Caitlin’s Challenge

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Deborah M. Kolb, with the Simmons College Graduate School of Management, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

"Caitlin's Challenge" is a short case recounting Caitlin Elliot's history at a company called Microenterprises Incorporated and her negotiation with its CEO, George Baker, about a promotion and a bonus. The case is good for discussion about what makes negotiating for oneself in an organization more difficult than negotiating on behalf of others. The video can be analyzed using a moves and turns framework and it ideal for management and leadership courses in addition to negotiation and conflict resolution courses.

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Caitlin's Challenge is a short case with an accompanying video written and produced by Deborah Kolb. The case recounts Caitlin Elliot's history with a company called Microenterprises Incorporated as the background to a negotiation she plans to have with its CEO, George Baker, about a promotion and bonus. The video shows Caitlin's negotiation discussion with George. The case and video are set within an organizational context with potential gender issues as part of the negotiating context. The case lends itself to a discussion about what makes negotiating for oneself in an organization more challenging than negotiating on behalf of others, how to prepare for a negotiation where personal issues are at stake, and what strategies work best in dealing with a difficult boss. Gender issues can be discussed at individual, interactional, and organizational levels. The video can be effectively analyzed using a moves and turns framework to structure the discussion. Caitlin's Challenge, because it is set in an organizational context, can be used in management and leadership courses as well as in negotiation and conflict classes where instructors want to help students think about and practice what to do in real time. Accompanying the teaching note and video, we include a PowerPoint exemplar to teach Caitlin's Challenge.

 

Objectives:

  • The case illustrates the complexity of negotiating for oneself in an organization where there are significant power differentials and where the issues to be negotiated are often unclear and/or contested.
  • Students are invited to consider how a person prepares herself for a negotiation that has been contentious in the past and where there is not much of a negotiating track record.
  • The video provides an opportunity for students to observe different moves and turns.
  • The case provides an opportunity to discuss gender and how it might matter in these negotiations.

 

Caitlin's Challenge Attributes

Time required:: 60 to 90 minutes
Teaching Notes Available:: Yes
Run Time:: 8 minutes
Produced by:: Simmons College Graduate School of Management with the Program on Negotiation 2012