Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:

What To Do With Hexiglass?

Beth Doherty and Hal Movius
3-player, non-scoreable game designed to teach the benefits of managing communication and trust in the context of a technology negotiation.

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Scenario:

Cremtech Corporation, considered for many years the industry leader in product and innovation, develops and manufactures leading edge glass and ceramic products, and generates profits of $50M. It also championed a collaborative approach to management that has brought steady profits and kept employee turnover low.

Over the last five years, however, faced with mounting competition, profits have slipped. Cremtech business leaders were advised to reduce products that generate the least profits. Technologies without significant markets or applications drain production capacity and require small, expensive runs to produce. Fewer products will mean less handling, shipping, and customer support costs.

Hexiglass is one of Cremtech’s materials that retains tremendous strength and flexibility at very thin diameters. Though Cremtech recognizes the drain on manufacturing floor time that it represents, a competitor offered to buy or license their Hexiglass technology. The offer expires in seven days.

The three Cremtech business leaders must decide to sell, license, or mothball Hexiglass while maintaining their collaborative leadership style and preserving their working relationships.


Logistics

Time:

  • 5 minutes to set up
  • 25-35 minutes to read all the instructions
  • 20-25 minutes to prepare with others playing the same role
  • 75 minutes to do the simulation
  • 45 minutes to debrief

 

Major Lessons:

This game teaches the benefits of managing communication and trust in the context of a technology negotiation. Each participant has conflicting interests to manage. By working collaboratively to find mutual gains, participants see that building trust between parties can lead to increased gains, and that differences in the valuation of certain issues is often what makes it possible to reach an acceptable agreement for all parties.

There can be trade-offs between short and long-term gains.

Parties often have “second tables” or “internal stakeholders.”

Convincing standards or criteria are important when seeking to divide potential gains.

Effective negotiation often involves:

• Addressing multiple issues together rather than singularly

• Disclosing or discovering sufficient information to find mutually beneficial options

• Creating value before claiming it

 

Materials Included:

For all parties:

General Instructions

Memo from Legal

Settlement Worksheet

 

Role-specific instructions for:

P. Riley Confidential and Grid for ranking (Product Line Manager for Specialty Ceramics at Cremtech)

J. Lee Confidential and Grid for ranking (Vice President of Research and Development who invented Hexiglass)

T. Weston Confidential and Grid for ranking (Plant Manager where Hexiglass was developed and is still manufactured)

 

What To Do With Hexiglass? Attributes

Time required:
2 hours
Teams involved:
No
Agent present:
No
Neutral third party present:
No
Scoreable:
No
Teaching notes available:
Yes
Author:
Beth Doherty and Hal Movius
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.