James K. Sebenius

Gordon Donaldson Professor of Business Administration

Unit: Negotiation, Organizations & Markets

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JAMES K. SEBENIUS specializes in analyzing and advising on complex negotiations. He holds the Gordon Donaldson Professorship of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. In 1993, he took the lead in the School's decision--unique among major business schools--to make negotiation a required course in the MBA Program and to create a Negotiation Unit (department) which he headed for several years. The Negotiation Unit grew to several full-time negotiation faculty teaching the required course to over 800 students per year as well as offering advanced dealmaking and negotiation courses to MBAs, doctoral students, and executives. The Negotiation Unit subsequently merged with the School's Organization and Markets Unit to form a new Unit, "Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets (NOM)." Formerly an Associate Professor on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Sebenius also currently serves as Vice Chair and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. At PON, he has taken the lead role in the University's annual Great Negotiator Award program, which has intensively engaged with and brought negotiators such as George Mitchell and Richard Holbrooke to campus.

Early in his career, he co-founded the Negotiation Roundtable, an ongoing forum in which hundreds of varied negotiations have been examined to extract their most valuable lessons. In 2008, Sebenius succeeded Roger Fisher as Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, which currently focuses on China-related negotiations, the Middle East Negotiation Initiative, and the Great Negotiator Study Initiative.  Drawing on this and extensive advisory experience, summarized below, he co-authored (with David Lax) 3-D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals (HBS Press). A previous collaboration with Lax produced The Manager as Negotiator (The Free Press). He is also the author of Negotiating the Law of the Sea (Harvard University Press), co-editor of various works, and author of a number of academic and popular articles as well as many field case studies and multimedia teaching materials.

Sebenius left Harvard in the mid-1980s to work full-time for investment banker Peter G. Peterson, co-founder with Stephen Schwarzman of the New York-based Blackstone Group, now one of the world's leading merchant banking and private equity firms. For several years following Blackstone's launch, Sebenius worked closely with Peterson and Schwarzman, initially as vice president, and later as Special Adviser to the firm after returning to Harvard. In its first year, Blackstone announced transactions valued at over $11 billion and advised over a dozen major corporate clients (including Squibb, American Can Company, American International Group, Inc., Armco Inc., COMSAT, CSX Corp., Eaton Corp., Firestone Tire and Rubber, Saatchi and Saatchi Company PLC, and Sony Corporation) on a wide variety of financial and strategic negotiations including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, recapitalizations, and divestitures. During Sebenius's active involvement with the firm, Blackstone raised almost $1 billion in equity for Blackstone Capital Partners and  acted as primary financial advisor on three of the largest U.S.-Japanese deals to date. In earlier professional roles, Sebenius served from 1976 to 1977 as assistant to Robert White, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, and from 1977 to 1980 with the State Department on the U.S. Delegation to the Law of the Sea negotiations led by Elliot Richardson.

Among various awards, the Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce (Osaka) selected Sebenius as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (under 40) from around the world, an honor that involved an extended visit to Japan culminating in an audience with the new Emperor and Empress. He was elected a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He also served as advisor to the Select Automotive Panel, a joint U.S.-Canadian body, established following the U.S. Canadian Free Trade Agreement to deal with outstanding auto trade issues; the Panel consisted of the heads of the three major auto companies, the heads of the United Auto Workers and the Canadian Auto Workers, as well as numerous auto industry representatives. He was a member of the Auto Parts Advisory Committee, United States Department of Commerce (appointed by the Secretary of Commerce).

Sebenius is a founder and principal of Lax Sebenius: The 3-D Negotiation™ Group LLC, a firm that provides negotiation advisory services to corporations and governments worldwide. Private clients of the Negotiation Group have included large corporations such as American International Group, American Express, AT&T, Lederle Labs, Sandoz, Lucent Technologies, Glaxo, Banamex, GE, GTE, Hewlett Packard, Northwest Water PLC, Novartis, Reuters, Shell, USWest, Time Warner, and Estée Lauder; financial firms such as the 3i plc, Blackstone Group, Charterhouse International, Warburg Pincus, and Exeter Capital; small companies such as American Research and Development, Fusion Systems and Peak Health; as well as government agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the Veterans Administration, the Foreign Ministry of Venezuela, and the Governments of Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sebenius holds a Ph.D. from Harvard in business economics, a masters degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford's Engineering School, and an undergraduate degree (summa cum laude) from Vanderbilt in mathematics and English.


Publications

Books

  1. Negotiating the Law of the Sea: Lessons in the Art and Science of Reaching Agreement

    Keywords: Law; Agreements and Arrangements;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. Negotiating the Law of the Sea: Lessons in the Art and Science of Reaching Agreement. Harvard Economic Studies. Harvard University Press, 1984. (Winner of Harold and Margaret Sprout Award For the best book in the study of international environmental problems presented by International Studies Association.) View Details

Journal Articles

  1. Like a Boss: How Corporate Negotiators Would Handle Nuclear Talks With Iran

    While the Obama team deserves high marks for launching the interim talks, its approach doesn't sell the upside of a comprehensive deal persuasively enough to transform more Iranian skeptics into active supporters—a necessary condition for success if there is an acceptable deal at the next stage. To sway skeptics, I recommend a specific "campaign" to dramatize the value of a deal. Beyond wooing skeptics, a strategy to build a "winning coalition" behind a deal must thwart determined Iranian blockers who will act to prevent meaningful concessions. After six months of talks, there could easily be positive atmospherics but little real progress (as with the round that just ended on March 19, 2014). To avoid escalation, diplomats will likely plead for more time. Granting a six-month extension, an option already built into the current process, could easily become a pattern, turning some version of the interim deal into a de facto stopping point. Meanwhile, as Ali Salehi, head of Iran's nuclear agency, recently asserted, "The iceberg of sanctions is melting while our centrifuges are still working." To mitigate the risk of such "deal drift," the United States and its allies should set a realistic, hard deadline for reaching an acceptable but fairly narrow agreement (one denying Iran what Graham Allison calls an "exercisable nuclear option"). Credibility will be difficult since Iran has often ignored U.S. and allied "red lines." To boost its credibility—and to help win over its own domestic and allied skeptics—the administration should pre-negotiate a harsh new "contingent" sanctions package with Congress and work to ensure buy-in from U.S. allies. The contingent sanctions should avoid the many deal-killing provisions of the recently defeated Menendez-Kirk bill. But instead of signing the sanctions bill immediately, Obama should publicly and forcefully commit to signing it if there is no acceptable agreement by the end of a single six-month extension of the interim deal. While many worry that such contingent sanctions would sour the atmosphere and damage the prospects for the talks, much experience suggests that skillful negotiators can effectively manage both incentives and penalties.

