Harvard MLD220M Fundamentals of Negotiation Analysis

MLD220MCourse description

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of negotiation analysis. Being a skillful negotiator is a pre-requisite for creating public value. Analytic and interpersonal negotiation skills are essential for building operational capacity, legitimacy, and support for important policy choices and collective action. To be effective agents of social change – especially in organizations, enterprises and networks where formal authority is insufficient for advancing policy goals – policy entrepreneurs must mobilize coalitions across diverse interest groups to negotiate agreements that are acceptable to a broad range of stakeholders. Public managers often face strong resistance from capable and well-resourced adversaries who have a vested interest in the status quo or an outcome counter to the manager’s goals. Policy analysts and managers who are able to anticipate barriers to agreement, assess no-agreement alternatives, diagnose incentives and underlying interests, engage in backward mapping and sequencing to build winning coalitions, and know the value of thinking strategically acting opportunistically to re-set the negotiation table, are better-equipped to see their ideas put into action. Through analysis of case studies, students will apply the negotiation-analytic framework to ongoing, real-world negotiation challenges. Specifically, students will examine the structure, context and the role of key stake-holders in a broad range of public policy negotiations, both domestic and international, to diagnose barriers to agreement and opportunities for crafting innovative policy solutions. In weekly negotiation exercises, students will address the challenges of creating and claiming value, managing conflict escalation, and building deal-driving coalitions to generate robust, sustainable agreements. Cumulative, experiential skill-building opportunities will allow students to practice their powers of persuasion, experiment with a variety of tactics and strategies, be exposed to situations involving a shifting mix of cooperation and competition, and face important ethical choices. The exercises will strengthen students’ ability to set the negotiating table, manage trade-offs and concessions necessary for agreement, and secure commitment to favorable outcomes.


Brian Mandell, Fall 2015


http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/teaching-courses/course-listing/mld-220m-a and http://www.hks.harvard.edu/syllabus/MLD-220MA.pdf, accessed 29 December 2015.

Link to syllabus uploaded to the Atlas


Additional material from the syllabus

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of negotiation. The ability to negotiate successfully rests on a combination of analytical and interpersonal skills.

  • Analytical skills are important because negotiators cannot develop promising strategies without a deep understanding of context, structure, relevant interests, opportunities, barriers to agreement, and possible moves and countermoves in any negotiation.
  • Interpersonal skills are important because negotiation is essentially a process of communication, relationship and trust building, and mutual persuasion.

The course structure of MLD-220M incorporates both of these skill sets.

Required Textbook: Lax, David & James Sebenius. 3-D Negotiation; Powerful tools to change the game in your most important deals. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. 2006

Suggested Reading: Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. New York, New York: Penguin Group LLC. 2014

Week-by-week listing of topics and assigned readings

Week 1: Introduction to Negotiation Analysis

Wheeler, M. “Negotiation Analysis: An Introduction,” HBS Publication #9-801-156

Wheeler, M. “Learning to Negotiate” HBS Publication #N9-912-004

Pages 1-15 in Student Workbook.

Students should make significant progress in reading in “3-D Negotiation: Powerful tools to change the game in your most important deals” to be read through Chapter 9 (page 1-147) prior to Class Session 2

Week 2: Distributive Bargaining – Claiming Value in Negotiation

Wriggins, Howard W. “Up for Auction: Malta Bargains with Great Britain, 1971.” In The Fifty Percent Solution. Ed. Zartman, I. William. Garden City: Doubleday, 1976: 208-234.

Lax, David & James Sebenius. 3-D Negotiation; Powerful tools to change the game in your most important deals. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press. 2006. Chapters 1-9 (Pages 1-147)

Allred, K.G., “The High Cost of Low Trust,” Negotiation, June 2004

“Will you behave ethically?” Negotiation. Vol. 16, No. 11, November 2013.

“Acting Up: Improve Your Hard-bargaining Performance.” Negotiation 15.10 (2012).

“What is Leadership in a Negotiation? Look to Taylor Swift,” at http://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/leadership-skills-daily/what-is-leadership-in-a-negotiation-look-to-taylor-swift/

Negotiation exercise: Mapletech-Yazawa

Debrief Mapletech-Yazawa exercise and discuss readings.

“Negotiate for what you need tsucceed,” Negotiation Briefings, April, 2015, pp. 1-3.

