To learn more about negotiation biases, let’s look back to July of 2018 when the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Elizabeth Rowe, became the first Massachusetts resident to sue her employer under a new state law designed to address the persistent pay gap between men and women.
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Implicit and explicit bias are common, whether the guilty parties are aware of it, or not. On July 14, 2015, American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), the U.S. financing division of Japanese car manufacturer Honda, agreed to refund $24 million to minority borrowers to settle federal investigations. AHFC was alleged to have racially discriminated against the … Read More
Suppose that two entrepreneurs, a marketing expert and an IT specialist, are thinking about merging their consulting firms to create a greater synergy of services. As their talks unfold, each wonders how much information to disclose. Should they bring up discussions with other potential partners?
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Vividness bias is the tendency to overweight the vivid and prestigious attributes of a decision, such as salary or an employer’s status, and underweight less impressive issues, such as location or rapport with colleagues. Let’s talk about a clear vividness bias example from 2015 in Major League Baseball.
For the New York Mets, it was hard … Read More
Q: I’ve pitched many great ideas for change to my organization, but management never takes action on any of them. Even when my organization specifically requests ideas for new products or processes, it’s always a colleague’s idea that gets chosen over mine. Negotiators are good at persuasion. Do you have any tips to increase my … Read More
Have you planned your curriculum and purchased your teaching material for next semester? We’re here to help you to find the best negotiation exercises and teaching aids for your negotiation classes.
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Immediately before the abbreviated Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, televised live on June 10, 2020, league commissioner Rob Manfred made a statement acknowledging the harm of systemic racism and inequality, and said that he and team owners would be “active participants in social change.” As he spoke, each MLB team’s general manager (GM) or head … Read More
In our negotiations and beyond, all of us engage in behaviors that create value—as well as actions that destroy it. Ethical leadership requires us to become more aware of the harm we cause in the world, work to reduce it, and to encourage those we lead to do the same.
Consider the Sackler family, which owns … Read More
Before and during your negotiation, think about who you’ve chosen as a reference group against which you measure yourself. Did you select the group purely to enhance your own status, or did you try to make a more appropriate comparison? What are your negotiation skills in business communication?
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No matter how strong their credentials or negotiating skills, women are less likely than men
to be chosen for jobs historically held by men, such as positions in leadership, science, and engineering, past research shows. In a new study, University of Vienna assistant professor Steffen Keck and National University of Singapore visiting assistant professor Wenjie Tang … Read More
Social comparisons – the assessments we make about how we measure up to others – are key to understanding how status operates in negotiation. These comparisons, which signal concern about relative status, have a profound impact at the bargaining table.
To make social comparisons, first we choose a reference group against which we can measure ourselves. … Read Social Comparisons in Negotiation
Richard Zeckhauser and Program on Negotiation faculty member Iris Bohnet have found that negotiators leave substantial amounts of money on the table due to betrayal aversion. They conducted experiments in which they compared people’s willingness to take risks in two decision situations. The first situation is a lottery whose outcome is based on chance. Participants … Read Measuring the Cost of Betrayal Aversion
In a panel discussion on February 3 at the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard faculty members shared their reflections on this year’s annual summit of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Panelists included Dr. Daniel Shapiro of the Harvard Negotiation Project, as well as Kennedy School faculty Charles W. Eliot … Read More
While negotiations are inherently risky, there are proven ways to reduce risk and improve your odds of success. To do so, you must focus on the very basis of your relationship with the other party: trust.
Think about a time when you lost trust in a fellow negotiator. Did you try to renegotiate the terms of … Read Avoid conflict and broken trust
Max H. Bazerman (Program on Negotiation Executive Committee member and professor at the Harvard Business School) recently was quoted in an op-ed in The New York Times entitled, “Let’s All Feel Superior.”
In this piece, columnist David Brooks explains how some people have difficulty processing horrific events. Our natural tendencies to self-deceive come into play and … Read More
Adapted from “What Happens When Women Don’t Ask,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, June 2008.
Some negotiation research has found that men generally initiate negotiations to advance their own interests much more often than women do. Yet researchers also have identified certain contexts in which women routinely negotiate and achieve outcomes that match or exceed … Read When women negotiators thrive
Recent research by Harvard professors Iris Bohnet and Kathleen McGinn, and Harvard Business school doctoral student Pinar Fletcher, explores the relationship between gender, competitiveness and cooperation.
In this HBS Working Knowledge article, Bohnet and McGinn discuss the results of their work.
Read the article here.
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Adapted from “Don’t Get Stuck in the Status Trap,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, September 2009.
Graduating MBA students often tend to choose their first postgraduate jobs based on vivid aspects of their job offers, such as a high starting salary or the prestige of the firm, Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman has … Read How to Avoid the Status Trap
Author: Sue Shellenbarger
It’s never easy to ask for a raise or extra perks, especially during a recession. To make matters worse, many workers have trouble negotiating a new compensation package on their own behalf. In this column, Iris Bohnet, a public policy professor and vice chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, … Read The Economy’s Looking Up: So, Can I Have a Raise?
Adapted from “How to Build Trust at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Carol’s longtime doctor diagnoses her with a serious illness and recommends immediate, aggressive treatment. Carol would like to seek a second opinion, but she doesn’t want to offend her doctor—who, after all, has always provided her with excellent care. Carol … Read Change the Trust Default
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Will Honor Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari with the 2010 Great Negotiator Award
Co-sponsored with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Great Negotiator Event Offers Real-World Negotiation Discussion to All Students
For Immediate Release
CAMBRIDGE, MA (September 21, 2010) The Program on Negotiation … Read More
Adapted from “How Much Should You Trust?” by Iris Bohnet (professor, Harvard Kennedy School) and Stephan Meier (professor, Columbia Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
What’s the best way to cope with a fellow negotiator who has betrayed your trust? Ignoring the problem is rarely the best solution.
When you distrust someone, you’re forced to … Read Trusting from Square One
Author: Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; director of the Women and Public Policy Program; associate director of the Harvard Decision Science
The effects of social comparisons in ultimatum bargaining are explored in this paper. Iris Bohnet examines their relevance in general and over time. The economic significance of these effects is examined, … Read Social Comparisons In Ultimatum Bargaining
Adapted from “The Payoff of Trust,” by Iris Bohnet (Professor, Harvard Kennedy School), first published in the “Negotiation newsletter.”
It’s natural to fear trust betrayal, or the violation of pivotal expectations of trustworthiness. Recent corporate and religious scandals have tragically demonstrated the substantial costs of such betrayals. Victims suffer emotional harm, and their ability to trust … Read To trust or not to trust
Reciprocation tactics are tried and true. Politicians “logroll” votes on pet projects, companies offer free product samples to consumers, and charitable organizations include small gifts when soliciting donations. According to the norm of reciprocity, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice in return, and vice versa.
In the realm of negotiation, you can gain many … Read Be sure to give at the office