    Keywords: negotiations; nuclear; conflict resolution; winning coalition; blocking coalition; strategy; negotiation; international relations; France; Germany; Iran; China; Great Britain; United States; Russia; Negotiation; International Relations; Conflict and Resolution; Public Administration Industry; France; Germany; Iran; China; Great Britain; United States; Russia;

  2. Nuclear Negotiations With Iran

    Paul Pillar and Robert Reardon challenge the analysis and substantive policy inputs that Sebenius and Singh developed for their article "Is a Nuclear Deal with Iran Possible? An Analytic Framework for the Iran Nuclear Negotiations" (International Security 37, no. 3 (Winter 2012/2013): 52–91). Essentially the Sebenius-Singh article concluded that, as of its writing, a zone of possible agreement did not likely exist between the hardline Iranian regime and its counterparts, the "P5+1," but that such a zone could be created by a combination of cost-imposing and value-enhancing moves that were credible, of the right "currency" and appropriate magnitude. In this follow-on analysis, Sebenius and Singh respond to Pillar and Reardon's objections, elaborate the analytic framework, and update the policy inputs and implications.

    Keywords: negotiation; nuclear proliferation; zone of possible agreement; ZOPA; International Relations; Negotiation; Iran; United States;

    Citation:

    Pillar, Paul R., Robert Reardon, James K. Sebenius, and Michael K. Singh. "Nuclear Negotiations With Iran." International Security 38, no. 1 (Summer 2013): 174–192. View Details
  3. What Roger Fisher Got Profoundly Right: Five Enduring Lessons for Negotiators

    Roger Fisher, who died in 2012, enjoyed a remarkable career that modeled one way that an academic, especially in a professional school such as law or business, could make a significant, positive, and lasting difference in the world. Distinctive aspects of his career included deep engagement with the world of practice, combination of experience with disciplinary insight to generate practically valuable intellectual capital, research output that constituted a decades-long project rather than a series of one-off contributions, constant mentoring and co-authorship with younger colleagues, distillation of advice into accessible and memorable forms, and investment in an institutional legacy. Beyond these aspects, which I elaborated in a companion article in the Harvard Law Review (2013), the present article mainly evaluates Roger Fisher's core contributions to the content or substance of negotiation research, theory, teaching, and practice. The discussion is organized around five thematic prescriptions: 1) focus on the other party's decisions in order to craft a "yesable proposition"; 2) make the full set of underlying "interests" (versus bargaining positions) central; 3) generate fresh, mutually beneficial ideas; 4) pay attention to BATNAs (Best Alternatives To a Negotiated Agreement); and 5) use "objective criteria" to transform negotiations from a test of wills to a search for fairness principles. Fisher did not create knowledge of the deductive, experimental kind most common in social science research. Yet Roger and his colleagues developed frameworks of aphorisms that, on average, respond to widely felt practitioner needs and systematically direct negotiators' focus to aspects of the situation that reliably generate helpful prescriptions. Left to others were careful assessments of the conditions under which his advice applied—and did not. While Fisher's writings are open to various intellectual and practical challenges, it has stimulated much work by other researchers. The memorable propositions that he formulated have probably done more than any other academic to transform views of negotiation toward an interest-based, joint problem-solving conception.

    Keywords: negotiation; bargaining; conflict resolution; dealmaking; Negotiation; Personal Development and Career; Conflict and Resolution;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "What Roger Fisher Got Profoundly Right: Five Enduring Lessons for Negotiators." Negotiation Journal 29, no. 2 (April 2013): 159–169. View Details
  4. Is a Nuclear Deal with Iran Possible?: An Analytical Framework for the Iran Nuclear Negotiations

    Varied diplomatic approaches by multiple negotiators over several years have failed to conclude a nuclear deal with Iran. Mutual hostility, misperception, and flawed diplomacy may be responsible. Yet, more fundamentally, no mutually acceptable deal may exist. To assess this possibility, a "negotiation analytic" framework conceptually disentangles two issues: 1) whether a feasible deal exists and 2) how to design the most promising process to achieve one. Focusing on whether a "zone of possible agreement" exists, a graphical negotiation analysis precisely relates input assumptions about the parties' interests, their no-deal options, and possible deals. Under a plausible, mainstream set of such assumptions, the Iranian regime's no-deal options, at least through summer 2012, appear superior to potential nuclear agreements. If so, purely tactical and process-oriented initiatives will fail. Opening space for a mutually acceptable nuclear deal—that avoids both military conflict and a nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable Iran—requires relentlessly and creatively worsening Iran's no-deal options while enhancing the value to Iranian regime of a "yes." Downplaying both coercive options and upside potential, as international negotiators have often done, works against this integrated strategy. If this approach opens a zone of possible agreement, sophisticated negotiation will be key to reaching a worthwhile agreement.

    Keywords: negotiation; nuclear proliferation; zone of possible agreement; International Relations; Negotiation; Iran; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Michael K. Singh. "Is a Nuclear Deal with Iran Possible? An Analytical Framework for the Iran Nuclear Negotiations." International Security 37, no. 3 (Winter 2012): 52–91. View Details
  5. Level Two Negotiations: Helping the Other Side Meet Its 'Behind-the-Table' Challenges

    A long analytic tradition has explored the challenge of productively synchronizing "internal" with "external" negotiations, with a special focus on how each side can best manage internal opposition to agreements negotiated "at the table." Implicit in much of this work has been the view that each side's leadership is best positioned to manage its own internal conflicts, often by pressing for deal terms that will overcome internal objections and by effectively "selling" the agreement to key constituencies. Far less frequently have analysts considered how each side—to further its own goals—can help the other side with the other's "behind-the-table" barriers to successful agreement. Following Robert Putnam's (1988) two-level games schema, I characterize such "behind the table," or "Level Two,' barriers more broadly, offer several innovative private and public sector examples of how each side can help the other overcome them, and develop more general advice on doing so most effectively. As a fuller illustration of a Level Two negotiator helping the other side with its formidable behind-the-table challenges, I pay special attention to the end-of-Cold-War negotiations over German reunification in which former United States Secretary of State James Baker played a key role.

    Keywords: negotiation; James Baker; internal negotiation; dispute resolution; bargaining; Two-level games; Negotiation; Germany; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Level Two Negotiations: Helping the Other Side Meet Its 'Behind-the-Table' Challenges." Negotiation Journal 29, no. 1 (January 2013): 7–21. View Details
  6. Learning from Roger Fisher

    Roger Fisher's career and writings not only offer lessons about negotiation but also about how an academic, especially in a professional school such as law or business, can make an important, positive difference in the world. By his relentless engagement in vexing disputes—whether in South Africa, at Camp David, on the Peruvian-Ecuadorian border, or elsewhere—Fisher gained a firsthand sense of the issues as negotiators actually experienced them. This enabled him to ask better questions and to formulate more valuable answers. Fisher collaborated across academic disciplines and wrote a series of books, mostly coauthored with junior colleagues, that are best understood as project around an evolving theme—an interest-based, problem-solving conception of negotiation—rather than as a series of one-off products. His commitment to expressing powerful insights simply, concisely, and memorably led to the remarkable influence of Getting to Yes, which has sold over eight million copies and has spawned endless academic and popular offshoots. While the most familiar form of intellectual capital in the social sciences is the deductive proposition, supported by experimental and observational evidence, other forms of knowledge can be both valid and useful. In particular, Fisher and his colleagues constructed frameworks of prescriptions that, on average, respond to widely felt practitioner needs and systematically direct the focus of negotiators to aspects of the situation that generate helpful insights.

