Role Simulations

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More than 200 role-play simulations are available through the Program on Negotiation Teaching Negotiation Resource Center. These put participants in hypothetical situations and challenge them to deliberate and make decisions in new and different ways. Role-play simulations foster both individual and collective learning that can be transferred to “real world” situations. They also provide safe and flexible settings for experimentation.

Role-play simulations combine the best of traditional learning exercises, which feature fixed rules that limit the range of possible outcomes, along with role-specific assignments that leave room for creative problem-solving. Learners are given common general instructions that set the stage along with confidential instructions (based on interviews with people who have played those actual roles or something close to them). Role-play simulations are usually followed by debriefings in which participants – with the help of an instructor – reflect on how the exercise progressed, what they learned, and how these lessons relate to or diverge from their real world situations.

Technical information plays an important role in some role-play simulations, but the emphasis is primarily on human interactions. The role-play simulations in the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center are ultimately designed to help participants learn to become better negotiators and become more self-conscious about what they are doing and why.

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Role Simulations

Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Multisumma

Patricia Moore and Hal Movius with Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, four-issue negotiation among representatives of several international aircraft companies over the terms of a potential long-term partnership
Videos and Audio, Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

National Energy Policy Simulation

Eric Jay Dolin, Daniel Greenberg and Lawrence Susskind
Highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiation among political, industry, environmental, and consumer leaders and lobbyists to develop a detailed proposal to reduce U.S. vulnerability to changes in energy prices and supply
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Nazi Party of America v. Town of Hokey

Bruce Patton
Two-party highly political negotiation between a lawyer for Nazi convention organizers and a town attorney a permit application for a Nazi Party parade in a Jewish neighborhood
Role Simulation
Public Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiated Development in Redstone

Lawrence Susskind and John Forester
Two-party, two-issue scoreable negotiation between a developer and a neighborhood association representative regarding the development terms of a new condominium project
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiated Rulemaking for Electric Utilities

Jonathan Raab and Lavinia Hall
Five-person facilitated negotiation among environmental, industry, public utility, and government representatives to revise a proposed rule incorporating environmental costs into electric utility rates
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiating Budget Cuts at Newtowne Hospital

Lawrence Susskind
Six-person negotiation among hospital administration and employee representatives to reach consensus on budget cuts in three departments
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiating with Another Federal Agency

Larry Susskind (MIT), Ona Ferguson, and Meredith Sciarrio
Two, separate, two-person, non-scorable negotiations: one between Technical Co-chairs from the Center for Disease Control and USAID; the other between a CDC Technical Co-Chair and the Minister of Health in the imaginary host country of Sabada.
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiating with the Ministry of Health

Larry Susskind (MIT), Ona Ferguson, and Meredith Sciarrio
Two, separate, two-person, non-scorable negotiations: one between Technical Co-chairs from the Center for Disease Control and USAID; the other between a CDC Technical Co-Chair and the Minister of Health in the imaginary host country of Sabada.
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Negotiation of Rabbi Ben Newman's Employment Contract, The

Three party, single-issue negotiation of a rabbi’s employment contract
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Neighborhood Care, Inc.

Lawrence Susskind and Bruce Patton
Two-party negotiation or mediation between church and neighborhood representatives over the possible use of church facilities for services for the mentally challenged
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

New Crimea Prison Overcrowding Simulation

Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind
Eight-party, multi-issue negotiation among prison administrators, government leaders, criminal justice advocates, and prisoners' rights advocates to develop recommendations for a comprehensive state policy to alleviate prison overcrowding
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Ocean Splash

The Consensus Building Institute, Inc.
Two-party, two-issue scoreable negotiation between a charity and a corporate sponsor regarding the number and placement of advertising banners at a fundraising walk
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Office Imbroglio

Marjorie Corman-Aaron and JAMS/ Endispute
A two-party negotiation (or optional mediation) between a manager and employee regarding the employee's decline in job performance
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Offshore Wind Farm Negotiation

