Harborco is a consortium of development, industrial, and shipping concerns interested in building and operating a deepdraft port. It has already selected a site for the port, but cannot proceed without a license from the Federal Licensing Agency (FLA). The FLA is willing to grant Harborco a license, but only if it secures the support of at least 4 of 5 other parties: the environmental coalition, the federation of labor unions, a consortium of other ports in the region, the Federal Department of Coastal Resources (DCR), and the Governor of the host state. The parties have several issues to negotiate before deciding whether or not to approve the port, including the types of industries that will be permitted to locate near the port, the extent to which environmental damage be mitigated, the extent to which organized labor will be given preference in hiring during construction and operation of the port, the amount of any federal financial assistance to Harborco, and the amount of any compensation to other ports in the region for potential economic losses?
This game is best played with 12 people (2 per role) although 6 people also works. A game manager is needed to conduct periodic votes and to answer questions. Game instructions require at least 30 minutes to read; more preparation is helpful. Negotiations require a minimum of 2 hours. The more time allowed for negotiation the better.
When the game is played by several groups at the same time, the comparison of outcomes is instructive. Typically, some groups will reach agreement and some will not. Very few groups will reach unanimous (6-way) agreement.
Players are exposed to elementary utility analysis in the point scoring scheme. The importance of pre-negotiation analysis in evaluating options is illustrated. The players can then explore how and why different negotiating strategies led to different outcomes.
Multi-issue, multi-party negotiations tend...