Common Measures

Paddy Moore, Hal Movius, and Lawrence Susskind
Five-party, four-issue negotiation among managers at an aircraft engine company with the goal of improving quality and operations processes

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Over the last several years, Forstar Aircraft has renewed its overall commitment to quality, speed and cost-effectiveness in order to maintain its status as a financial and technological leader in the industry. As the industry has become more competitive and management has sought to improve quality, there have been signs that major changes may be on the way. Many American companies have started to move over to “parallel operations”, which means that the performance and design of an engine part is evaluated as it is developed, rather than after its production. For Forstar, this would mean that Design and Manufacturing would need to work more interactively. Such a change would be no small matter for Forstar, as relations between these departments have been strained.

The Vice President of Design Engineering and the Vice President of Manufacturing Production have convened a team of managers to develop a plan for how the two departments might work together to improve quality. They have sent a special interest consultant to the meeting and have asked the Design, Manufacturing, Sourcing, and Quality departments each to send one section manager to a negotiation regarding implementation of a cooperative “Common Measures” program.



  • To insure relationships that promote quality within the organization, both long-term and short-term interests must be balanced thoughtfully.
  • The exercise provides opportunities for individuals to reflect on the way in which we become locked into unconstructive policies or career-threatening stances — as well as prompting exploration of alternatives.
  • Deciding how much information to disclose depends heavily on risk-trust, and perhaps the nature of the interest. If the interest is one that will put others at risk, or is driven by professional ambition rather than team goals, it will be risky to share with others on the team.



For all participants:

  • General Instructions



  • Confidential Instructions for H. Ansel, Manufacturing Production Section Manager
  • Confidential Instructions for L. Berenson, Continuous Quality Improvement Section Manager
  • Confidential Instructions for T. Donahue, Sourcing Section Manager
  • Confidential Instructions for Special Consultant D. Holloway


Teacher’s Package (31 pages total):

  • All of the above
  • Brief chart of key issues
  • No comprehensive teaching note currently available


Common Measures Attributes

Time required:
1-2 hours
Number of participants:
Teams involved:
Agent present:
Neutral third party present:
Teaching notes available:
Non-English version available:

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

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, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. 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.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

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 “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, 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 “Quantity.” 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.