Ron Karp and Bruce Patton
Three-party brief negotiation among a supervisor and two employees who are each asking for a raise
Two productive employees of the Kelly Corporation are about to meet with their boss to discuss a raise. The employer and each of the employees have different ideas concerning pay increases.
The exercise is structured as a single negotiation between both employees and the boss. As little as five minutes can a be allowed for planning; the meeting itself can last from 5-15 minutes. Videotaping can be useful for review of assertiveness and nonverbal communication.
- This case calls for fine interpersonal skills in balancing assertiveness and relationship maintenance. What general guidelines seem applicable for preserving a good working relationship?
- The problem of power imbalance, typical in employee relations, are highlighted. This is probably a good case for principled negotiation, but useful criteria may be hard to come by.
- In speaking to the boss together, the employees have to address the issue of whether to take a competitive, cooperative, or monolithic approach, and how to maintain it in the face of various employer tactics.
- The employer has to confront the issue of how to distinguish between the two employees, without embittering the less well rewarded. Ethical choices loom as potentially important.
Confidential Instructions for the:
- Employees (same or both)
- All of the above
Agenda control; Anchoring; BATNA; Closure; Communication; Fairness; Interpersonal skills; Legitimacy; Nonverbal communication; Objective criteria; Personality; Power imbalance; Precedents; Psychological games; Relationship; Risk perception
Kelly Corporation, The Attributes
|Time required:||Less than 30 minutes|
|Number of participants:||3|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||No|
|Non-English version available:||German, Spanish|