Negotiations and Change From the Workplace to Society

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Managing change involves negotiation. Recognition of the interdependence between negotiations and change in the workplace and society has led to an explosion of research, writing and teaching on these topics. In 1965, Richard Walton and Robert McKersie laid the analytical foundation for much of this activity and innovation in negotiation practice with their landmark study, A Behavioral Theory of Labor Negotiations. Since that time, Walton and McKersie’s ideas have been applied to a wide variety of situations beyond labor-management negotiations.

In Negotiations and Change: From the Workplace to Society, experts on negotiations, management, and organizational behavior take stock of what has been learned since 1965. They extend and apply the concepts of Walton and McKersie and of other leaders in the study of negotiation to a broad range of business, professional, and personal concerns: workplace teams, conflict management systems, corporate governance, and environmental disputes. While building on those foundations, the essays demonstrate the continued robustness and relevance of Walton and McKersie’s behavioral theory by suggesting ways it could be used to improve the management of change.

Co-editors Thomas Kochan and David Lipsky divide the book into five sections. Part I contains an overview of Walton and McKersie’s basic concepts. Part II covers the changing world of work. Part III explores the transformed role and scope of negotiations in labor-management relations. Part IV applies the concepts to negotiations in other arenas, including environmental, public policy and identity-based negotiations. Returning to its roots, the volume concludes in Part V with a retrospective by Walton and Robert about the future of negotiations.

Negotiations and Change includes essays from leading scholars in the field of negotiation affiliated with the Program on Negotiation: Max Bazerman, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Robert McKersie, Mary Rowe, and Lawrence Susskind.



Thomas A. Kochan is the George M. Bunker Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management.

David B. Lipsky is Professor in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and Director of the Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University.


Negotiations and Change is a terrific guide to new negotiations issues in the workplace and beyond.” — Peter Cappelli, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

“New forms of negotiation are being used creatively to solve problems involving the workplace, the environment, and corporate governance. Read all about it in this fine collection.” — Harry Katz, Cornell University

Negotiations and Change Attributes

Author: Thomas A. Kochan and David B. Lipsky, eds.
Publisher: Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003.