Workers' Payoff

From Peacebuilding

Share this page with colleagues

Share/Save/Bookmark
Jump to: navigation, search
<catboxattop-categories>

Rate the contents of this page:

Contents

Purpose

  • To practice two-party negotiation between groups;
  • To explore how participants with different BATNAs act in negotiation.


Time

At least 40 minutes. It can be expanded to several hour.


Participants

At least 4 participants.


Materials

  • Flip chart papers;
  • Markers;
  • A large flip chart with the directions of the game;
  • Handouts for “clean and boil” team(s);
  • Handouts for “fill and seal” team(s);
  • Copies of the “Payroll Register”;
  • Paper and pencils for participants;
  • Several blank “Offer Cards” for all teams.


Process

I) Ask participants to divide in order to form triads. Then ask each triad to choose another triad to play the game with. (If there are any participants that remain left out have them join other triads or play as observers who will than report back to the plenary).


II) Have couples of triads sitting at opposing sides of the room. Make sure there is enough space for privacy between them.


III) Tell the participants that they are going to play a game where their team will have to negotiate with another team in order to maximise its profit. Each triad is a team; in each couple of triads there are two teams: the “clean and boil” team and the “fill and seal” team.


IV) Distribute the handouts for “clean and boil” team and for “fill and seal” team. Allow sufficient time for reading. Make sure all team have understood the game. Answer any question of clarification.


V) Distribute 2-3 copies of the “Payroll register”, several “Offer Cards”, paper and pencils to each team.


VI) Demonstrate the flow of the game by playing a couple of demonstrative rounds with a volunteer.


VII) Start the play. Provide assistance to those who need it. Make sure all team take note. Let the play go as long as suitable.


VIII) Interrupt the play. Announce that there has been a big change in their situation: Trade Unions have re-opened a negotiation with the factory over weekly wages and they have reached a new agreement – the minimum guaranteed wage for “fill and seal” team is now 100 USD a week; the minimum guaranteed wage for “clean and boil” team is 400 USD.


IX) Re-start the game and let it go. End up the game when suitable.


X) Ask all teams to observe their payroll register and have them thinking in silence for two minutes.


XI) Return to the plenary. Debrief thoroughly.


Debriefing

The following questions are not normative. You can use these and/or other questions as the situation and your judgement requires.


How do you feel?

  • How do you feel about this game?
  • How do you fell about yourself and the way you played?
  • How do you feel about the way your team played?
  • How do you feel about your team mates?
  • How do you feel about the other team?
  • How do your feel about the way the other team played?


What happened?

  • What happened at the beginning of the game?
  • How did your team’s strategy change during the game?
  • How could you see the other team’s strategy change during the game?
  • What happened when you heard that Trade Unions had re-negotiated you minimum guaranteed wage?
  • How the way you negotiated was influenced by your BATNA? (Meaning by your minimum guaranteed wage)
  • On what where you focusing most when negotiating with the other team? What did you want?
  • What was important in order to maximise your profit?
  • Where did your power lie on in this negotiation?


What have you learned?

  • What learning points can you extract from this activity?
  • In your opinion, what strategy works best in order to maximise your profit?
  • What strategy works best when you are negotiating with someone who has a stronger BATNA that yours? (or: what strategy works best when you are negotiating with someone who has more negotiating power?)
  • How can you maximise your profit when you have more negotiating power than the other party?


How does this relate?


What if?


What next?


Source

Selten used this game dynamic in an economics experimental setting; see Selten, R., “A Noncooperative Model of Characteristic-Function Bargaining”, in Aumann, R. J. et.al. (eds.) Essays in Game Theory and Mathematical Economics, Mannheim, Wien, Zurich: Bibliographisches Institut AG, 1981, pp. 131-151.