MIT Students in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, under the supervision of Prof. Lawrence Susskind and Dr. Herman Karl
8-party nonscorable negotiation among commercial, environmental, and governmental stakeholders over a controversial proposal to develop offshore wind farms
Role Simulation
Roger Fisher
Two-team, scoreable, multiple round, "prisoner's dilemma"-style negotiation between representatives of two countries over the monthly price for barrels of oil.
Role Simulation
Chris Jost, under the direction of David Fairman
Six-party negotiation among Hutu and Tutsi villagers regarding competing land claims and local authority issues in the wake of the Rwandan genocide
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Onembo and Benjamin Rug Co. v. Runyon and Lebeau

Karen Falkenstein Green
Three-person small claims court mediation between a rug company owner and a customer over the return of a made-to-order rug
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Open Lands A Private Planning Negotiation

Patrick Field, Ric Richardson, and John Harrison
Eight-person facilitated negotiation among seven landowners to develop voluntary private land-use plan to provide financial security while preserving open space and agricultural land
Role Simulation
Role Simulation
Ericka Gray
Three-party, multi-issue international trade negotiation among three culturally different countries over which of two countries will export rice to the third; inculdes coalition and ongoing relationship issues
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Parker-Gibson

Two-party, single-issue distributive negotiation between two neighbors regarding the potential sale of a vacant lot; refinement of Appleton-Baker
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Parking Facility Venture

Three-party scoreable negotiation among three firms regarding the joint construction of an off-street parking facility; variation of "Three-Party Coalition"
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Parking Spaces for Super Computer

Consensus Building Institute, Inc.
Two-party, two-issue scoreable negotiation between an office building owner and commercial tenant over the terms of a lease for parking spaces
Role Simulation
Family Negotiation Role-Play:

People v. Malvenue

Ron Karp and Bruce Patton
Two-party plea bargaining negotiation between a prosecutor and the court-appointed defender for a man accused of abusing his wife, who refuses to sign the complaint against him
Role Simulation
Game Theory and Negotiation Analytics Role-Play:

Pepulator Pricing Exercise

Mark Drooks and Mark Gordon
Two-team, scoreable, multiple round, "prisoner's dilemma"-style negotiation between representatives of two companies over the monthly price for fictional products called "pepulators"
Role Simulation
Education Negotiation Role-Play:

Phoenix, The

Sheila Heen and Michael Moffitt, based on a case by Doug Stone
Two-party negotiation between the director of a county tutoring program and a tutor regarding pay, work conditions, and job performance; ethnic differences are an issue
Role Simulation
Technology Negotiation Role-Play:

Powergraphics

Michael Watkins, Marjorie Corman Aaron and Joshua Weiss
Two-party integrative negotiation between business partners concerning the ownership of a new computer program one of them has developed; condensed, non-agent version of PowerScreen Problem
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

PowerScreen Problem

Bruce Patton, Mark Gordon and Andrew Clarkson
Two-party integrative negotiation between the lawyers for business partners concerning the ownership of a new computer program one of them has developed
Role Simulation
Elizabeth Fierman under the supervision of David Fairman, David Plumb, Lawrence Susskind, Philip Angell, and Kelly Levin
Eight-party negotiation (with option for a ninth person facilitator) regarding climate change issues in a situation loosely based on the situation in Viet Nam.
Role Simulation
High School / Young Adult Negotiation Role-Play:

Probation Games

Lawrence Susskind and Susan Podziba
A set of three simulations developed for and used in training court probation officers in negotiation techniques.
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Prof. Susskind's Top 5 Environmental Negotiation Teaching Materials

Role Simulation
Mieke van der Wansem, Tracy Dyke and Lawrence Susskind
Thirteen-person, multi-issue, two-round, partially scoreable negotiation among government, industry, environmental, and farming stakeholders to develop a land-use plan (Part I) and among additional government stakeholders over plan approval (Part II)
Role Simulation
Orion Kriegman and Stacie Nicole Smith, under the direction of Stacie Nicole Smith and David Fairman
Six-person mediated negotiation among representatives of the Pullman Palace Car Company, its workers and others involved in a general strike, to address issues of workers' rights
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Radwaste I