    Keywords: Roger Fisher; negotiation; dispute resolution; bargaining; Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Learning from Roger Fisher." Harvard Law Review 126, no. 4 (February 2013): 893–898. View Details
  7. Are You Ready for the 'Hardest Question'?

    Negotiation preparation entails assessing each side's interests and no-deal options, imagining possible agreements, factoring in personality and culture, thinking through moves and possible countermoves, and so forth. Yet standard preparation often neglects the "hardest question(s)" with which one may be confronted. Such questions are often manipulative tactics deceptively masquerading as innocent queries about one's deeper interests, other options, or commitment. To avoid being flustered or trapped into giving an answer that puts a negotiator at a disadvantage, one should 1) identify in advance the hardest questions—tactically, emotionally, and/or ethically—to answer; 2) brainstorm a range of possible answers—drawing on several classes of response—and choose the best; 3) practice verbalizing the most promising answers in a concise, confident manner; and 4) use the "hardest question" as a gateway to fuller tactical and strategic preparation.

    Keywords: negotiation; tactics; hard bargaining; Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Are You Ready for the 'Hardest Question'?" Negotiation 15, no. 11 (November 2012): 4–5. View Details
  8. Leveraging Tribal Sovereignty for Economic Opportunity: A Strategic Negotiations Perspective

    Indian tribes and U.S. states often find themselves at the bargaining table, often negotiating "compacts" to govern gaming operations on tribal lands. The operational success of the Pequot gaming operation in Connecticut, Foxwoods, and the substantial revenue shared with Connecticut have become almost mythical in nature, with other states often misunderstanding the lessons of the Foxwoods experience. The real story behind the Pequot gaming compact, however, is one of strategic negotiation and the leveraging of tribal sovereignty into economic opportunity. By examining the sovereign nature of tribal governments, the history of tribal sovereignty, the origins of Indian gaming, the legal framework that governs tribal gaming activities, as well as an analytic approach to negotiations, this paper explains the Foxwoods deal and its implications for tribal-state compacting in the face of changing circumstances, both within and outside of the gaming context.

    Keywords: Strategy; Ethnicity Characteristics; Negotiation Tactics; Race Characteristics; Social Issues; Relationships; Government and Politics; Economics; United States;

    Citation:

    Clarkson, Gavin, and James K. Sebenius. "Leveraging Tribal Sovereignty for Economic Opportunity: A Strategic Negotiations Perspective." Missouri Law Review 76, no. 4 (Fall 2011): 1045–1112. View Details
  9. Negotiating with Iran: Cultural and Historical Insights

    In a vitally important relationship famously caricatured as the "Mad Mullahs" v. the "Great Satan," the fraught negotiating history and future of Iran and the United States demands historical, cultural, and psychological insight if there is to be any prospect of success, especially with respect to Iran's nuclear program. Taking John Limbert's book, Negotiating with Iran as a point of departure, this essay develops such a perspective, suggesting several means of influence.

    Keywords: National Security; Negotiation; Power and Influence; Iran; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Negotiating with Iran: Cultural and Historical Insights." Negotiation Journal (October 2011): 493–497. View Details
  10. What Can We Learn from 'Great Negotiations'?

    What can one legitimately learn-analytically and/or prescriptively-from detailed historical case studies of "great negotiations," chosen more for their salience than their analytic characteristics or comparability? Taking a number of such cases compiled by Stanton (2010) as a point of departure, this article explores this question, highlighting the limits of such historical accounts but observing that they can (1) bring to light complex realities and subtleties that parsimonious analytic models may neglect; (2) suggest overlooked, non-obvious aspects of the process that merit deeper, more systematic study, especially where they appear to contradict received theory; and/or (3) reinforce the findings of more systematic investigations, giving greater confidence in their validity. Learning from such accounts calls for a "Bayesian" mindset, in which a given case study, of the kind produced by Stanton, constitutes a multidimensional observation to be compared and combined with substantial "prior" knowledge and reliable bodies of research.

    Keywords: Learning; International Relations; History; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Process; Conflict and Resolution;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "What Can We Learn from 'Great Negotiations'?" Negotiation Journal 27, no. 2 (April 2011). View Details
  11. Developing Negotiation Case Studies

    While a great deal of excellent advice exists for producing case studies on managerially relevant topics in general, negotiation cases have distinctive aspects that merit explicit treatment. This article offers three types of tailored advice for producing cases on negotiation and related topics (such as mediation and diplomacy) that are primarily intended for classroom discussion: 1) how to decide whether a negotiation-related case lead is worth developing; 2) how to choose the perspective and case type most suited to one's objectives; and 3) in by far the longest part of the discussion, 10 nuts-and-bolts suggestions for structuring and producing an excellent negotiation case study.

    Keywords: Education; Cases; Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Developing Negotiation Case Studies." Negotiation Journal 27, no. 1 (January 2011). View Details
  12. Beyond the Deal: Wage a 'Negotiation Campaign'

    While negotiation scholars primarily take the individual transaction as the "unit of analysis," this article characterizes the (new) concept of a "negotiation campaign" in which a number of individual deals must be put together, often on multiple "fronts," to realize a larger result, typically an ultimate target agreement with sufficient support to make it sustainable. When the unit of analysis shifts from the individual deal to the campaign, a new set of analytic and practical challenges arises, which this article explores via three cases: 1) a cross-border, large-dollar complex sales effort requiring interlocking financial, political, and organizational negotiations among dozens of parties; 2) building support for a major U.S. diplomatic initiative with domestic, international, and U.N. fronts; and 3) launching a new venture requiring internal, capital-raising, licensing, and industrial partnering deals. The need to negotiate multiple, related deals is not new to negotiation theory or practice; traditional concepts such as linkage, sequencing, and coalition building certainly find application in multi-deal situations. Yet beyond such concepts, negotiation analysts can find special value in thinking in terms of campaigns, with multiple interdependent fronts, that must be artfully combined in order to generate enough sufficient support for ultimate target agreements.

