Case #2063.0

The Job Negotiation: A three-party, email-based, employment offer negotiation

Publication Date: April 8, 2016
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Jordan Webb, a current master’s student, negotiates via email (simultaneously) with two tech firms who are potential employers. Both firms have offered to create a new position for Jordan, as the Director of Community Engagement, to manage public-private partnerships. Jordan’s interests are wide-ranging, including the work itself, salary & benefits, start date & vacation time, location, degree of travel, and flexibility in working from home because of family concerns. Avery Adams represents Computech, Jordan’s former employer. Baylor Bell represents Innoventrix, another potential employer. Avery Adams does not know Jordan has another job offer (unless Jordan decides to reveal this information). Baylor Bell knows that Jordan has an offer from Computech, but does not know that Jordan is still negotiating the terms of the offer (unless Jordan decides to reveal this information).

Major Lessons:
The major lessons relate to self-advocacy in job negotiations as well as dealing with the challenges presented by communicating via email (instead of face-to-face). This simulation highlights sources of power for job candidates in career negotiations, including preparation, setting high aspirations, having a strong BATNA, emphasizing unique skills or contributions the job candidate can bring to the organization, considering a range of interests, and connecting with others. This simulation also helps students consider strategies to effectively negotiate via email, including setting up a meeting in person (or via Skype) prior to the email exchange when possible, establishing shared norms for communication (and swiftly sharing the reason for any delay in communication), formatting messages so they appear professional and are easy for the recipient to understand, and the importance of proofreading. This role-play is based on Sheila Heen’s “The Offer.”

Materials Included with Educator Copy:
-Confidential Instructions for Jordan Webb (Job Candidate), Avery Adams (Computech), and Baylor Bell (Innoventrix)
-Slides with teaching tips for the negotiation simulation

Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author:
Jennie Hatch and Kessely Hong
Faculty Lead:
Kessely Hong
Time Required:
2.5 – 3.5 hours total
Number of participants:
Minimum of 3