Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

GE International Contract

Duncan MacLaren; adapted from The Tendley Contract
Two-party potentially integrative contract negotiation between representatives of a large corporation and a consulting firm over very different expectations of the cost of services

What to Buy?

Login or Register to download the free packages.

 

Free review copies of non-English Teacher’s Packages will be emailed upon request. Please contact tnrc@law.harvard.edu  or telephone 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.)

SCENARIO:

Several years ago, GE International purchased a networked computer system to serve all of its operating departments. Unfortunately, the computer system has become utterly ineffective. GE International’s Senior Manager of Information Management Operations has been charged with finding an expert to divide and reprogram the computer system, rewrite the manuals, and maximize the value of the existing high-quality hardware and software.

The Senior Manager has located a computer consulting company that seems to be far better equipped than any of the alternative companies to handle this project. The consulting company, in turn, is eager for the publicity of working with a world-renowned company like GE International. At the last minute, the Senior Manager and the computer consultant realize that they have been exploring this contract without knowing that the other party had an enormously different idea regarding the appropriate price for the project. The parties are meeting one last time to see if there is a way to salvage the deal.

This case is similar to The Tendley Contract but takes place in a more corporate setting.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • This case is an excellent vehicle for comparing principled negotiation to positional bargaining.
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of revealing one’s BATNA in this situation? How do the parties’ BATNAs — and their disclosure or nondisclosure of them — affect the negotiation?
  • The fact that there is such a huge discrepancy in what the two parties want GE International to pay for the job makes it very difficult to come up with a contract without generating creative options. What can the parties do to facilitate option generation?
  • This case often generates discussion around “fair” pricing for the contract. What are some criteria for determining a fair price? Are the parties’ initial expectations regarding the price relevant to what the price should be? Do the parties’ BATNAs have any bearing on what the price should be?

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

  • Confidential Instructions for:
    • Computer Systems Consultant
    • GEII Team
  • Teacher’s Package includes:
    • All of the above
    • Teaching Note

 

GE International Contract Attributes

Time required:
30 minutes – 1 hour
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
None
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
Non-English version available:
Japanese, Portuguese, Turkish
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

Close window

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 are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

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

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

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.).

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 http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (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, 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.