    Keywords: Negotiation Deal; Management Practices and Processes; Value; Problems and Challenges; Business Startups; Sales; Partners and Partnerships; Venture Capital;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Beyond the Deal: Wage a 'Negotiation Campaign'." Negotiation 13, no. 11 (November 2010). View Details
  13. Negotiation Analysis: From Games to Inferences to Decisions to Deals

    Exemplified by the pioneering work of Howard Raiffa and often expressed in the pages of the Negotiation Journal, the emergent prescriptive field of "negotiation analysis" progressively developed from Raiffa's early contributions to game theory and to his later foundational work in statistical decision theory and decision analysis. Drawing from each of these fields but methodologically distinct from them, negotiation analysis has mainly adopted an "asymmetrically prescriptive/descriptive" orientation. It develops the best possible advice for what one or more parties should do conditional on empirically grounded assessment of what the other side(s) actually will do. An extensive negotiation analytic literature has developed, often making the traditional assumption of a well-specified and fixed situation for analysis. Relaxing this requirement, however, more recent work systematically puts the "setup" of a negotiation itself-its parties, their interests, their no-deal options, the sequence and basic process choices or design-into the realm of strategic and tactical choice.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Negotiation Participants; Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Game Theory;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Negotiation Analysis: From Games to Inferences to Decisions to Deals." Negotiation Journal 25, no. 4 (October 2009): 449–465. View Details
  14. Hidden Roadblocks in Cross-Border Talks

    While most analysts and dealmakers are aware of "cultural" differences in negotiations that cross national borders--different protocol and process expectations, differences in the role of the individual versus the group, differences in attitudes toward risk and time, etc.--they often overlook a key factor that can systematically vary across cultures that can carry profound implications for choice of negotiating approach. Specifically, failure to take into account different traditions in governance and decision making can doom an otherwise sophisticated set of strategies and tactics.

    Keywords: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Tactics; Risk Management; Time Management; Strategy; Governance; Performance Expectations; Attitudes; Culture; Decision Making;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Hidden Roadblocks in Cross-Border Talks." Negotiation 12, no. 9 (September 2009): 8. View Details
  15. Compensation Schemes and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms: Beyond the Obvious

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James, Ehud Eiran, Kenneth Feinberg, Michael Cernea, and Francis McGovern. "Compensation Schemes and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms: Beyond the Obvious." Negotiation Journal 21, no. 2 (April 2005): 231–244. View Details
  16. Two Paths to Peace: Contrasting George Mitchell in Northern Ireland with Richard Holbrooke in Bosnia-Herzegovina

    Keywords: Bosnia and Hercegovina;

    Citation:

    Curran, Daniel F., James K. Sebenius, and Michael Watkins. "Two Paths to Peace: Contrasting George Mitchell in Northern Ireland with Richard Holbrooke in Bosnia-Herzegovina." Negotiation Journal 20, no. 4 (October 2004). (Reprinted in International Dispute Resolution, Volume III (ed. Carrie Menkel-Meadow, April 2012)) View Details
  17. Sequencing, Acoustic Separation, and 3-D Negotiation of Complex Barriers: Charlene Barshefsky and I.P. Rights in China

    Keywords: Negotiation; China;

    Citation:

    Hulse, Rebecca G., and James K. Sebenius. "Sequencing, Acoustic Separation, and 3-D Negotiation of Complex Barriers: Charlene Barshefsky and I.P. Rights in China." International Negotiation 8, no. 2 (2003): 311–338. View Details
  18. The Effect of Multiple Anchors on Anchoring Individual and Group Judgment

    Keywords: Groups and Teams; Judgments; Agreements and Arrangements;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Glen Whyte. "The Effect of Multiple Anchors on Anchoring Individual and Group Judgment." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 69, no. 1 (January 1997): 75–85. View Details
  19. Challenging Conventional Explanations of Cooperation: Negotiation Analysis and the Case of Epistemic Communities

    Keywords: Problems and Challenges; Cooperation; Negotiation; Civil Society or Community;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Challenging Conventional Explanations of Cooperation: Negotiation Analysis and the Case of Epistemic Communities." International Organization 46, no. 1 (winter 1992): 323–365. (Reprinted in:
      Knowledge, Power, and International Policy Coordination. Studies in International Relations, 323-366,
      edited by Peter M. Haas. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1997.) View Details
  20. The Power of Alternatives or the Limits to Negotiation

    Keywords: Negotiation; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David Lax. "The Power of Alternatives or the Limits to Negotiation." Negotiation Journal 1, no. 2 (April 1985): 77–95. (Reprinted in:
      Negotiation and Settlement Advocacy, Charles B. Wiggins, ed. West Publishing Company, 1997.
      Negotiation Theory and Practice, Rubin & Breslin, eds. Cambridge, Mass.: PON Books, 1991.) View Details
  21. Evolving Terms of Mineral Agreements: Risk, Reward, and Participation in Deep Seabed Mining

    Keywords: Metals and Minerals; Risk and Uncertainty; Motivation and Incentives; Mining Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Mati Pal. "Evolving Terms of Mineral Agreements: Risk, Reward, and Participation in Deep Seabed Mining." Columbia Journal of World Business 15, no. 4 (winter 1980): 75–83. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Dealmaking Essentials

    Keywords: Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Dealmaking Essentials." In Negotiation, edited by Herminia Ibarra, Deborah M Kolb, Robert J. Robinson, James K. Sebenius, Lyle Sussman, Michael D. Watkins, Michael A. Wheeler, Judith Williams, and George Wu, 37–54. Business Fundamentals . Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2001. View Details
  2. Sequencing to Build Coalitions: With Whom I Should I Talk First?

    Keywords: Negotiation; Alliances; Decision Choices and Conditions;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Sequencing to Build Coalitions: With Whom I Should I Talk First?" In Wise Choices: Decisions, Games, and Negotiations, edited by Richard Zeckhauser, Ralph Keeney, and James Sebenius, 324–348. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 1996. View Details
  3. Overcoming Obstacles to a Successful Climate Convention

    Keywords: Negotiation; Conflict and Resolution; Weather and Climate Change; International Relations;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Overcoming Obstacles to a Successful Climate Convention." In Shaping National Responses to Global Climate Change: A Post-Rio Guide, edited by Henry Lee, 41–79. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 1995. View Details
  4. Dealing with Blocking Coalitions and Related Barriers to Agreement: Lessons from Negotiations on the Oceans, the Ozone, and the Climate

    Keywords: Agreements and Arrangements; Alliances; Negotiation; Environmental Sustainability; Weather and Climate Change;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Dealing with Blocking Coalitions and Related Barriers to Agreement: Lessons from Negotiations on the Oceans, the Ozone, and the Climate." In Barriers to Conflict Resolution, edited by Kenneth Arrow, Robert H. Mnookin, Lee Ross, Amos Tversky, and Robert Wilson, 150–182. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1995. View Details
  5. The Law of the Sea Conference: Lessons for Negotiations to Control Global Warming

    Keywords: Negotiation; Weather and Climate Change; Environmental Sustainability; Agreements and Arrangements; International Relations;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "The Law of the Sea Conference: Lessons for Negotiations to Control Global Warming." In International Environmental Negotiation, edited by Gunnar Sjostedt, 189–216. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications, 1993. View Details
  6. Issues of Participation and Rights Allocation in Tradeable Permits Systems to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Weather and Climate Change; Pollution and Pollutants; Science-Based Business;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Michael Grubb. "Issues of Participation and Rights Allocation in Tradeable Permits Systems to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions." In Tradeable Permits to Reduce Greenhouse Gases, edited by Jan Corfee, 181–222. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 1992. View Details
  7. Multilateral Conference Mediation: Tommy Koh and the Law of the Sea

