Technology is a pervasive part of modern life, providing countless benefits ranging from new cancer treatments to smart phones. Technologies are also sources of disruption and at the root of many disputes. Parties frequently disagree on the relative costs and benefits associarted with the adoption of new technologies and feud over such things as patent infringement and intellectual property rights. The fast pace of development and the complexity of the tech sector make disputes and complex negotiations all the more common and challenging to resolve.
The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a variety of role-play exercises to help parties practice working through technology-related negotiations. Some, like Aerospace Investment, revolve around making deals between investors and inventors. Parties must balance difficult demands with the desire to maintain a positive relationship. Intellectual property is at the heart of many technology-related disputes. In PowerScreen Problem, lawyers for two partners in a small computer software firm negotiate over who has ownership of a product developed by one partner in his spare time. Technological developments can also evolve into public disputes. In Offshore Wind Farm Negotiation, various parties, including area residents, fishermen and the project proponent, discuss a proposed wind farm.
Two videos presenting simulated technology-related negotiations are also available through the TNRC. In Hans Brandt, a manager grapples with how to handle a software engineer who will not engage with the rest of the team. Human resource issues are often part of technology disputes.