Tod Loofbourrow, Lawrence Susskind, Denise Madigan and Wendy Rundle
Seven-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation among regulatory, environmental, tribal, local government, and industry representatives to choose criteria for selecting a low-level radioactive waste disposal site
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Radwaste II

Tod Loofbourrow, Lawrence Susskind, Denise Madigan and Wendy Rundle
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among state and local government, enviromental, and industry representatives to select one of three sites for low-level radioactive waste disposal
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Restaurant Rancor

Ericka Gray
Two-party workplace negotiation between two servers over how to fairly divide tips
Role Simulation
Community Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

River Bend

Kelly Davenport with Patrick Field and Lawrence Susskind
Two-team, four-issue negotiation between three members of a Native Canadian band and three representatives of Calgary Central Gas over a planned pipeline through the band's reservation; includes internal team negotiations as well as external negotiation
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Rockwell Quarry

Todd Bryan, Alexandra Mitchell, Hilary Collins, and Sarah Fordyce Bock
Five-party, multi-issue negotiation among elected officials, property owners, and a gravel company over a permit for a gravel quarry in a recreationally valuable canyon
Role Simulation
Consumer Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Rosenberg v. Lincoln Landscaping

Pat Aaron
Three-person small claims mediation between a landscaping company and its client over a disputed bill and quality of service
Role Simulation
Game Theory and Negotiation Analytics Role-Play:

Rushing River Cleanup

Bruce Patton
Three-party, scoreable, single-issue negotiation among three manufacturers over two- or three-party coalitions for complying with waste cleanup regulations; variation of Three-Party Coalition Exercise
Role Simulation
Labor Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Salary Negotiation

Aleza Spalter
Two-party negotiation between a supervisor and employee over a possible salary raise in the context of mixed job performance
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Sally Soprano I

Norbert Jacker and Mark Gordon
Two-party integrative negotiation between agents for an opera singer and an opera house regarding a possible contract for an upcoming production
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Sally Soprano II

Wayne Davis, Mark N. Gordon and Bruce Patton
Two-party integrative negotiation between agents for an opera singer and an opera house regarding a possible contract for an upcoming production, under conditions of full disclosure.
Role Simulation
Cross-Cultural Negotiation Role-Play:

Seoul Food in Urbana

David Eun and Bruce Patton
Three-person mediation involving representatives of local Korean and African-American communities over racial tensions arising from an alleged shoplifting incident; a city representative serves as the mediator
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Ship Bumping Case

Andrew Clarkson
Two-party international negotiation between Russian and U.S. negotiators over a naval incident; teams internally prepare instructions for a representative not involved in the preparation
Role Simulation
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Siting an Asphalt Plant in the City of Madrona

Jason Corburn and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among community representatives, elected leaders, environmental and health experts, and asphalt company regarding siting of an asphalt plant in a racially mixed neighborhood
Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Smithfield v. Rudfurd's Home Repairs

Pat Aaron
Three-person small claims mediation between a homeowner and repair company regarding unfinished roof repair
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Social ServicesA Three-Party Exercise

Denise Madigan
Three-party scoreable negotiation among three non-profit social service providers over whether to apply for funding in a consortium of two or three; variation of Three-Party Coalition Exercise
Role Simulation
Consumer Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Software Return

Bruce Patton
Two-party negotiation between a customer and a returns clerk about the return of a defective software package
Role Simulation
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Solar Power

Georg Berkel
Two-party, one-issue distributive negotiation about the acquisition of a renewable energy firm

Video and Audio

Videos and Audio, Role Simulation
International Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

National Energy Policy Simulation

Eric Jay Dolin, Daniel Greenberg and Lawrence Susskind
Highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiation among political, industry, environmental, and consumer leaders and lobbyists to develop a detailed proposal to reduce U.S. vulnerability to changes in energy prices and supply

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