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Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program Logo

The Offer Hard Copy

 Sheila Heen  
Product number:
16 pages
Hard Copy
Product Type:
Role Play Package
September 2012
October 2012

This product is a hard copy and will be shipped to your specified address. It contains General Instructions to all participants and color-coded Confidential Instructions for each role. This role play provides for 3 party roles. To order, enter the total number of participants in your class. You will receive the correct number of role plays. For example, if you plan to teach this role play to 30 participants, enter "30" in the amount field upon checkout. We will send you 30 copies of General Instructions and 10 copies each of the 3 sets of Confidential Instructions for the party roles. The product price does not include the shipping fee and will be added at check-out.


The shipping and handling charges reflected upon ordering are only estimates, and may change upon completion of the order.

If you would like to purchase an electronic copy, please go to the case study product page.


“The Offer” is intended to be a negotiation conducted entirely over email.  Sydney Klausen, a fifth year associate at a law firm in Boston, is looking to move to an in-house legal position.  Sydney has two offers, one from Altitude and one from Boniface Ventures.  Sydney must decide how to negotiate with each company in order to determine which offer to accept and under what terms.  “The Offer” addresses the unique dilemma of multiple bidders for a scarce commodity.  In this case, both Al (from Altitude) and Bo (from Boniface) want to hire Sydney, but Sydney must choose between the two bidders. Bo is aware that there is another offer (but without clear information on whether the other offer is static or dynamic), but Al commences the negotiations in the dark about the existence of a competitor. The asymmetry of information between the different parties provides ample opportunity to consider the ethical quandaries facing parties who find themselves in such negotiations.

This product includes:

  • Confidential Instructions for Sydney (Pink)
  • Confidential Instructions for Al (Blue)
  • Confidential Instructions for Bo (Canary)
  • Teaching Note

Learning Objectives

To understand the advantages and disadvantages of using email for negotiation; to evaluate the challenges of setting up and conducting an auction; to identify the impact of process decisions on relationships.

Subjects Covered

Negotiation Simulation; Email Negotiation; Employment Law


Geographic: U.S.

Industry: Legal


To obtain accessible versions of our products for use by those with disabilities, please contact the HLS Case Studies Program at hlscasestudies@law.harvard.edu or +1-617-496-1316.

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Conversation Starters: Case Studies for Curricular Reform

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