A European consulting firm bibs to carry out a nationwide vocational education and training study in an Asian country and is subsequently invited to attend negotiations with the appropriate government agency. Inviting bidders to conduct negotiations on price before the award of a contract is confirmed is a common practice in the case of international agencies and with the international aid departments of some national governments. At one point in the subsequent negotiation, strong concerns are expressed by the government team about the proposed starting and finishing dates for the study, and about the consultant’s fees and expenses as set out in the financial proposal. Government negotiators also strongly criticize the imprecise nature of the scope of service to be provided by the consultant as set out in the consultant’s proposal document. However, the dispute are resolved when the consultant provides further information which is much more detailed than the information contained in the firm’s proposal document. The new information specifies the schedule of activities to be undertaken and the methods to be used by the consultant for collecting and analyzing data. Precise details are also given of report-back mechanisms to be established by the consultant, with the aim of ensuring that the government has all the information needed for effectively monitoring and supervising the project. This additional information clarifies the situation and satisfies the government agency. As a result, the consultant’s team feels that it will be able to work within the terms and conditions stated in the draft contract.
- In addition to providing the additional, higher-quality information,
what other actions could the consultant’s team have taken during the
negotiation to resolve the conflict and ensure that its plans for
carrying out the project are approved?
- Describe how information sharing in negotiations can contribute to a positive resolution of conflicts. For additional details, please refer to the Case Study: Scope of Services Guidelines and Rubric document.