Posted: May 25th, 2022

Conflict Management Negotiation 3 pages

Conflict Management Negotiation Midwestern Contemporary Art Case Study After Reading Case

In attempting to negotiate with the Smith’s, Peggy Fischer’s goal was to get the couple to make good on its promise to contribute $5 million in funding to the museum in Michigan. If they did not at least contribute the full $5 million, it would be acceptable for them to contribute some of that amount, perhaps half of it or, at the very least, $1 million dollars. In considering the negotiation, the BATNA for Fischer is the fact that if she failed to persuade the couple to contribute a substantial sum of money, she could always sue them. BATNA is something of a fall-back strategy (Venter, 2009).The value of this BATNA is the fact that the museum may have an alternative to procuring the funding it needs to get its building completed. Completing the building is one of the most important goals of the original negotiation. Therefore, the value assigned to legal action against the Smith is extremely valuable, although it is less so than getting the donation since the museum will have to pay to procure legal aid. Fischer’s position is to attempt to preserve the museum and extract funds from the Smiths. However, her interests are doing so in a way that is as discreet as possible and which does not alienate other potential donors. Options for mutual gain include reducing the role of Schmidt or firing him to get the funding from the Smiths, and giving them a large part of the reward (in the form of dedicating the building or certain rooms in it) of achieving the completion of the building.

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2. Influence tactics are specifically the way that an individual can use his or her power base to produce a desired outcome. These tactics relate to various bases of power, and can be as unethical as coercion or as ethical as rank and authority. An example of the latter is for a policeman to influence people based on the former’s standing as an officer of the law. There are a variety of influence tactics that Peggy Fischer has in regards to the situation described in the case study in which she is attempting to procure a $5 million dollar pledge from Peter and Catherine Smith.

Specifically, if I were Smith, I believe that she should utilize what is known as expert influence tactics. Expert influence tactics are those which pertains to an individual particular area of expertise and specialization. It is clear that Fischer has a highly valued skillset, one which allows her to relate well with others. This fact is alluded to in the case study since “Fischer was chosen as the next chairperson because of her ability to establish excellent interpersonal relationships among board members” (Case study). This passage suggests that if Fischer simply communicates with the Smiths that she would be able to convey how badly the museum needs the money and how important it is for them to issue the funds. It also appears that Smith could utilize information, reward, and connection influence tactics. After all, she does have a professional relationship with the Smiths and knows them personally, and it was one of Catherine’s ambitions to have a large collection of art — funding the building would certainly fulfill that desire. Finally, Fischer has information about the museum’s new building that is potentially valuable to the Smiths.

3. The power bases that Peggy Fischer has in regard to each of the Smiths are as follows. In terms of Fischer’s power bases over Mrs. Smith, one of the most salient of these is reward. Catherine Smith is explicitly denoted within this case study as wanting to have amassed a large collection of artwork before she expires. Fischer can use this power base by convincing the other woman that by helping to fund the museum’s new building, her art collection could be considered the entire museum’s. Fischer could even issue this reward by writing Mrs. Smith and her husband’s name on the museum. Fischer also has an expert power base over both of the Smiths, since Fischer is skilled in the art of communicating via interpersonal relationships. This power base is especially needed for her relationship with Peter Smith, since he is the one who balked and is responsible for the pair’s disappearance from the Michigan art scene. Fischer also has a form of the referent power base (Martin, 2012) at her disposal, since she may be able to modify the role of Schmidt in the organization which can potentially influence Peter Smith’s desire to want to financially contribute to this organization.

4. There are a couple of really salient ways that Fischer might be able to leverage her personal network to exert additional influence over the Smiths and get them to contribute to the museum’s building. One of these could involve possibly motivating other members of the museum’s board of directors to reduce the roles and responsibilities of Keith Schmidt, the museum’s director, or to possibly replace him with someone else. Peter Smith’s initial problem with the museum was related to Schmidt and to the museum’s support of Schmidt. The Smiths may prove a lot more willing to consider actually paying the amount of their pledge if they knew that the museum was not supporting Schmidt as much as it once was. Plus, the financial fiasco that the museum found itself in is largely related to Schmidt’s ideas to push forward and expand at a rapid rate. Fischer could utilize this fact to justify either replacing or seriously reducing the role of Schmidt. Most significantly, Fischer could accomplish these objectives my simply utilizing her personal network among the museum’s board of directors.

What would probably be the best way that Fischer could utilize this network is to get Schmidt to apologize to Peter Smith. Again, Schmidt’s pace of expansion is responsible for the museum’s financial roles and for alienating Peter Smith. If the former could admit that he was wrong and that he should have listened to Peter, it is possible that the Smiths would be more willing to pay what they told the museum they would pay for its expansion. Fischer could attempt to make an inspirational appeal (Bolger, 2009) to Schmidt to issue such an apology.


Bolger, C. (2009). Using influence tactics. Retrieved from

Martin, D. (2012). Influence tactics. Retrieved from

Venter, D. (2009). BATNA explained. The Negotiation Academy. Retrieved from /

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