common Measures
  • Multisumma

 

BMP Policy Meeting Attributes

Time required:
1-2 hours
Number of participants:
5
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
None
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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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.).

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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.