The Roommates' Decision
3 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2017
This case is designed for use in undergraduate courses that cover negotiation skills and organizational behavior. Its relatable context and integrated lessons fits well within modules on multiperson situations, coalitions, and conflict resolution. It particularly complements "Kicks Inc.: Background Information" (UVA-QA-0739) well, and could be used as a precursor for complicated multiperson negotiations and situations.Devin Moore, Jessie Taylor, and Alex Johnson are three students at Jefferson University who decided early in their junior year to room together in an off-campus house for their senior year. In a rush to secure housing, the three have signed a lease for a house without working out any details. The house has three distinct bedrooms that differ in size, natural light, closet size, and charm. Each roommate has different preferences, but each prefers one bedroom to the alternatives. The roommates also must discuss additional elements associated with living together, including parking, utilities, and rent—which will further complicate the discussion.
Rev. Sept. 19, 2016
The Roommates' Decision
Along with many other students at Jefferson University, Devin Moore, Jessie Taylor, and Alex Johnson began contemplating their living situations for their senior year in the early months of their junior year. The off-campus options at Jefferson University were diverse: apartments, townhouses, and houses were available in Marytown, a vibrant college community. The most desirable housing, however, was often taken before the middle of October of the year prior to occupancy. This competitive housing market, which featured limited supply and high demand, made decisions about housing difficult and often rushed, especially if one wanted to sign a lease for a highly coveted safe, clean living situation that was close to classes as well as to The Edge—an area across from campus lined with shops, restaurants, and bars that was a popular hangout for all students.
After the Outdoors Club's first hosted hike of the year, Moore, Taylor, and Johnson carpooled back to Jefferson. During the car ride, they got caught up and shared stories from the summer. The three discussed the unpacking and the decorating of the current rooms that awaited them when they got back to school and jokingly brought up housing for next year. Although it was only mid-September, the three began talking seriously about living together next year. All three had known each other since their freshman year, when they had joined the Outdoors Club. They knew that they needed to decide on living arrangements soon, and they believed the three of them could live together happily. Moore and Johnson already knew they were compatible because they had been roommates for the last two years. Johnson was also excited to have someone with whom to drive to soccer practice because Taylor was also part of the university's club team.
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Keywords: negotiation, coalition, housing, university housing, multiperson, tradeoffs
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