Negotiation role‐play exercise: “what's in a name?”

Joseph Loersch (Department of Management, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA)
William Ross (Department of Management, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of this paper is to describe a classroom negotiation exercise. A case involving controversy over the naming of a sports stadium containing a university football field and track is described. A local municipality, representing veterans groups, negotiates with university officials over a university plan to rename “Veteran's Memorial Stadium” after a recently‐retired football coach.


The negotiation activity is adapted from an actual case. It requires little advance preparation and can be used with either pairs or small groups of participants. “Teaching notes” provide instructions for using the activity.


The “Teaching Notes” examine how this controversy illustrates several concepts related to conflict, integrative bargaining, power and negotiating on behalf of constituents.


The case differs from many published cases in that one side's position is apparently rooted in values and matters of principle whereas the other side's position is interest‐based. The student must grapple with these dynamics, while seeking an integrative solution to the issues.



Loersch, J. and Ross, W. (2009), "Negotiation role‐play exercise: “what's in a name?”", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 398-419.

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