Prizes & Awards

Winner of the 2020 EFMD Case Writing Competition in the Category “Women in Business”


The Dual Career Negotiation is a two-party, multi-issue role-play based on the true story of a real couple. Alma and Pierre (not their real names) are employed by the same company, Rikoff Projects, a French firm specializing in the design and construction of large-scale infrastructure. When Alma is assigned to a major project in Kuala Lumpur, Pierre seeks a position with Rikoff in Malaysia to support her career progression and enable them to live together. Then her project is cancelled. The company no longer has a job for Alma in Kuala Lumpur, only for Pierre. It can offer her a position in Dubai at a higher rank and higher pay – equivalent to their current earnings combined – but can’t offer Pierre a job there. If they stay in Kuala Lumpur, Alma has no job so their income will be halved. If they move to Dubai, Pierre has no job but Alma’s new salary will almost double what they currently make. The couple need to discuss what to do about their respective careers and their future together.

Teaching objectives

The role-play enables students to practice managing interpersonal relationships while simultaneously handling the substance of a negotiation. The teacher should cover the following points when de-briefing the class: • How traditional gender roles and family responsibilities intersect with professional careers • The unequal division of labour – unpaid in the home – within dual-income couples • A gender gap in expectations and perceptions of careers and family responsibilities • The importance of clarifying unstated assumptions regarding career prioritization • Managing the substance, the relationship, and the process of communication in a negotiation. The case comes with PowerPoint slides. The script to accompany the slides and supporting references can be found in the notes underneath each slide.

  • Dual careers
  • Gender
  • Negotiation
  • Stereotyping
  • Work-family conflict
  • Diversity
  • Inclusion
  • Equity
  • Family roles
  • Civil engineering
  • Q22021
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