A wide variety of negotiations take place in the private sector or involve commercial enterprises. These range from relatively straightforward but high stakes contract negotiations between suppliers and distributors to complex multiparty negotiations between government, industry and other interest groups after environmental disasters. By honing their skills and more effectively engaging in negotiations, firms can positively influence their bottom lines. Likewise, government officials and other stakeholders will do better if they understand how to negotiate when private firms are involved.
The range of role-play exercises available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) reflects the full breadth and depth of business and commercial negotiations. In Terminal Lighting Problems a contractor and Airport Authority engineer meet to negotiate a solution to a delay in the arrival of light fixtures. In GE International Contract, a senior manager and computer consulting company attempt to reach agreement on the price of a project and salvage a deal. Commercial negotiations do not always involve large firms. In 67 Fish Pond Lane, a homeowner and potential buyer attempt to reach an amicable agreement on the sale of the house. Harborco is an example of a multiparty exercise involving both the private and public sectors. The governor and representatives of five stakeholder groups, including other ports, the Environmental League and unions, must negotiate whether or not and under what conditions a consortium may build a new port.
Several videos on negotiating business and commercial disputes are also available through the TNRC. Some, like The HackerStar Negotiation, depict simulated negotiations. Others, like those in the Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series are presentations by respected experts in the field. Books available through the TNRC range from management guidebooks like Built to Win: Creating a World-Class Negotiating Organization to broader commentaries like The Mutual Gains Enterprise.