A similar format was also used in Heike Hennig-Schmidt, Li Zhu-Yu, Yang Chaoliang, A Cross-cultural Study on Negotiation Behavior A Video Experimental Investigation in Germany and the People’s Republic of China, 2002. This study is available at http://bonneconlab.uni-bonn.de/people/hschmidt/Chingpap3.pdf

Both experiments reproduced an artificial and context free situation where two parties where called to bargain on a coalition value (v=10) while each party received a different value in case of breaking off the negotiation. One party received a comparatively higher value, but the sum of both equated ½ of the total coalition value. That is to say, if you don’t agree you loose half of what you could get. The value that both parties receive in case they break off the negotiation can be seen as their bargaining power. Roger Fisher and William Ury would call it their BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement).


Handout for the team of “fill and seal” workers

Your team is composed of three individuals; you all work at the factory at the production of “Really Good Canned Corn”. Your job is to fill and seal each can with boiled corn, ready made for selling.

Your department is composed of your team and of a second team who cleans and boils the corn.

The owner of the factory - tired with endless fights with trade unions and willing to make his employees happy – a few years back decided to let to the teams in each departments decide their weekly wages. The factory pays max 1.000 USD a week for the total of labour of your department – that is, for your team and the “clean and boil” team.

Your task is to negotiate with the “clean and boil” team in order to generate agreement on how split the total amount. Though, if you can’t generate agreement and break off the negotiation, your minimum guaranteed wage is 400 USD – thanks to the trade unions -, while the “clean and boil” team’s minimum guaranteed wage is 100 USD.

When negotiating with the other team you have four options:

  1. Make a proposal to the other team on how to split the maximum total amount for your department – 1.000 USD.
  2. Shift, that is pass the initiative to make a proposal to the other team.
  3. Accept the offer of the other team.
  4. Break off the negotiation and take your minimum guaranteed wage.

You will play several rounds. Before each round, discuss within you team on how to act. When you have reached agreement or a majority vote, write down your choice on the “Offer Card” given to you. One member of you team will then transmit your choice to the other team.

Following each round, write down your team’s salary on the “Payroll Register”.

Your goal is to maximise your profit.

You can’t talk with the other team.

There is no time limit.

There is no limit to the number of rounds you will play.


Handout for the team of “clean and boil” workers

Your team is composed of three individuals; you all work at the factory at the production of “Really Good Canned Corn”. Your job is to clean and boil the corn.

Your department is composed of your team and of a second team who fills the cans with boiled corn and then seals it.

The owner of the factory - tired with endless fights with trade unions and willing to make his employees happy – a few years back decided to let to the teams in each departments decide their weekly wages. The factory pays max 1.000 USD a week for the total of labour of your department – that is, for your team and the “fill and seal” team.

Your task is to negotiate with the “fill and seal” team in order to generate agreement on how split the total amount. Though, if you can’t generate agreement and break off the negotiation, your minimum guaranteed weekly wage is 100 USD – thanks to the trade unions -, while the “fill and seal” team’s minimum guaranteed wage is 100 USD.

When negotiating with the other team you have four options:

  1. Make a proposal to the other team on how to split the maximum total amount for your department – 1.000 USD.
  2. Shift, that is pass the initiative to make a proposal to the other team.
  3. Accept the offer of the other team.
  4. Break off the negotiation and take your minimum guaranteed wage.

You will play several rounds. Before each round, discuss within you team on how to act. When you have reached agreement or a majority vote, write down your choice on the “Offer Card” given to you. One member of your team will then transmit your choice to the other team.

Following each round, write down your team’s salary on the “Payroll Register”.

Your goal is to maximise your profit.

You can’t talk with the other team.

There is no time limit.

There is no limit to the number of rounds you will play.


Handout - The Payroll Register

   

Agreement 

Break off 

 Week no. Proposal of group:  "Clean and Boil" receives:  "Fill and Seal" receives:  Who breaks off? Who gets more? 
 1          
 2          
 3          
 4          
 5          
 6          
 7          
 8          
 9          
 10          
 11          
 12          
 13          
 14          
 15          
 16          
 17          
 18          
 19          
 20          
 21          
 22          
Personal tools