The Program on Negotiation would like to honor the memory of beloved colleague Howard Raiffa by highlighting his vast contributions to the field of decision making, negotiation, and dispute resolution. Howard Raiffa was one of the four principal co-founders of the Harvard Kennedy School and the Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Managerial Economics Emeritus, a joint chair of the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School. For his many contributions to decision science and conflict resolution, he was bestowed with an honorary PhD from several institutions, including Harvard University.
At Harvard Law School, Professor Raiffa worked with Program on Negotiation co-founder and co-author of Getting to YES, Roger Fisher, to teach the Harvard Faculty Seminar on Negotiations. He also worked with Professor Fisher and others to launch the Program on Negotiation in 1983.
Program on Negotiation faculty member James Sebenius wrote an article for the Negotiation Journal in 2009 titled, “Negotiation Journal, “Negotiation Analysis: From Games to Inferences to Decisions to Deals,” which offers an in-depth analysis of Howard Raiffa’s research.
Using applied mathematics and statistics, his specialities, Howard Raiffa and his cohorts pioneered the “Managerial Economics” era of business school education by applying mathematics to the chaotic process of decision making to discover how people can make more optimal choices. Harvard Business School’s second year elective in the Negotiation, Organization & Markets unit is based upon Professor Raiffa’s work.
The Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria said of Howard Raiffa: “An epitome of One Harvard before the phrase was coined, he had interests that spanned boundaries. Here at HBS, he was a mentor to many and a friend and colleague to many more. His work and legacy are being carried on by the thousands of students around the world whom he taught, advised, and nurtured. His insights, achievements, and kindnesses will never be forgotten by anyone who had the pleasure and privilege of knowing him.”