Seneca is a three-party negotiations, mediation simulation. The context is a product failure crisis in a manufacturing company with highly autonomous entities. The heads of the two divisions are in a dispute over who is responsible for errors in an important product. The head of a third league is trying to mediate a settlement of the dispute. Unlike many simulations mediation, the mediator has both independent interests and some power to influence the results. Two versions of the mediator are avai … Read more »

Seneca is a three-party negotiations, mediation simulation. The context is a product failure crisis in a manufacturing company with highly autonomous entities. The heads of the two divisions are in a dispute over who is responsible for errors in an important product. The head of a third league is trying to mediate a settlement of the dispute. Unlike many simulations mediation, the mediator has both independent interests and some power to influence the results. Two versions of the mediator is available. In Seneca Systems (A) the mediator can make a financial contribution to the solution of the problem and therefore bargaining power. In Seneca Systems (B), the intermediary has a compelling power in the form of influence with the CEO and could impose a solution, if not to resolve the dispute, the parties themselves. The main questions concern the teaching compromises inherent with interests and power as an agent.
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Michael D. Watkins
Source: exercises
8 pages.
Publication Date: Jan 14, 1999. Prod #: 899171-PDF-ENG
Seneca Systems (A): General and Confidential Instructions for C. Stevens, Vice President, Business Unit Assembly HBR case solution