$0.00 – $6.00
Multi-party, multi-issue negotiation between 3-4 construction company representatives and 5-6 neighborhood representatives over safety and nuisance complaints regarding a local construction project; internal team meetings precede external negotiations
Version A: Four weeks ago, the Bunyon Brothers Construction Company began work on a 77-unit condominium complex at the end of a quiet, wooded, dead-end street named Chestnut Drive. Residents of Chestnut Drive were surprised and angered by this development, but the construction company properly, although quietly, obtained all necessary permits. Recent developments have the neighbors fuming. Among them are noise, speeding trucks, lack of a fence around the site, foul language and habits among the construction workers, and damage to windows and at least one foundation allegedly caused by blasting. The neighbors (a retired executive, a lawyer, a cab-driver, a dentist, a shopkeeper and a carpenter) have arranged a meeting with the construction company (General counsel, a Senior VP, VP for Marketing & Development and VP of Construction Management) in an attempt to correct the situation. Each group will have a preparation meeting before an external negotiation is held.
Version B: Same as version A, except the role of cab driver is eliminated and the roles of Senior VP and General Counsel have merged into one.
NOTE: This exercise is a merger of the one-sided exercises Bunyon Brothers and Chestnut Drive and is structurally similar to the exercise Construction in Bunyonville without mediators.
Allow 90-105 minutes for internal negotiations. External negotiation should last 60-90 minutes. All members shall be present at the meeting but it works best if there is only one presenter for the construction company.
For all parties:
- General instructions for the Neighbor Representatives
Confidential Instructions for:
- Cab Driver (Version A Only)
- Retired Executive
General Instructions for Construction Company
Confidential Instructions for:
- General Counsel (Version A only)
- Senior Vice President (Version A Only)
- Senior Vice President/ General Counsel (Version B Only)
- Vice President of Construction Management
- Vice President of Marketing & Development
Teacher's Package (34 pages total):
- All of the above
- Teaching Note
Agenda control; Authority; BATNA; Commitment; Communication; Compliance; Crisis decision-making; Currently perceived choice analysis; Emotions; Force; Group-think; Group process; Media; Meeting design; Preparation; Public opinion; Threats; Yesable propositions
This case focuses on two major themes. The first is preparation. What is your BATNA? What is theirs? What are their major interests likely to be? What are ours? What does their choice look like now? How, realistically, could we change it? What can they actually do? What can we do? How do we make it as easy as possible for them to do what we want, and hard for them to do otherwise? How do we best communicate all of this? What yesable propositions do we have for them? Should we consult before deciding?
The second theme is meeting design and group process. How do groups work together to prepare for a negotiation? Set an agenda? Set strict time limits? Use a flip-chart and a recorder? A facilitator? Separate inventing from deciding? And how do they work together in the ultimate meeting? How do they avoid divide and conquer tactics or distractions that keep them from focusing on any one point? How do they get commitment?
Another important theme is the problem of representing and dealing with a representative of a constituency without firm authority. Can the negotiators really commit their neighbors? How should the Bunyon Brothers deal with that? Can either party really agree to what the other one wants?
The case also raises questions of relationship and reputation. Both sides have important long-term interests.
Chestnut Village Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||10|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|
|Non-English version available:||French, Spanish|