A follow-up note from overseas thanking BoC for our involvement with an academic survey about the NHL lockout:
How are you?
Back in October, we conducted a study among NHL fans, in which we asked some weird questions about people’s attitudes toward the lockout and the disputing sides. Thanks a lot for helping us reach fans by posting a link to the study on the blog! It was extremely helpful. Participation was very good - we got a total of around 800 responses, and passionate ones at that. A few select comments we got at the end of the surveys (some are paraphrased):
Many respondents were interested to know what we were testing in these surveys. The subject of our study was the practice of negotiating parties to use representatives to bargain on their behalf. We wanted to see whether people view a negotiation between representatives differently from how they view a negotiation between the interested groups themselves. The CBA negotiation was an almost perfect case study for this, since both sides were mostly negotiating indirectly through people from the outside, in the sense that Bettman is not an NHL owner (the Phoenix situation aside) and Fehr is not a player.
- We fans are suckers, and Bettman knows that. We are faithful and like a battered spouse we will come back.
- Greedy players and greedy owners. A pox on both of their houses!
- They should treat the negotiation as like a tie and have a shootout. Take one negotiator/owner/player out and shoot them until such time as the remaining agree to a CBA.
- Let the NHL know that I am mad as hell and will not take this anymore.
- If you get a chance to talk to Gary Bettman please tell him he is a bum. Please ask him to step down on behalf of the fans. Oh, I forgot he gives a s*** about us out here, the ones who are putting the money in these greedy bastards pockets.
- If this is the NHL conducting this survey, F*** YOU.
- LET'S PLAY HOCKEY!!!!!!!!
We conducted two surveys, the one you posted on BoC and another one, which we ran in December. Each survey had two versions, one asking about the process from the perspectives of the NHL owners and players and one taking the perspectives of Gary Bettman and Don Fehr. The results of the first survey indicated that people viewed Bettman and Fehr as tougher to negotiate with (i.e., less cooperative, more likely to take advantage of the other side, less committed to reaching a mutually beneficial solution, etc.) than their constituent groups. Consequently, people were less optimistic about a quick resolution of the dispute when thinking about those two than when imagining the players and owners negotiating. Basically, they viewed Bettman and Fehr as professional jerks whose job is to get the best deal for the people who hired them, while increasing the risk of not reaching an agreement at all.
In the second survey we wanted to tap people’s intuitions regarding the sides’ social values in the negotiation. In other words, do people see the NHL and NHLPA as more competitive or selfish, or, alternatively, more cooperative or altruistic when negotiating through representatives. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any meaningful differences there.
Anyway, thanks a lot for helping us out, and thanks to the readers who participated in our surveys. The most important thing is that hockey is back, and we don’t have to hear about things like HRR anymore. If anyone wants to get in touch with us, here are our contact details:
Not sure if anybody over here really wants to follow up, but hey -- the invitation has been made. :)