Kathleen McGinn

Kathleen McGinn

Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Harvard Business School

McGinn teaches M.B.A.- and executive-level courses on negotiations, power and influence, and interpersonal decision making at Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation. She studies the interplay between interpersonal relationships and social institutions in negotiations, decisions, and institutional change within and across organizations. Collaborating with other researchers within and outside HBS, she investigates the effects of demographically similar mentors and peers on professionals’ career choices, explores the ways in which corporate and entrepreneurial women in top leadership positions negotiate for and claim authority, and studies women’s work in different settings to learn how changes in gender roles affect other social institutions.

McGinn’s research is published in academic journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Games and Economic Behavior, as well as numerous book chapters and practitioner outlets. She advises firms and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, decision making, and employment relations. Before coming to Harvard, she taught at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and was a general manager and labor relations manager in private industry and the public sector.


B.A., Seattle University

M.B.A., Seattle University

Ph.D., Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management

Research interests

Conflict management, gender, interactive communication, negotiation, relationships

Selected publications

  • With Deborah Kolb. “Beyond Gender and Negotiation to Gendered Negotiations.” Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 2, no. 1 (February 2009): 1–16.
  • With Hannah Riley Bowles. “Gender in Job Negotiations: A Two-Level Game.” Negotiation Journal 24, no. 4 (October 2008): 393–410.
  • With Hannah Riley Bowles. “Untapped Potential in the Study of Negotiation and Gender Inequality in Organizations.” Ch. 2 in Academy of Management Annals, vol. 2, 99–132. Psychology Press, 2008.
  • With Corinne Bendersky. “Incompatible Assumptions: Barriers to Producing Multidisciplinary Knowledge in Communities of Scholarship.” Harvard Business School Working Paper, no. 08-044, December 2007.

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