Get access

Using a Corporate Partnership to Enhance Learning in a Sourcing Negotiation Role-Play


  • Revised and resubmitted to Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education Dec 12, 2016. An earlier version of this article was presented at the 2015 Decision Sciences Institute meeting.


Although role-plays can be effective teaching tools for buyer-supplier negotiation, learning can be somewhat limited because typically novices are negotiating with each other. We describe how we collaborated with a corporate partner, CACI International, to develop and implement a repeatable sourcing and negotiation role-play that helps to address this limitation. The role play, used in a dual listed undergraduate/MBA strategic sourcing course, covers the sourcing process from strategy development, solicitation, bidding, negotiation, and supplier selection for security services. The unique aspect of the role play is that CACI supply managers assume the role of suppliers throughout the activity including during phone negotiations with student teams. Content analysis of student reflections and a student survey show that the highest degree of perceived learning from the role-play was in the negotiation. Ways to modify the role-play approach when you do not have strong corporate partnerships are discussed.