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.
Prof. Susskind’s Top 5 Environmental Negotiation Teaching Materials
From time to time, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center asks PON-affiliated faculty to nominate their top five books, top five teaching videos or top five role-play simulations in certain fields or teaching settings. These change periodically.