Tinkertoys Revisited: Exploring Trust Based Relationships


  • Gerry Ramey
  • Thomas L. Leonard
  • Nancy H. Leonard


"Tinkertoy® exercises have been used to teach leadership, group processes, motivation, and even principles of management. In this variation, the basic purpose is to explore the importance of trust in negotiation processes and the development of inter- and intra-dependent trust relationships. A second, but not secondary, purpose is the identification of congruence among mission, resources, capacities, and outcomes. Interdependency is an accepted term in negotiation literature. It is concerned with being mutually dependent. Dependence-independence relation-ships deal excessively with control, but intradependency is aimed at reducing control issues. The concept of intradependency deals with issues of shared resources within a system, mutuality of goals and suboptimization. Further discussions after the exercise should explore the differences among competitive, cooperative and collaborative behavior as well as the type of trust relation-ship(s), which developed. "