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Negotiation and Decision Making

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Part 1 (Group):
As a group, choose a well-documented negotiation scenario from history. The scenario could be a business acquisition, a labor/management dispute, or a political disagreement-any situation that involved a negotiation process between two (or more) parties, whether or not the situation was settled successfully. After your group has decided on the scenario, each student should choose a role from among the various parties in the negotiation. For example, if your scenario is a U.S. baseball strike, different students would play the roles of the baseball players' union, the team owners, the baseball commissioner, the courts, etc. If there aren't enough roles for each student, then share role duties with another student.

Once you have chosen your roles, do some background research on your party's motives and interests in the negotiation. Then use the Small Group Discussion Board or Chat rooms to create an imagined dialogue between the various negotiating parties. Think about your party's feelings, motives, and interests, and present them by posting snippets of dialogue on the Small Group Discussion Board. Ask questions of your opponent. Hide information from your opponent if your party did so in real life. Propose and respond to settlements. Perhaps your party isn't even aware of his or her interests, in which case you can present this lack of awareness by being vague in your dialogue.

Example dialogue:

BASEBALL PLAYERS' UNION: The players have decided to strike because they aren't happy with their contracts.

STADIUM FOOD VENDORS: A strike might force the cancellation of the entire season! This could ruin my business!

FANS: You already earn extremely large salaries. What more could you want?

BASEBALL PLAYERS' UNION: Our terms are as follows: [terms X, Y, and Z]

TEAM OWNERS: Couldn't we finish this season and just keep negotiating?

BASEBALL COMMISSIONER: I propose the following: [settlement proposal X]

and so on.

Don't worry if the dialogue isn't completely historically accurate. What matters most is that you present your party's known position and actions as fully and accurately as possible so that you and your group have enough information to analyze during the second part of the project. Be sure to preface your bits of dialogue with your party's name so that other students know who you are representing. Use your imagination and have fun! If possible try to choose a time when everyone is available to participate synchronously (this isn't absolutely necessary, but it will help make the dialogue more spontaneous and fun). If this proves to be too difficult to coordinate, then summarize your parties' positions, motives, and interests in longer, more comprehensive dialogue posts.

Part 2 (Group): Analyze the negotiation scenario
Divide the work among group members. Summarize and analyze the negotiation in a 3-5 page project. In your analysis be sure to address the following:

Who were the parties?
What was the final outcome?
What were the alternatives to a negotiated agreement? Were the parties aware of these alternatives?
What were each party's set of interests? Were the parties aware of their interests?
How did the parties create or claim value?
Indicate whether any party made any of the following cognitive mistakes in the negotiation:
Assuming a fixed-pie perspective
Lack of awareness of framing effects
Nonrational escalation of conflict
Negotiator overconfidence
Negotiator egocentrism
Ignoring the cognition of others
If cognitive mistakes were made, how did they affect the negotiation? How might the parties have acted differently?
I have chosen the Sears/ Kmart merger. How should I approach this?

Submit a final draft in APA 5th edition format.

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Solution Summary

By illustrative examples, this solution re-enacts a historical negotiation scenario through role play and imagined dialogue with parties, etc. and then analyzes the historical negotiation scenario.