Alphatec: A Negotiation Exercise with Logrolling and Bridging Potential1


  • John K. Butler


Two integrative negotiating processes, logrolling and bridging, are discussed from a theoretical perspective. Existing role-playing exercises with logrolling or bridging potential are briefly described. The Alphatec negotiating exercise is then described. The criteria for Alphatec were that: (a) it had to be simple enough to be understood and done in one 50-minute period, and discussed the next period; (b) it had to be realistic enough that students might actually do similar negotiating in their current or future jobs; (c) it had to contain both bridging and logrolling solutions; and (d) it had to include numerical outcomes that could be used to calculate measures of negotiating effectiveness, fairness, and efficiency. Expectations regarding the outcomes of the exercise are described. Implications for using the exercise as a research experiment are discussed.