Answer qustion Essay Example

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Question 1

Preparation of the teams

Both of the teams were adequately prepared. This is whereby apart from each team having its specific role, each team member had a center of focus in terms of the issues of concern. For instance, the team members in the union group were well versed with the various concerns as well as the implications of every human resource practice which they projected could be implemented, for instance, extension of working hours without additional payment. On the other hand, the management team was aware of the concerns which were being forwarded by the union and had prepared different packages to offer the union, for instance, in terms of the working hours which eventually culminated to a compromise on the best package.

Team roles allocation

The roles in the team were neatly allocated where each team had specific roles to undertake. This worked out well in the sense that each team accomplished their particular objectives, for instance, the negotiators from the union were able to come up with an amicable solution to the concerns facing the employees with the management.

Question 2: Negotiation phases

Framing of each team’s position

The positions of each team were framed in a sense that every individual’s position suited his or her qualification. This is best epitomized whereby in case of the negotiation team, the members in this team had immense knowledge and experience of human resource issues and had robust negotiation skills. On the other hand, the research team composed of individuals who had little experience on human resource and allocated specific issues to research on.

Tactics of each team and their effectiveness

The negotiation team used the direct attack tactic based on raising the concerns and backing them with robust information and how to solve the apparent problem. This tactic was extremely effective in terms of bringing out the real concerns as well as exploring different possible solutions. On the other hand, the management used the step by step tactic which was relatively effective. This is based on the fact that it gave the union members to regroup, and come up with counter arguments. This saw the management ceasing ground and ‘dropping’ from the initial offer of 11 hours to 9 hours and 30 minutes break.

Did personalities play a role or was the focus mainly on the substantive issues? Why?

The personality of the negotiators played a key role in the negotiation process. This is best exemplified whereby the two primary negotiators had exemplary experience on human resource issues. Nonetheless, it is imperative to note that in some stages, the focus shifted to substantive issues. This is because the solutions to the concerns raised by the negotiators had to be practical and not just based on personal feelings and preferences.

What other key aspects of interest based bargaining were present?

It is worth noting that there were other aspects which were presented during the negotiation process. These includes aspects like multiskilling the workers. In this case, management offered the Australian Vet system as the workplace training. The prerequisite of this system is underpinned by Brown and North (2010, p. 13) who determined that the flexibility, delivery as well as content of the VET system by the international standards ought to mean that it is in a suitable niche to meet the demands of all the participants.

Question 3: Settlement

How was an agreement finally reached? Why?

It is worth noting that an agreement was finally arrived at after two days of negotiation. The major model which was used in reaching at an agreement was basically through bargaining. This is whereby there was a key conflict between the management and the union based on working hours and overtime. The bargaining process started with the management offering 11 hours which the union declined, asking the management to come with a better offer. This culminated with the management offering 9 hours and 30 minutes paid break which was agreeable to the union and this marked reaching an agreement. This model of bargaining was particularly fundamental in in order to arrive at a consensus where the interests of both parties are considered.

How close did teams get to their target/resistance points? Why?

Apart from both the union and the management arriving at a consensus that multi-skilled workers are very important for the company, the management was close to its target point of offering 11 hours whereby it just fell short of this target by around one and a half hours which is acceptable in order to ensure that an agreement was reached. This can be attributed to their step by step tactic which ensured that they proposed various offers, each at a time until an agreement was reached.

On the other hand, the negotiators almost got to their target point in the sense that they not only ensured the guarantee for the workers’ training but were also assured of the job security of the workers and that the full time workers will not be affected by the part time workers. This was through analyzing the key concerns of the workers and solidly articulating these issues to the management.

Question 4: Reflection:

As a group, what would you do differently if you could start again? Why?

Based on the previous experience, there are two basic things that would be done differently by the group is the process could start again. Firstly, the negotiators need to increasingly engage in sharing of information amongst themselves, an imperative which is supported by Adair et. al., (2004, p. 106). This is key in ensuring that they have not only seal any ‘loopholes’ in their negotiation approach but ensure that they possess enough knowledge on the subject matter.

The second issue is for the negotiators to increasingly understand and address the concerns of distinct groups in the workforce, for instance, the disabled. This is fundamental in the sense that solving the issues confronting the larger workforce might not comprehensively address some of the inherent concerns facing some disadvantaged groups, for instance, mobility issues among the disabled individuals.


Adair, W., et. al., 2004, ‘Culture and Negotiation Strategy’, Negotiation Journal, Vol. 1, pp. 87-

Brown, J. & North, S., 2010, ‘Providing support to disadvantaged learners in the Australian VET

system: A Report to the National VET Equity Advisory Council (NVEAC)’, Final report, Australian Council for Educational Research, Camberwell, Victoria.