Sample Essay on Midwestern Contemporary Art

Midwestern Contemporary Art


Being the largest museum in the nation that deals in the collection and the exhibition of modern art, the Midwestern Contemporary Art (MCA) has been dedicated to the development of a new building that will be essential in the development of its expansion goals and objectives. In his reign as the chairperson of the museum, Peter and Catherine Smith pledge $5 million to help in the construction of new building. However, after disappointing and distasting years of leadership considering the opposition from Keith Schmidt, Peter decided to relinquish his position as the chairperson of the museum and he together with his wife Catherine they disappeared failing to honor the $5 million pledge. There have been suggestions that the couple should be sued on legal grounds since pledges are legally binding and failure to honor them may lead to the collapse of bankruptcy of the museum. There are members of the museum’s board who have argued that a law suit will cost the museum additional expenses while at the same time developing a negative reputation of the company to potential and existing donors.

Goals of the original negotiations

In the original negotiation, the board members considerd that it was important for the museum to develop expansionist ideas on how to improve on the capacity and the ability of the organization to operate in accordance with the demands of different technological improvements. The construction of this building could only be made possible through a process of resource mobilization. Nonprofit organizations such as MCA acquire most of its finances from donors and pledges from different individuals within the organization or from members of the public. This means that for the organization to experience any form of growth, it would be important for the board members to seek ways of rallying identified personalities and organizations to contribute towards the reject. Peter and Caroline Smith pledged to donate $5 million to MCA to help in building an extension of the museum. Inasmuch as there are board members who have demanded the need for a legal suit to compel the couple to honor their pledge, there is need to consider non legal measures of acquiring the financial pledges.

How to collect the $5 million pledge from the Smiths

The Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is the only approach that can be used in the acquisition of the pledge without involving legal procedures. Through this approach it will be easier for the organization to reach an agreement with the Smiths where none of the parties feels oppressed or exploited (Brett, 2007). One of the approaches that can be used is by developing an agreement with the smiths on the possibility of honoring their pledges in installments. This will provide the family with a perfect opportunity on how to ensure that they are honest in terms of keeping promises. When this approach is used as a BATNA, it will reveal to the Smiths that the organization is not entirely interested in the objectives of the negotiations but on the determination on the best course of action that can be taken to realize an objective within a specific time frame (Brett, 2007).

The possible effects of the failure by the Smiths to honor the pledge may also be used as an effective way of ensuring that the couple pays the money in a manner perceived as polite. Such an explanation will, provide the couple with an alternative of setting the terms of payments according their desires. This is aimed at minimizing the possibility that an unfavorable agreement or one that is not in favor of their best interest (Schneider & Honeyman, 2006). By setting the terms and conditions it will also be possible for the Smiths to give some suggestions on how the money that are to donate will serve the organizations. Providing their terms of agreement will give them a sense of authority on the nature of expenses that the organization must be involved in (Thompson, 2013).

Through BATNA it will be possible to develop a plethora of alternatives that would not be possible through the legal procedures. This will permit flexibility and provide more rooms for innovation. When the Smiths will understand that they are in possession of a strong BATNA they will operate in accordance with the powers provided since they possess a great alternative that they could choose or resort to if the organization fails to help them reach a reasonable agreement (Thompson, 2013).

For the Smiths to be able to honor their pledge, it will be important for the organization to develop packages on how to ensure mutual benefits. These benefits will include payments of the pledge in installments to increase the possibility that the money will be paid at the comfort of the couple. The organization will benefit by receiving the money while the couple will benefit by developing a long-term plan on how to the deliver the payments (Schneider & Honeyman, 2006).


Brett, J. M. (2007). Negotiating globally: How to negotiate deals, resolve disputes, and make

decisions across cultural boundaries. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Schneider, A. K., & Honeyman, C. (2006). The negotiator’s fieldbook: The desk reference for the

experienced negotiator. Washington, DC: ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.

Thompson, L. (2013). The truth about negotiations. Upper Saddle River, N.J: FTPress.