    Keywords: Negotiation; International Relations; Laws and Statutes;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Lance Antrim. "Multilateral Conference Mediation: Tommy Koh and the Law of the Sea." In Mediation in International Relations: Multiple Approaches to Conflict Management, edited by Jacob Bercovitch and Jeffrey Z. Rubin, 97–130. London: Macmillan Publishing, 1992. View Details
  8. Sharing the Burden. Fair Allocation and Equity

    Keywords: Fairness; Equality and Inequality; Resource Allocation; Welfare or Wellbeing;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., Michael Grubb, Antonio Magalhaes, and Susan Subak. "Sharing the Burden. Fair Allocation and Equity." In Confronting Climate Change: Risks, Implications and Responses, edited by Irving Mintzer, 305–322. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. View Details
  9. Rethinking America's Security: The Primacy of the Domestic Agenda

    Keywords: National Security; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Peter G. Peterson. "Rethinking America's Security: The Primacy of the Domestic Agenda." In Rethinking America's Security: Beyond Cold War to New World Order, edited by Graham T. Allison and Gregory Treverton, 57–93. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992. View Details
  10. Thinking Coalitionally: Party Arithmetic, Process Opportunism, and Strategic Sequencing

    Keywords: Alliances; Negotiation Process; Mathematical Methods; Strategy;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David Lax. "Thinking Coalitionally: Party Arithmetic, Process Opportunism, and Strategic Sequencing." In Negotiation Analysis, edited by H. Peyton Young, 153–193. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1992. View Details
  11. From Cross-Border Corporate Transactions to Environmental Accords

    Keywords: Globalized Firms and Management; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Agreements and Arrangements; Environmental Sustainability;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "From Cross-Border Corporate Transactions to Environmental Accords." In Corporate Dialogue, 153–160. St. Gallen, Switzerland: Internationales Management-Gesprach, 1990. View Details
  12. Analytic Themes of the U.S. Program on the Processes of International Negotiation

    Keywords: Negotiation Process; International Relations; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Howard Raiffa. "Analytic Themes of the U.S. Program on the Processes of International Negotiation." In Processes of International Negotiation, edited by Frances Mautner-Markhof, 293–303. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989. View Details
  13. Incentives for Ocean Mining Under the Convention

    Keywords: Mining; Natural Environment; Motivation and Incentives; International Relations; Trade; Mining Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Lance Antrim. "Incentives for Ocean Mining Under the Convention." In Law of the Sea: U.S. Policy Dilemma, edited by Bernard Oxman, David Caron, and Charles Buderi, 79–100. San Francisco: Institute for Contemporary Studies, 1983. View Details
  14. Costs and Capital Requirements for Transporting Alaskan Natural Gas

    Keywords: Cost; Non-Renewable Energy; Capital; Mining Industry; Energy Industry; Alaska;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Costs and Capital Requirements for Transporting Alaskan Natural Gas." In Alternatives for Alaskan Natural Gas, edited by W. K. Linvill, 89–133. Stanford University, Center for Technology Assessment and Resource Policy, 1976. View Details
  15. Planned Reduction in Electrical Energy Use in Nashville: A Preliminary Assessment

    Keywords: Energy Conservation; Urban Scope; Planning; Energy Industry; Tennessee;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, J. K., and B. D. Lichter. "Planned Reduction in Electrical Energy Use in Nashville: A Preliminary Assessment." In Proceedings of the Second Annual University of Missouri Conference on Energy, edited by J. Derald Morgan. Rolla: University of Missouri, 1975. View Details

Working Papers

  1. Better Deals Through Level II Strategies: Advance Your Interests by Helping to Solve Their Internal Problems

    Many negotiators have constituencies that must formally or informally approve an agreement. Traditionally, it is the responsibility of each negotiator to manage the internal conflicts and constituencies on his or her own side. Far less familiar are the many valuable ways that one side can meet its own interests by helping the other side with the other's "internal," "behind-the-table," or "Level II" constituency challenges. Sebenius (2013) offered a moderately theoretical treatment of this challenge. Moving from theory to practice and from simple to complex, the present paper builds on that work. It illustrates several classes of practical measures that negotiators can use to advance their own interests by focusing on the other side's Level II negotiations. Beyond tailoring the terms of the deal for this purpose (e.g., with "compensation provisions"), one side can help the other, and vice versa, via a number of devices, alone or in combination. These include a) shaping the form of the agreement (e.g., tacit v. explicit, process v. substantive); b) tailoring the form of the negotiating process itself (to send a useful signal to constituencies); c) avoiding (or making) statements that inflame (or mollify) the other side's internal opponents; d) helping the other side attractively frame the deal for Level II acceptability; e) providing the ingredients for the other side to make an acceptance or even "victory speech" about why saying "yes" to the deal you want is smart and in the other side's interests; f) constructive actions at the bargaining table informed by knowledge of the other side's internal conflicts (e.g., not escalating when the other side mainly speaks for domestic purposes); g) having the first side work with the other side to tacitly coordinate outside pressure on the other side's Level II constituents to accept the deal that the first side prefers; and h) in extraordinary cases, by directly negotiating with one's counterparts to design measures that thwart its Level II opponents.

    Keywords: Strategy; Negotiation Tactics; Negotiation Participants; Negotiation Style;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Better Deals Through Level II Strategies: Advance Your Interests by Helping to Solve Their Internal Problems." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-091, March 2014. View Details
  2. Stepping Stone, Stopping Point, or Slippery Slope? Negotiating the Next Iran Deal

    The November 2013 "interim" nuclear deal between Iran and the "P5+1"—the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany—raises challenging questions. Will the initial deal function as a stepping stone toward a more comprehensive deal? Or will it drift into becoming a stopping point that leaves Iran dangerously close to nuclear weapons capability with the sanctions regime in decline? Or will it devolve to a slippery slope that would end up requiring a painful choice for key players between either acquiescing in a nuclear-capable Iran or attacking Iran's nuclear facilities? With Iran and the P5+1 each splintered into contending factions, a successful stepping stone strategy requires converting enough "persuadable skeptics" on each side to forge a "winning coalition" on behalf of a more comprehensive nuclear deal. This supportive group must be strong enough to overcome the potent "blocking coalition" that will oppose virtually any larger, next-stage agreement. The best chance for the interim accord to become a stepping stone to a more valuable deal calls for a two-pronged negotiating strategy with both value-enhancing and cost-imposing elements. The first prong of this strategy should strive to craft the most valuable possible next deal that credibly offers Iran a range of benefits, not limited to sanctions relief, that are greater and much more salient than those available from the interim agreement. The second prong should significantly worsen the consequences of failing to reach the next nuclear deal by a strong public U.S. Presidential commitment to sign a bill, prenegotiated with the Congress and P5+1 allies, imposing enhanced sanctions if negotiations toward an acceptable, but relatively narrow, agreement denying Iran an "exercisable nuclear option" do not succeed by the reasonable but firm deadline no later than twelve months from the start of the interim talks.

