Negotiation Roundtable

(a Harvard Negotiation Project initiative)
Directors: Jim Sebenius and David Lax

How can we work to improve the analysis and practice of negotiation, especially in managerial settings? This is the central question that has driven the work of the Negotiation Roundtable, a group of faculty, senior graduate students, and negotiation practitioners. Roundtable participants review management cases, books, and other materials focused on negotiation practice; undertake studies on particular aspects of negotiation; work to develop and advance the teaching of negotiation at the graduate school level; and provide negotiation advice on a variety of real-life cases.

Over the years, Negotiation Roundtable collaborations have influenced a wide range of scholarly projects, including many articles, case studies and well-known books that have contributed to the negotiation literature. These include Howard Raiffa’s The Art and Science of Negotiation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press) and David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius’s The Manager as Negotiator: Bargaining for Cooperation and Competitive Gain (New York: The Free Press) and 3D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals (Boston: Harvard Business Press), and Negotiation Analysis: The Science and Art of Collaborative Decision Making (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press). In honor of Raiffa’s retirement from teaching, a festschrift was published in his honor: Wise Choices: Decisions, Games, and Negotiations, edited by Richard J. Zeckhauser, Ralph L. Keeney, and James K. Sebenius (Boston:Harvard Business School Press).

In different years, the Roundtable has picked themes around which to organize its activities and publications. Sustained themes have included entrepreneurial negotiations, negotiating long term agreements such as joint ventures and strategic alliances, and n-party environmental negotiations and disputes (especially around CFCs and global warming). The Negotiation Roundtable currently meets on an ad hoc basis when it appears to be the right forum for a complex negotiation or dispute resolution challenge.