The Program on Negotiation (PON) is a university consortium dedicated to developing the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. As a community of scholars and practitioners, PON serves a unique role in the world negotiation community. Founded in 1983 as a special research project at Harvard Law School, PON includes faculty, students, and staff from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University.
At PON, we are committed to developing the theory and practice of negotiation, to nurturing the next generation of negotiation teachers and scholars, and to helping students become more effective negotiators. We accomplish this through research, seminars, courses, conferences, publications and special events.
We believe that negotiation is an art and a science. Through different lenses, including law, business, government, psychology, economics, anthropology, the arts, and education, members of the PON community seek to better understand negotiations. Why did a deal not close that would have benefited both companies? Why did one country resolve differences peacefully, while another fought a bloody civil war? Why are some divorcing couples able to mediate their separation amicably, while others fight painfully and expensively in court?
There will always be conflict. In fact, many remark ruefully that conflict is a “growth industry.” Knowing how to negotiate to solve problems, make deals, build consensus, avoid violence, and manage intractable disputes is a competency that is vitally needed in the world.
The goal of reducing conflict and violence can seem like an impossible dream. At PON, we have the privilege of doing work in service to that mission, believing that increasing our understanding of negotiation and conflict management is one essential step forward.
Finally, welcome to our website. We invite you to explore the many resources it offers, and to find ways to connect to PON and each other whether you are a faculty member, student, practitioner, or a member of the public developing a budding interest in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution.
Samuel Williston Professor of Law, Harvard Law School Chair, Program on Negotiation
Managing Director, Program on Negotiation
To download a copy of the 2011-2012 PON Annual Report please click here.