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Abstract

Where before collective agreements were prevalent, now employees get the opportunity to negotiate individually with his or her employer. Individual negotiation or idiosyncratic deals, also called I-deals, are more and more present in nowadays businesses. These deals are voluntary, personalized agreements of a nonstandard nature that individual employees negotiate with their employer regarding terms which benefit each party (Rousseau, 2000). The key question is to find the way in which these agreements are beneficial to the company, the manager, the employee and the co-workers. This case illustrates the negotiation process between a team manager at TNK - a leading multinational software development company- and one of his team members. The employee is willing to negotiate an I-deal with the objective of attending a training course abroad. This case is a two-party employment deal-making exercise. The roles in this exercise are: a) the employee who initiates the I-deal; and b) the manager. The case could be used also as a three-party exercise, including the role of the facilitator. The case aims are twofold: a) engage students in exploring a win-win-win-win agreement; and b) demonstrating the power of integrative negotiation tactics in an environment that will be familiar to most students. It also shows the students the importance of preparation, listening, and understanding the perspective of the other side. The case is open to both, beginners and more experienced negotiators as well as with diverse educational level: undergraduate, MBA and executives. It yields the highest learning potential for those having a good basic background in negotiation theory. The case has been tested in negotiation and employment relations courses in diverse target groups: undergraduate students, executives, and professionals; as well as in students from different cultural backgrounds. The feedback from the students shows a clear understanding of the information described in the test as well as a satisfactory learning experience in the concept of I-deals terms, understanding of the concept of BATNA in negotiation, and the importance of taking into account the interests of the other party and parties when negotiating this type of agreements.

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Abstract

Where before collective agreements were prevalent, now employees get the opportunity to negotiate individually with his or her employer. Individual negotiation or idiosyncratic deals, also called I-deals, are more and more present in nowadays businesses. These deals are voluntary, personalized agreements of a nonstandard nature that individual employees negotiate with their employer regarding terms which benefit each party (Rousseau, 2000). The key question is to find the way in which these agreements are beneficial to the company, the manager, the employee and the co-workers. This case illustrates the negotiation process between a team manager at TNK - a leading multinational software development company- and one of his team members. The employee is willing to negotiate an I-deal with the objective of attending a training course abroad. This case is a two-party employment deal-making exercise. The roles in this exercise are: a) the employee who initiates the I-deal; and b) the manager. The case could be used also as a three-party exercise, including the role of the facilitator. The case aims are twofold: a) engage students in exploring a win-win-win-win agreement; and b) demonstrating the power of integrative negotiation tactics in an environment that will be familiar to most students. It also shows the students the importance of preparation, listening, and understanding the perspective of the other side. The case is open to both, beginners and more experienced negotiators as well as with diverse educational level: undergraduate, MBA and executives. It yields the highest learning potential for those having a good basic background in negotiation theory. The case has been tested in negotiation and employment relations courses in diverse target groups: undergraduate students, executives, and professionals; as well as in students from different cultural backgrounds. The feedback from the students shows a clear understanding of the information described in the test as well as a satisfactory learning experience in the concept of I-deals terms, understanding of the concept of BATNA in negotiation, and the importance of taking into account the interests of the other party and parties when negotiating this type of agreements.

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