Business and Commercial Role-Play:

Managing Change The HR Challenge

Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among human resource and line managers to create a plan for improving communication and outsourcing recruitment activities

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


NUTECH, Inc. is a hypothetical company that manufactures electrical and injection-molded plastic parts for the automotive and aerospace industries. The Plastics Division and Electronic Division each are responsible for advanced engineering, prototypes, and final manufacturing. The Sales & Service Operations Division generates orders and handles customer complaints and other service issues for both manufacturing divisions.

The CEO of NUTECH has asked the HR Managers and senior line managers for each of the three divisions to conduct a summit session on (a) a plan to improve communication between the service and manufacturing divisions; and (b) a plan to support the outsourcing of recruitment.

This simulation is designed to be run in four phases: separate preparatory meetings of all participants playing the same roles; a "fishbowl" in which six volunteers (each playing one of the six roles) illustrates an unconstructive approach to the summit meeting; "company meetings" with separate groups of HR Managers and Division Managers; and "company meetings" with the full group of all HR Managers and Division Managers.



  • The different phases of the negotiation allow the advantages of preparation and caucusing to be explored at length.
  • The complexity of the case provides room for a wider range of solutions, thus highlighting the power of creative option generation.
  • The collective representative aspect of the negotiation highlights issues of representative authority and constituent management.
  • The number of parties raises a range of issues about intra- and inter-party multilateral negotiation.

Managing Change Attributes

Time required: 2-3 hours
Number of participants: 6
Teams involved: No
Agent present: None
Neutral third party present: None
Scoreable: No
Teaching notes available: No