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Dirty Stuff II

 Lawrence Susskind and Jeffrey B. Litwak  
Product number:
15 Pages
Product Type:
Role Play Package
Link to Faculty Author Page:

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Dirty Stuff is an industrial by-product of a large number of industrial processes that was recently found to have harmful health side-effects. A first meeting was convened at which representatives from environmental organizations, labor unions, industry groups, community groups and consumer groups discussed how Dirty Stuff should be regulated. This meeting ended abruptly and in a highly emotional and hostile fashion – a fact which was reported in the press. A second meeting has been convened and the various factions have agreed to enlist the help of a facilitator. The goal of the upcoming second meeting is to revise the proposed rule regarding the production and use of Dirty Stuff. This will be published in The Federal Register.

The product includes:

  • General Instructions
  • Teacher’s Package
  • Confidential Instructions for the Agency Negotiator
  • Confidential Advice to the Negotiator for the Environmental Coalition
  • Confidential Instructions for the Consumer Negotiator
  • Confidential Instructions for the Industrial Negotiator
  • Confidential Instructions for the Labor Negotiator
  • Confidential Instructions for the Facilitator 

Learning Objectives

  • This exercise illustrates how an angry party can alter the tone or balance of a multiparty negotiation or create difficulties for a facilitator.
  • With such a wide range of possible agreements, the comparison of several groups’ outcomes can demonstrate the usefulness of generating options. Some groups, however, might not reach agreement.
  • The facilitator may be asked to mediate or alternatively may simply act as a meeting manager and stay out of the negotiations, depending on how the parties act.
  • Caucusing can lead to the formation of blocking coalitions. The effect of caucusing on the prospects of reaching agreements can be compared across groups.
  • The usefulness of a single negotiating text is illustrated. This gives parties a focal point for discussion and a tool for recording the evolving agreement. This can clarify differences and help parties structure packages or trade-offs more creatively.
  • Contingent agreements may hold the key to dealing with technical uncertainty.

Subjects Covered

Negotiation, Environment Law


Geographic: United States

Hard Copy

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