Ron Karp and Bruce PattonThree-person distributive exercise consisting of two separate two-party negotiations between the representative of an estate and two separate coin dealers over the price of a silver coin collection large enough to affect the silver market
Leslie Milkem, executor of the estate of the late Deke Slims, must deal with the cache of 244,000 silver dollars found hidden in Slims’ basement. Although Milkem has been trying to avoid publicity (which might depress the coin market), one weekly circular has published the numismatic find and two major coin dealers have already expressed an interest in purchasing the hoard. Milkem has agreed to meet with each of them, although Milkem has concerns about the reputation of one of them. Neither dealer knows of the other’s interest in the coins.
There are three parties involved in this negotiation, but the structure of the interaction depends on the estate executor. The executor may set up separate meetings with each of the coin dealers, arrange a conference of all three, ignore one or both of the dealers, or some combination. Only the executor knows the identity of the other parties. The exercise should be given at least an hour, and can be negotiated in the background over several days or a week.
- The theme of objective criteria is highlighted by the need to set standards under pressure.
- Due to the complexity of the effects of the hoard on the market, some financial analysis should be done to develop a wise and creative solution.
- The opportunity for mutual blackmail motivates discussion of both threats and alternative negotiating dynamics.
- The varying perceptions of each party’s reputation and ethics emphasize awareness of partisan perceptions and the power and importance of questioning assumptions.
- The issue of “controlling” a negotiation arises in this case because of Milkem’s power over meeting arrangements.
- This exercise also provides an opportunity to review BATNA, the meaning of “success,” and fairness.
- Risk aversion is an important factor in designing good settlement options in this case.
For all parties:
- General Information
- Confidential Instructions for:
- All of the Above
Agenda control; Commitment; Communication; Competition v. cooperation; Confidentiality; Creativity; Credibility; Currently perceived choice analysis; Ethics; Information exchange; Media; Meeting design; Misrepresentation; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Options, generating; Partisan perceptions; Pressure tactics; Quantitative analysis; Risk aversion; Threats; Yesable propositions
Deke Slims' Silver Dollars Attributes
- Time required:
- 1-2 hours
- Number of participants:
- Teams involved:
- Agent present:
- Neutral third party present:
- Teaching notes available:
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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.