$0.00 – $6.00
Allan Morgan and Lawrence Susskind
Six-party, four-issue negotiation among representatives of consumer groups, political leaders, and public utilities to develop a statewide energy assistance plan for low-income residents
A federal statute requires each state to submit a plan indicating how it will use its share of a national energy assistance fund for low-income residents. The state of Monroe has been criticized for not managing its program effectively. Federal assistance funds have declining significantly, and Monroe must develop a new strategy for energy assistance. A six-member Energy Assistance Task Force including representatives of state agencies, utility companies, the legislature, and consumer groups will attempt to reach a consensus on next year's plan. Issues that they will address include: eligibility criteria for benefits; sources of funding; level of benefits provided by the program; and method of payment of benefits. The Governor has asked the Task Force to submit a report following the session.
- Identify and recognize interests: players must clearly identify and express their interests vis a vis energy cost and supply. In addition, players must recognize the interests of the other parties in order to achieve agreement.
- Relationships: the significance of relationships can be studied in the context of negotiation strategies. In particular, this game explores how existing and future relationships are linked to implementation of agreements.
- Join Gains: When parties value issues differently, they can create trades that benefit both parties and facilitate an acceptable agreement.
- Coalitions: This game provides an opportunity to analyze the effect of coalitions on a negotiation, especially blocking coalitions.
- Public Policy Dispute Resolution: This game highlights how public policy disputes can be resolved by bringing stakeholder representatives together in a face-to-face negotiation.
- Representation and agency: Issues of representation and agency can be explored, since each of the players represents a group or institutional constituency. Each representative has a mandate which aids or constrains his or her ability to negotiate.
This exercise is best played with six players (one per role). One variation may include replacing the legislative representative's function as convener with an outside mediator/ facilitator. Preparation takes approximately 30 minutes, although more time is recommended. The negotiation can be conducted in one and one-half hours. Debriefing time should be at least one hour.
For all parties:
- General Information
- Appendix Summary of Significant Data
Confidential Instructions for Representatives of
- The Citizens Utility Board
- The Department of Social Services
- The League of Low-Income Consumers
- The Legislature
- The Public Utility Commission
- The Utility Companies
- All of the above
BATNA; Caucusing; Closure; Coalitions; Commitment; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Consensus building; Constituents; Currently perceived choice analysis; Energy Policy Negotiation; Fairness; Group process; Information exchange; Interests analysis; Interests, dovetailing; Issue control; Joint gains; Managing uncertainty; Multiparty negotiation: Objective criteria; Packaging; Partisan perceptions; Political constraints, dealing with; Pressure tactics; Public opinion; Reservation price; Risk aversion; Single-text procedure; Systems of Negotiation; Time constraints; Utility analysis; Yesable propositions
Monroe Energy Assistance Game I Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||6|
|Neutral third party present:||None|
|Teaching notes available:||No|
|Non-English version available:||Spanish|