Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

Theotis Wiley

Jake Erhard, under the supervision of Robert Bordone
Two-party integrative negotiation between agents for a basketball player and a shoe manufacturer over a possible sneaker endorsement deal

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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:

Theotis Wiley is a promising young basketball player with a checkered past. Erive is a small shoe manufacturing company about to launch a new line of basketball shoes. Erive’s Vice-President of Business Development has asked to meet with Theotis’ agent regarding the possibility of an endorsement deal. Neither party knows much about the other party’s interests or alternatives. NOTE: This simulation was adapted from, and is structurally similar to, the Sally Soprano simulation.

 

MAJOR LESSONS:

  • In this case, both parties have relatively weak BATNAs (“Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement”). The case affords a good opportunity to discuss the relationship between BATNA and reservation value (sometimes called a “bottom line”), and the effect of one’s BATNA — and of other party’s BATNA — on the negotiation process and outcome.
  • The available data allow a number of arguments about how much money a “fair” endorsement deal would involve. Participants can practice using objective criteria both as a sword and as a shield, and grapple with the challenge of judging the applicability of multiple objective criteria.
  • The case allows for the creation of various options separate from the contract value issue, which can maximize joint gains for both parties. While the case can be negotiated in a very distributive manner, by focusing only on the salary issue, there is ample room for integrative bargaining.
  • Each party in the case is privy to relevant information of which the other party is unaware, which allows for interesting learning points around information disclosure. On the one hand, substantive information exchange can facilitate value creation. On the other hand, by revealing too much information, on runs the risk of being exploited by the other side.
  • Because the case is structured as a negotiation between representatives rather than principals, it can generate useful discussion regarding the principal-agent tension and other agency issues.

 

TEACHING MATERIALS:

Confidential Instructions for:

  • Theotis Wiley’s Agent
  • Erive’s Vice-President of Business Development
  • Appendix for both parties

 

Teacher’s Package includes:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching Note

 

Theotis Wiley Attributes

Time required:
1-2 hours
Number of participants:
2
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
Non-lawyer
Neutral third party present:
None
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
Non-English version available:
German
PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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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.