Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:

Chemco, Inc.

Wendy Pabich and Lawrence Susskind
Six-person, five-issue negotiation between three industrial factory representatives and three environmental agency representatives over environmental and economic concerns in the wake of damaging negative publicity for both parties

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SCENARIO:

ChemCo, Inc is a manufacturing firm located in Shelton, a small working-class town. ChemCo employs 3000 of Shelton’s population of 20,000. ChemCo is currently negotiating with the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to devise an acceptable strategy to monitor air emissions from its generator. If ChemCo is forced to cut jobs as a result of stringent environmental regulations, there will be a devastating impact on Shelton. On the other hand, the Agency feels that ChemCo is the primary contributor to air pollution within the area and needs to be monitored effectively. Representatives from the DEP and ChemCo must negotiate a mutually agreeable standard for monitoring air emissions.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This exercise illustrates how negotiations can be used to resolve conflicts among scientists when scientific data are in dispute.
  • When the same negotiation is conducted by multiple groups, the comparison of outcomes is instructive. The recommendations offered by each group may differ widely and in some cases there may be no agreement reached in the time allowed.
  • The scientific data available in the case (and in the world) are incomplete and inconclusive on the points at issue. The exercise motivates discussion of how decisions should be made given limited information.
  • The exercise provides a context in which the formation of coalitions of “joint interest” groups can dramatically affect the negotiated outcome.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

This game can be run simultaneously with multiple groups of 6.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

For all parties:

  • General Instructions

 

Role Specific:

  • Group Confidential Instructions for ChemCo representatives
  • Individual Confidential Instructions for ChemCo CEO
  • Individual Confidential Instructions for ChemCo Environmental Engineer
  • Individual Confidential Instructions for ChemCo Public Relations manager
  • Group Confidential Instructions for DEP representatives
  • Individual Confidential Instructions for DEP Air Quality Chief
  • Individual Confidential Instructions for DEP Environmental Engineer
  • Individual Confidential Instructions for DEP Public Affairs Manager

 

KEYWORDS:

Regulatory negotiation, agency discretion; environmental dispute resolution; science-intensive policy disputes; public relations

 

SIMILAR SIMULATIONS:

Dioxin: Waste to Energy Game

Dirty Stuff

Teflex

The Carson Extension

 

Chemco, Inc. Attributes

Time required:
2-3 hours
Number of participants:
6
Teams involved:
Yes
Agent present:
Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
Yes
Teaching notes available:
No
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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Ordering a single copy for review

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.