Allred, K. and Mandell, B. “Positive Illusions that Backfire: The Implications of Seeing Yourself as More Cooperative than Your Counterpart Views You,” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Association of Conflict Management, June 2000, St. Louis, MO, pp. 1-4

Schweitzer, M. “Aim High, Improve Negotiation Results,” Negotiation, Vol. 9, No. 8, Aug. 2006

Kolb, D. and Williams, J. “Introduction,” Chapter 1, The Shadow Negotiation: How Women Can Master The Hidden Agendas That Determine Bargaining Success, Kolb, D. and Williams, J. (Eds.), Simon & Schuster, 2000, pp. 15-38.

“The best way to eliminate the gender pay gap? Ban salary negotiations.” Washington Post, 21 May 2015, at http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/05/21/the-best-way-to-way-to-eliminate-the-gender-pay-gap-ban-salary-negotiations/

Week 3: Value Creation – Identifying Shared, Opposed and Tradable Interests; Managing the Tension between Creating and Claiming Value

Case Analysis: Showdown on the Waterfront: West Coast Port Dispute

McGinn, K., Pradel, D., “Showdown on the Waterfront: the West Coast Port Dispute (A),” HBS Case #9-904-045.

McGinn, K., Pradel, D., “Showdown on the Waterfront: the West Coast Port Dispute (B),” HBS Case #9-904-067.

Pages 34-35 in Student Workbook.

Galinsky, A. and Liljenquist, K. “Putting On the Pressure: How tMake Threats in Negotiations,” Negotiation, Vol. 7, No. 12, Dec. 2004.

Mnookin, R. et al. “Psychological and Cultural Barriers,” Chapter 6 in Beyond Winning, 2000, pp. 156-166. (focus on pp. 156-161 and 166-172; skim pp. 161-166).

Pages 37-48 in Student Workbook.

Negotiation exercise: Congo River Basin Project

Debrief Congo River Basin Project exercise and discuss readings.

“How much should you share?” Negotiation, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp 5-6, Apr. 2010.

“Managing the tension between claiming and creating value.” Negotiation Briefings. Vol. 17, No. 4, April 2014

Week 4: Mobilizing Allies, Adversaries, and Recruitables I: Anticipating Resistance & Vulnerabilities in Building Winning Multiparty Coalitions

Pages 57-67 in Student Workbook.

Negotiation exercise: Seeport

Debrief Seeport and discuss readings.

Susskind, L. “Winning and Blocking Coalitions: Bring Both ta Crowded Table,” Negotiation, Vol. 7, No. 1, Jan 2004.

Bordone, R. “Dealing with a Spoiler? Negotiate Around the Problem,” Negotiation, Vol. 10, No. 1, Jan. 2007.

“How to Cope When the Table Gets Crowded,” Negotiation, Vol. 14, No. 8, August 2011, pp. 1-4

Lovegrove, N and Thomas, M. “Triple Strength Leadership.” Harvard Business Review, September 2013.

To Eager to Close? Avoid the “Agreement Trap,” Negotiation Briefings, Feb, 2015, pp. 4-5.

Fisher, R., and Shapiro, D., Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate, Chapters 1 and 2, Viking, 2005, pp. 3-21 (skim Chapter 1, focus on Chapter 2).

Case Analysis: Gulf War

Watkins, M. and Rosegrant, S. “The Gulf Crisis: Building a Coalition for War,” HKS Case #1264.0 .

Watkins, M. and Rosegrant, S. “Sources of Power in Coalition Building,” Negotiation Journal, Jan, 1996, pp. 47-68.

Pages 51-55 in Student Workbook

“Dealing with Negotiation Power Plays,” Negotiation Briefings, Sept, 2014, pp. 4-5.

Week 5: Mobilizing Allies, Adversaries and Recruitables II: Negotiating the Two Level Game with Stakeholders Across Cultures and Sectors

Case Analysis: Charlene Barshefsky

Sebenius, J. “Charlene Barshefsky (A),” HBS Case #9-801-421.

Sebenius, J. “Charlene Barshefsky (B),” HBS Case #9-801-422.

Pages 68-69 in Student Workbook

Solomon, R. and Quinney, N. American Negotiating Behavior, pp. 19 – 46.

Sebenius, J. “The Hidden Challenge of Cross-Border Negotiations.” Harvard Business Review. March 2002.

Pages 71-78 in Student Workbook.

Thompson, Leigh. “Multiparty Negotiations.” The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator (5th Edition). Boston: Pearson, 2012. pp. 216-223

Bazerman, M. et al, “When ‘Sacred’ Issues are at Stake,” Negotiation Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, January 2008, pp. 113 – 116.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 29 December 2015

Grading rubric for the reflective practice journal kept by each student

Grading Rubric for Harvard MLD220M Reflective Practice Journal