    Keywords: negotiations; Iran; nuclear; conflict resolution; winning coalition; blocking coalition; Strategy; Negotiation; International Relations; France; Germany; Iran; China; Great Britain; United States; Russia;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Stepping Stone, Stopping Point, or Slippery Slope? Negotiating the Next Iran Deal." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-061, January 2014. (Revised March 2014.) View Details
  3. Tommy Koh: Background and Major Accomplishments of the 'Great Negotiator, 2014'

    Significant negotiation-related achievements from career of Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore are highlighted in brief form along with elements of his background and career. In light of these accomplishments, Koh was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Great Negotiator Award, presented by the Program on Negotiation, an interuniversity consortium of Harvard, MIT, and Tufts that is based at the Harvard Law School. Summaries of several of Koh's negotiations are presented in order to stimulate further research and analysis. Among numerous other activities, the episodes described include his leadership in forging the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), the development and ratification of a charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the resolution of territorial and humanitarian disputes in the Baltics and Asia, and successful chairmanship of two unprecedented global megaconferences: the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea and the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit.

    Keywords: Negotiation; International Relations; Personal Development and Career; United States; Singapore; Baltic Countries; Southeast Asia;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Laurence A. Green. "Tommy Koh: Background and Major Accomplishments of the 'Great Negotiator, 2014'." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-049, December 2013. (Revised February 2014.) View Details
  4. Level II Negotiations: Helping the Other Side Meet Its 'Behind the Table' Challenges

    A long analytic tradition explores the challenge of productively synchronizing "internal" with "external" negotiations, especially focusing on how each side can best manage internal opposition to agreements negotiated "at the table." Implicit in much of this work is the view that each side's leadership is best positioned to manage its own internal conflicts, often 1) by pressing for deal terms that will meet internal objections and 2) by effectively "selling" the agreement to key constituencies. Far less familiar territory involves how each side can help the other side with the other's "behind-the-table" barriers to successful agreement. Following Robert Putnam's (1988) two-level games schema, I characterize such "behind the table," or "Level II," barriers more broadly, offer several innovative examples of how each side can help the other overcome them, and develop more general advice on doing so most effectively. As a fuller illustration of a Level II negotiator helping the other side with its formidable behind-the-table challenges, I pay special attention to the end-of-Cold-War negotiations over German reunification in which former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker played a key role.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Conflict Management; Agreements and Arrangements; Government and Politics; Mathematical Methods; United States; Germany;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Level II Negotiations: Helping the Other Side Meet Its 'Behind the Table' Challenges." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-004, July 2012. View Details
  5. From Single Deals to Negotiation Campaigns

    Negotiation scholars typically take the individual deal, or a few linked deals, as the unit of analysis. While analyzing one deal requires a familiar conceptual framework, doing the same for a broader "negotiation campaign" calls for a different focus and set of concepts: how to orchestrate a large number of subsidiary deals, often grouped into modular "fronts," in order to realize an ultimate "target agreement" with sufficient support to be sustainable. For example, generating the backing necessary from several organizational units for a proposed project to be approved may call for a small-scale "internal" negotiation campaign. A final cross-border merger agreement may represent the culmination of a massive negotiation campaign with multiple, related fronts: financial, shareholder, internal corporate, labor, supplier, political, and regulatory. Complex sales with long cycles and many influential parties as well as major diplomatic initiatives may call more for crafting negotiation campaigns than for doing solo deals. Analysis of negotiation campaigns builds on familiar concepts such as linkage and coalition building. In many cases, however, the parties relevant to a campaign as well as the fronts may not be obvious a priori and may represent choice variables rather than givens for the analysis. Beyond identifying and specifying parties and fronts, negotiation campaign analysis and design calls for assessing interdependencies among fronts, deciding on separation v. combination of fronts, parallel v. sequential tactical emphasis, as well as information revelation v. concealment at different stages of the campaign.

    Keywords: Negotiation Deal; Framework; Business Subsidiaries; Agreements and Arrangements; Mergers and Acquisitions; Information Management; Finance; Business and Shareholder Relations; Corporate Governance; Business and Government Relations; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues;

    Citation:

    Lax, David A., and James K. Sebenius. "From Single Deals to Negotiation Campaigns." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 12-046, December 2011. View Details
  6. Developing Negotiation Case Studies

    While a great deal of excellent advice exists for producing case studies on managerially relevant topics in general, negotiation cases have distinctive aspects that merit explicit treatment. This article offers three types of tailored advice for producing cases on negotiation and related topics (such as mediation and diplomacy) that are primarily intended for classroom discussion: 1) how to decide whether a case lead is worth developing; 2) how to choose the perspective and case type most suited to one's objectives; and, in the by far the longest part of the discussion, 3) ten nuts and bolts suggestions for structuring and producing an excellent case study.

    Keywords: Debates; Cases; Goals and Objectives; Negotiation; Perspective;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Developing Negotiation Case Studies ." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-008, July 2010. (Revised October 2010.) View Details
  7. Assess, Don't Assume, Part I: Etiquette and National Culture in Negotiation

    When facing a cross-border negotiation, the standard preparatory assessments -- of the parties, their interests, their no-deal options, opportunities for and barriers to creating and claiming value, the most promising sequence and process design, etc. -- should be informed and modified by two classes of potentially relevant cross-border factors, the general and the negotiation-specific. Drawing on considerable literature in cross-border and cross-cultural negotiation, this paper develops the first two levels of a four-level prescriptive framework for effectively carrying out such assessments: 1. Common expectations for surface behavior: etiquette, protocol, and deportment. A surface-level assessment informs one about local expectations concerning greetings, business cards, gift-giving, dress, punctuality, body language, table manners, and so forth. 2. Deeper cultural characteristics and their implications for the negotiation process itself. Below the surface are characteristics such as whether a culture is focused on the individual or the collective, the nature and importance of relationships, how personal space and the role of time are viewed, the extent to which authority and hierarchy are accepted, how ambiguity and risk are regarded, and so on. Extending this assessment to expectations that are more specific to the negotiation process itself yields several questions: Is there a view that negotiation is a collaborative process aimed at mutual advantage or a competitive battle? Should one focus on specific issues early on or is there a lengthy process of relationship building first? Is the process formal or informal? Is communication direct or indirect? Are agreements constructed from general principles "down" or from specific provisions "up?" And so on. The bulk of this essay develops these two points but with some strong caveats against stereotyping, overemphasizing national culture, falling prey to potent psychological biases in cross-cultural perception, as well as potentially adapting "past" one's counterpart. [A close companion paper -- "Assess, Don't Assume, Part II: Decision Making, Governance, and Political Economy in Negotiation" -- elaborates the importance to effective negotiating strategy and tactics of incorporating two less well-studied factors beyond etiquette and deeper cultural characteristics: 3) systematic cross-border differences in decision making, governance, and 4) the broader economic and political context for negotiation as well as salient "comparable" deals.

