Business and Commercial Role-Play:

DirtyStuff I


Lawrence Susskind

Five-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among industry, environmental, labor, and government representatives to develop single-text regulation of toxic industrial by-product


Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

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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.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
Log In or Register to download the free Teacher's Package Sample.


Exposure to "Dirty Stuff" in the industrial workplace is an issue of major concern to three coalitions representing environmental organizations, industry groups, and labor unions. During past hearings the divergence in their views has become public knowledge. Congress has responded by passing a law requiring The Agency to take action. The Agency, called in a consultant to interview leaders of the concerned coalitions, and draft a proposed agreement. The coalitions and Agency leaders are about to meet to review the draft. The parties will discuss the acceptable levels of risk, the quality of cleaning techniques, and monitoring and evaluation of the cleaning procedures. A neutral party has been asked to help facilitate the meeting



  • This is a four-party multi-issue facilitated negotiation simulation involving the drafting of a proposed environmental regulation. It emphasizes the use of active facilitation and examines the issues encountered by neutrals when their role is not well understood by the principal parties.
  • The range of possible agreements is wide; by comparing agreements, the usefulness of generating options should emerge.
  • It is interesting to observe and discuss the role of the facilitator. The facilitator's instructions are rather vague; therefore, the role may develop into either a mediator's role; a process manager's role; or the parties may choose not to have the facilitator take part in the negotiations at all.
  • The usefulness of a Single Negotiating Text is illustrated. This gives parties a focal point for discussion and a tool for recording the evolving agreement. This can clarify differences, and help parties structure packages of trade-offs more creatively.
  • The design of the meeting is created by the players. How the discussions are initiated and what process is chosen to redraft the agreement is up to the parties. They can either set a cooperative or a competitive tone.



This exercise is written to include five roles; however, more than one player may be assigned to any role. Reading in preparation for the role play takes 10-15 minutes. Parties having the same roles caucus to strategize prior to beginning the actual negotiation (approximately 20 minutes). Review of the draft should run for 60-90 minutes. Debriefing requires at least 45 minutes to compare and discuss the outcomes. A table for 5 is recommended. Private breakout rooms are useful but not critical to this simulation.

NOTE: The game manager should meet briefly with the facilitators before the negotiation to make sure they understand their responsibilities.



For all parties:

  • General Information
  • Draft of the Proposed Rule
  • Fact about DirtyStuff Cleanup Technologies


Role Specific:

  • Confidential Advice to:
  • Agency Negotiator
  • Environmental Coalition Negotiator
  • Industry Negotiator
  • Labor Negotiator
  • Facilitator


Teacher's Package:

  • All of the above



Negotiated rule-making; simple text negotiation; facilitation; science-intensive policy disputes; using contingent agreements to cope with scientific uncertainty



Agenda control; Assisted v. Non-assisted negotiations; Bluffing; Caucusing; Coalitions; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Compliance; Consensus building; Constituents; Creativity; Decision analysis; Distributional dispute; Drafting; Fairness; Group process; Information exchange; Interest analysis; Issue control; Joint gains; legitimacy; Meaning of "success"; Mediation, entry; Meeting design; Objective criteria; One-text procedure; Options, generating; Packaging; Partisan perceptions; Public opinion; Relationship; Risk aversion; Yesable propositions



  • Dirty Stuff II
  • Dioxin – Waste to Energy
  • Teflex Products
  • The Carson Extension

DirtyStuff I Attributes

Time required: 2-3 hours
Number of participants: 5
Teams involved: No
Agent present: Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present: Facilitator
Scoreable: Yes
Teaching notes available: No
Non-English version available: Bulgarian, Spanish, Portuguese