HA4300D – Healthcare Management and Supervision Discussion 10: Negotiating Discussion Topic Review the case at the end of Chapter 30, “Case: An Ultimatum.” What has Carl Smithers done to his own negotiating position by delivering an ultimatum? What are you going to do or suggest doing if available resources continue to forbid adding any new staff? Is there anything positive to immediately come of Smithers’ ultimatium? If so, what? Umiker’s Management Skills for the New Health Care Supervisor—Vitalsource #magicMAN61

Title: The Implications of Utilizing Ultimatums in Negotiations


Negotiation is an essential skill in healthcare management and supervision, as it enables leaders to collaborate, make decisions, and resolve conflicts effectively. However, the manner in which negotiation is conducted can significantly impact the outcome. This discussion will analyze the case of Carl Smithers, who delivers an ultimatum in a negotiation scenario, and evaluate the implications of such an approach.

Effect of Delivering an Ultimatum on Carl Smithers’ Negotiating Position:

In the case of Carl Smithers, delivering an ultimatum has potentially compromised his negotiating position. An ultimatum is a statement that imposes certain conditions and deadlines, leaving no room for further discussion or compromise. By presenting an ultimatum, Smithers may risk polarizing the opposing party or damaging the future relationship between the two parties involved. In negotiation, a collaborative and win-win approach is often more fruitful than a win-lose mindset.

One possible consequence of delivering an ultimatum is that it may lead the opposing party to become defensive or adopt a “dig-in” stance. This defensive response might result in a breakdown of communication and lead to an impasse in the negotiation process. Additionally, ultimatums can create a negative emotional climate, hampering productive dialogues and inhibiting the exploration of alternative solutions.

Furthermore, Smithers’ ultimatum may convey an impression of inflexibility or an unwillingness to consider innovative strategies. This rigidity may hinder the development of creative problem-solving approaches or compromise future negotiations. By adopting a more collaborative and flexible approach, negotiators can create an environment conducive to productive discussions, encourage information sharing, and promote mutual understanding.

Alternative Strategies for Dealing with Resource Constraints:

If the available resources continue to prevent the addition of new staff, it is essential to explore alternative strategies to address the staffing needs in the healthcare organization. Here are some suggestions for consideration:

1. Redefining Roles and Responsibilities: Analyze the existing staff structure to determine if roles can be redefined or expanded to optimize current resources. This approach allows for a more efficient utilization of staff capabilities without increasing the overall headcount.

2. Improving Workflow and Process Efficiency: Identify inefficiencies in existing workflows and processes that may contribute to resource restrictions. Streamlining operations, eliminating redundant tasks, and implementing technology solutions can enhance productivity and alleviate staffing concerns.

3. Investing in Staff Development: Enhance the skills and competencies of existing staff through professional development opportunities. Providing training programs and educational resources can enable the current workforce to assume additional responsibilities, thus reducing the need for new hires.

4. Collaborating with External Stakeholders: Explore partnerships with other healthcare organizations or community agencies to share resources and staff. This collaborative approach can help address staffing shortages while fostering a sense of unity within the healthcare ecosystem.

Immediate Positive Outcomes of Smithers’ Ultimatum:

Despite its potential drawbacks, Smithers’ ultimatum may yield some immediate positive outcomes. First, by clearly expressing his position and delivering an ultimatum, Smithers conveys a strong commitment to resolving the staffing issue promptly. This assertiveness may signal to the opposing party the seriousness of the matter and create a sense of urgency for its resolution.

Moreover, the ultimatum may serve as a catalyst for raising awareness about the importance of adequate staffing and the impact it has on patient care and organizational performance. It can prompt stakeholders to critically evaluate the current resource allocation and prioritize the need for additional staff. This increased awareness may lead to more constructive discussions and potentially open opportunities for negotiation or resource reallocation.


In negotiation, ultimatums should be used cautiously, as the potential negative impact on the negotiating position must be considered. While Smithers may have created challenges for himself by delivering an ultimatum, alternative strategies can be employed to address resource constraints in healthcare organizations. By adopting a collaborative and flexible approach, healthcare managers can foster productive negotiations and explore innovative solutions that benefit all parties involved.