    Keywords: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Process; Societal Protocols; Competitive Advantage; Cooperation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Assess, Don't Assume, Part I: Etiquette and National Culture in Negotiation." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-048, December 2009. View Details
  8. Negotiating the Path of Abraham

    In the face of daunting barriers, the Abraham Path Initiative envisions uncovering and revitalizing a route of cultural tourism that follows the path of Abraham and his family some 4,000 years ago across the Middle East. It begins in the ancient ruins of Harran, in modern-day Turkey, where Abraham first heard the call to "go forth." It passes through some of the world's most revered cultural, historical, and holy sites, ending in the city of Hebron/Al-Khalil at the tomb of Abraham. With Abraham as a venerated patriarchal figure for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity-monotheistic religions whose adherents have so often clashed--the potential unifying power of this conception has attracted a remarkable range of supporters from around the world. From a notion crystallized at Harvard in 2004, this idea has been carefully negotiated into a concrete reality with supporting country organizations in Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. If completed, it would eventually extend to encompass Abraham's travels to and from Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. With the endorsement of the U.N.'s Alliance of Civilizations, over three hundred kilometers of the Path have now been opened to a fast-growing number of travelers ranging from student study groups to Syrian President al-Assad walking a stretch of the path with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. As it takes fuller shape, the Path variously serves as a catalyst for sustainable tourism and economic development, a platform for the energy and idealism of young people, a beacon for pilgrims and peace-builders, as well as a focus for seemingly endless media inquiries from reporters, documentary film-makers, and writers keen on telling its story to audiences worldwide. This paper provides background on the Path in terms of strategic negotiation, social entrepreneurship, sustainable tourism, and economic development.

    Keywords: Development Economics; Social Entrepreneurship; Negotiation; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; Religion; Environmental Sustainability; Tourism Industry; Middle East;

    Citation:

    Leary, Kimberlyn, James K. Sebenius, and Joshua Weiss. "Negotiating the Path of Abraham." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-049, December 2009. View Details
  9. Assess, Don't Assume, Part II: Negotiating Implications of Cross-Border Differences in Decision Making, Governance, and Political Economy

    When facing a cross-border negotiation, the standard preparatory assessments—of the parties, their interests, their no-deal options, opportunities for and barriers to creating and claiming value, the most promising sequence and process design, etc.—should be informed and modified by two classes of potentially relevant cross-border factors, the general and the negotiation-specific. Drawing on considerable literature in cross-border and cross-cultural negotiation, this paper develops the first two levels of a four-level prescriptive framework for effectively carrying out such assessments:

    1. Common expectations for surface behavior: etiquette, protocol, and deportment. A surface-level assessment informs one about local expectations concerning greetings, business cards, gift-giving, dress, punctuality, body language, table manners, and so forth.

    2. Deeper cultural characteristics and their implications for the negotiation process itself. Below the surface are characteristics such as whether a culture is focused on the individual or the collective, the nature and importance of relationships, how personal space and the role of time are viewed, the extent to which authority and hierarchy are accepted, how ambiguity and risk are regarded, and so on. Extending this assessment to expectations that are more specific to the negotiation process itself yields several questions: Is there a view that negotiation is a collaborative process aimed at mutual advantage or a competitive battle? Should one focus on specific issues early on or is there a lengthy process of relationship building first? Is the process formal or informal? Is communication direct or indirect? Are agreements constructed from general principles "down" or from specific provisions "up"? And so on.

    The bulk of this essay develops these two points but with some strong caveats against stereotyping, overemphasizing national culture, falling prey to potent psychological biases in cross-cultural perception, as well as potentially adapting "past" one's counterpart. [A close companion paper—"Assess, Don't Assume, Part II: Decision Making, Governance, and Political Economy in Negotiation"—elaborates the importance to effective negotiating strategy and tactics of incorporating two less well-studied factors beyond etiquette and deeper cultural characteristics: 3) systematic cross-border differences in decision making, governance, and 4) the broader economic and political context for negotiation as well as salient "comparable" deals.]

    Keywords: Decision Making; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Corporate Governance; Negotiation Process; Organizational Culture; Business and Government Relations;

  10. Cultural Notes on Chinese Negotiating Behavior

    Western businesses negotiating with Chinese firms face many challenges, from initiating and smoothing communication to establishing long-lasting relationships and mutual trust, and from bargaining and drafting agreements to securing their implementation. Chinese negotiators can be at once warm hosts and friends and tough bargainers. Unique Chinese cultural elements such as complicated local etiquette, obscured decision-making processes, and heavy reliance on interpersonal relationships instead of legal instruments all add to the complexities of Sino-foreign business negotiations, and can make the process tiresome and protracted. Besides talking past each other, Chinese and western negotiators often harbor mutually unfavorable perceptions. Many westerners find Chinese negotiators to be inefficient, indirect, and even dishonest; Chinese negotiators frequently perceive their western counterparts to be aggressive, impersonal, and insincere. The way to decipher the Chinese negotiating style and bring about mutually beneficial results is to better understand the key elements of Chinese culture to which Chinese negotiators attune their business mentality and manners.

    Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Style; Perception; Societal Protocols; China;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Cheng (Jason) Qian. "Cultural Notes on Chinese Negotiating Behavior." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-076, December 2008. View Details
  11. Etiquette and Process Puzzles of Negotiating Business in China: A Questionnaire

    Cultural differences can affect negotiations in many ways, from influencing the basic motivations and perceptions of the players to guiding the surface aspects, such as etiquette, protocol, and process, of business interactions. Navigating the challenges of these surface behavioral issues is useful to plumb some of the deeper cultural factors and differences in governance and decision-making of cross-border business negotiation. As suggested by an iceberg analogy, though etiquette, protocol, and deportment comprise the visible tip, they might be linked to more deeply rooted, less obvious forces that are fully capable of sinking the ship. This working paper, through a questionnaire format-intended as an instrument to collect data from a range of people with varying China-related negotiating experience, presents a series of situations of a typical Sino-foreign business negotiation to address both the surface and the root cultural factors. This questionnaire will serve not only to evaluate subjects' appreciation for Chinese culture as it bears on negotiation, but also to better understanding of the process aspects of cross-border negotiation in general.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Governance; Questionnaires; Negotiation Process; Behavior; China;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Cheng (Jason) Qian. "Etiquette and Process Puzzles of Negotiating Business in China: A Questionnaire." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 09-077, December 2008. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Tommy Koh: Background and Major Accomplishments of the 'Great Negotiator, 2014'

    Significant negotiation-related achievements from the career of Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore are highlighted in brief form along with elements of his background and career. In light of these accomplishments, Koh was selected as the recipient of the 2014 Great Negotiator Award, presented by the Program on Negotiation, an interuniversity consortium of Harvard, MIT, and Tufts that is based at the Harvard Law School. Summaries of several of Koh's negotiations are presented in order to stimulate further research and analysis. Among numerous other activities, the episodes described include his leadership in forging the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), the development and ratification of a charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the resolution of territorial and humanitarian disputes in the Baltics and Asia, and successful chairmanship of two unprecedented global megaconferences: the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea and the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit.

