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The Magic Carpet Essay Questions

The Magic Carpet

WKS plc. Has been a customer of Global Carpets (GC) for 20 years. They have a global purchasing agreement which is due for renewal next year. WKS regularly gives this Sales Manager of GC £2 million of business per annum for various UK projects. This particular project is worth £500,000.

The London office of WKS is moving to a new HQ building in the city in 6 weeks’ time, and the carpets are scheduled to be fully fitted by GC in 3 weeks’ time.

The Sales Manager of GC, Petrov, has been requested to attend an urgent meeting with Marcus, the Facilities Manager of WKS, to discuss a problem which has occurred with the carpet currently being installed.

Up to this point, there has always been a good business relationship between the Sales Department of GC and the Facilities Department of WKS.

Marcus is in charge of the new HQ project. In only six weeks’ time, the entire office will move into the new building. All aspects of the work have so far been completed on time. However, the latest delivery from Global Carpets has color mismatching from batch to batch.

To add to this, the new CEO from New York is due to move to the London office to take up his new post on completion of the new HQ. Marcus fears any visible defects in the new office will draw unwanted attention to himself.

Although the project has run smoothly so far, it is slightly over budget, by around £15,000, so any savings that can be made at this stage will reflect well on his performance with the new CEO.

The deadline given to GC to have the carpets fully fitted was for the end of week three. While Marcus would like this to remain on schedule, some flexibility has arisen due to some early completion of some aspects of the re-fit. Marcus reckons he could give them up to one more week and remain on schedule.

While this re-fit has been taking place, a decision has been made by WKS to occupy a new building in Edinburgh on the same scale as the new London HQ. This will require fitting out in around four months’ time. However, if the current problem is not resolved satisfactorily, Marcus may be forced to look for an alternative supplier for that job.

It is 3 pm on Friday, and Marcus needs to have this resolved by the end of business today to ensure the schedule does not suffer.


  1. What are the interests of Marcus in this case? (8 marks)
  1. What are the issues of Marcus in this case? (8 marks)
  1. What would Marcus’s completed preparation planner look like? (8 marks)
  1. How might constructive debate benefit Marcus in this case? (8 marks)
  1. What proposal could Marcus suggest to Petrov to resolve this problem and why? (8 marks)

Essay 1

“We need to project a strong image in this negotiation. I don’t want the other side to think we are weak,” said Chen.

“That’s all very well,” countered Lee, “but what if that comes across as aggressive. It’s a new supplier, and if we play this correctly, we could have a long relationship with them.”

“Exactly, if we are weak to start with, we might never recover!” warned Chen.

Why do 51 percent of people play red in the opening round of the red-blue game?

(20 marks)

Essay 2

Isobel needs to make a final sale today to take her over her sales quota for the quarter and earn her the much-needed bonus for her upcoming holiday. There is a ‘hot prospect’ customer in the shop looking at buying a camcorder and has indicated if there is a deal to be done, he might buy it today. Unfortunately, the model which the customer, Mr. Morrice, is looking at has a very tight margin, and Isobel can’t afford to knock too much off the asking price without attracting the wrath of her Store Manager. The camera price is £299, and she can go as low as £260, but no more for this model. Mr. Morrice has made an offer of only £250. It is close to her exit, but Isobel just cannot sell the camera for that price.

Describe the above-negotiating problem concerning Distributive Bargaining, and explain how Isobel might improve her negotiation performance.

(20 marks)

Essay 3

Neville was not at all pleased. He had covered for Irene several times when she needed to meet her daughter from school early, and he had worked late twice last year helping Irene cope with a sudden inrush of orders close to the Christmas holiday. Because of this, he had felt confident that Irene would return the favor now that he needed to leave early to collect his car from the garage. Irene met his call for assistance with an uncomprehending stare, and then with a mumbled pretext of some reason or other as to why she could not cover for him.

Three months later Irene asked Neville again whether he would cover for her. This time Neville said “No” and did not explain why.

Describe which principle of influence was not met by Irene and explain why Neville rejected her request. What is the process of “rejection – then – retreat” and might this have been used by Irene to achieve Neville’s help? Suggest an alternative influence approach that Irene could have used on Neville.

(20 marks)

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