    Keywords: multiparty negotiations; dispute resolution; conference diplomacy; international relations; free trade agreements environment; environment; Singapore; ASEAN; United Nations; Negotiation; International Relations; Personal Development and Career; Trade; Conflict and Resolution; Singapore;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Laurence A. Green. "Tommy Koh: Background and Major Accomplishments of the 'Great Negotiator, 2014'." Harvard Business School Case 914-021, February 2014. View Details
  2. Bruce Allyn: Negotiating with the KGB (B)

    This case picks up (from the end of the "A" case) the detailed story of the KGB's high-pressure negotiations with Harvard doctoral student Bruce Allyn to recruit him as a secret asset for the Soviet spy agency. The "A" case describes how, at the tense height of the Cold War, with CIA agents systematically being exposed and executed in Russia, Allyn participated in an unusual joint U.S.-Soviet study that alternated between the two countries. Going about his doctoral research, meeting and making friends with Russians, he accepted a low-key invitation from a trusted Russian friend to meet for lunch somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow. After hours of warm conversation, great food, and endless alcohol with a group of Russians, all but one of this group drifted out of the room. Suddenly the sole remaining man, "Vladimir," looked straight at Bruce and stated: "I am a high-ranking KGB officer. I have been commissioned to make to you a proposal." Drunk, isolated, and highly vulnerable, Allyn must negotiate with this sophisticated KGB counterpart. To recruit Allyn to secretly work for the KGB, the agent tries many approaches: barely veiled threats, offers of money, and the promise of high level access and Soviet documents that would enable Allyn over time to become the top U.S. Sovietologist. Should Allyn accept the offer, the agent stresses how Allyn could have a much better life and far more effectively advance the shared goals of reducing the risks of nuclear war and improving relations between the two hostile superpowers. At the end of the "A" case, Allyn must figure out what to do. The "B" case recounts subsequent episodes in the negotiation as well as its conclusion.

    Keywords: negotiation; bargaining; hard bargaining; KGB; espionage; spying; Russia; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Bruce Allyn: Negotiating with the KGB (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914-028, December 2013. View Details
  3. Bruce Allyn: Negotiating with the KGB (A)

    Isolated by the KGB in Moscow, Harvard graduate student Bruce Allyn faces high-pressure negotiation tactics to recruit him for the Soviet spy agency. At the tense height of the Cold War, with CIA agents systematically being exposed and executed in Russia, Allyn was participating in an unusual joint U.S.-Soviet study that alternated between the two countries. Going about his doctoral research, meeting and making friends with Russians, he accepted a low-key invitation from a trusted Russian friend to meet for lunch somewhere on the outskirts of Moscow. After hours of warm conversation, great food, and endless alcohol with a group of Russians, all but one of this group drifted out of the room. Suddenly the sole remaining man, "Vladimir," looked straight at Bruce and stated: "I am a high-ranking KGB officer. I have been commissioned to make to you a proposal." Drunk, isolated, and highly vulnerable, Allyn must negotiate with this sophisticated KGB counterpart. To recruit Allyn to secretly work for the KGB, the agent tries many approaches: barely veiled threats, offers of money, and the promise of high level access and Soviet documents that would enable Allyn over time to become the top U.S. Sovietologist. Should Allyn accept the offer, the agent stresses how Allyn could have a much better life and far more effectively advance the shared goals of reducing the risks of nuclear war and improving relations between the two hostile superpowers. Allyn must figure out what to do.

    Keywords: negotiation; bargaining; hard bargaining; KGB; espionage; spying; Russia; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Bruce Allyn: Negotiating with the KGB (A)." Harvard Business School Case 914-027, December 2013. View Details
  4. Rough Justice: Stuart Eizenstat and Holocaust-Era Asset Restitution (B)

    This case carefully traces the process by which Stuart Eizenstat handled the negotiation challenges outlined in "Rough Justice: Stuart Eizenstat and Holocaust-Era Asset Restitution (A)". It describes the outcome of the Swiss negotiations and briefly sketches Eizenstat's subsequent involvement in analogous restitution negotiations in Germany, Austria, France, and Israel.

    Keywords: negotiation; bargaining; conflict resolution; disputes; mediation; dispute resolution; Governance; History; Negotiation; Business and Government Relations; Banking Industry; Insurance Industry; Switzerland; Germany; Austria; France; Israel;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Laurence A. Green. "Rough Justice: Stuart Eizenstat and Holocaust-Era Asset Restitution (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 914-026, December 2013. View Details
  5. Paul Levy: Confronting a 'Corporate Campaign'

    Hospital CEO Paul Levy confronts an SEIU unionization drive via a "corporate campaign" aimed at undercutting the hospital's relationships with key internal and external constituencies. Having shepherded one of Boston's top teaching hospitals much of the way through a painful turnaround, but with the hospital still in a fragile financial condition, Levy must formulate a strategy and tactics to deal with the impending initiative by the SEIU, the fastest growing union in the United States with 2.1 million members and a huge organizing budget. The union will likely seek the hospital's agreement to a "neutrality agreement," under which, unlike traditional union processes, management would effectively be silenced during the organizing process. Levy is concerned that the hospital's strategy of innovation and flexibility would be imperiled by an SEIU-unionized workforce.

    Keywords: negotiation; dispute resolution; corporate campaign; negotiating campaign; bargaining; health care; Hospitals; Unions; Health Care and Treatment; Negotiation; Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Process; Health Industry; Boston;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Paul Levy: Confronting a 'Corporate Campaign'." Harvard Business School Case 914-020, December 2013. (Revised May 2014.) View Details
  6. Rough Justice: Stuart Eizenstat and Holocaust-era Asset Restitution (A)

    Beginning in 1994, a series of articles and public disclosures indicated that Swiss banks may have retained assets belonging to victims of the Holocaust, and also may have engaged in long term attempts to block survivors' ability to recover those assets after World War II. Stuart Eizenstat, a longtime government official, and U.S. Special Envoy for Property Restitution, undertook a complex multi-year negotiation between victims' representatives, advocacy groups, government officials, and the banks in an unprecedented attempt to obtain restitution for the victims. Unifying fractious parties within an uncertain legal, social, and business landscape, Eizenstat's unique approach of quantifying "rough justice" in order to enforce the accountability of corporate entities and governments for past injustices in Switzerland, forms the basis of this study.

    Keywords: negotiation; banking; Banking and Insurance; u.s. history; Germany; Europe; Governance; History; Negotiation; Business and Government Relations; Banking Industry; Insurance Industry; Germany; United States; Switzerland;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Laurence A. Green. "Rough Justice: Stuart Eizenstat and Holocaust-era Asset Restitution (A)." Harvard Business School Case 913-037, March 2013. (Revised March 2013.) View Details
  7. Peace, Non-Aligned: The Pragmatic Optimism of Lakhdar Brahimi

    Describes the background and career of Lakhdar Brahimi in numerous roles ranging from Algeria's ambassador to Indonesia and the Arab League, to serving as that country's foreign minister, and to his many years at the United Nations, with special emphasis on his actions as a mediator in Lebanese and Afghan conflicts.

    Keywords: Leadership; Conflict Management; Personal Development and Career; Government and Politics; Algeria;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Laurence A. Green. "Peace, Non-Aligned: The Pragmatic Optimism of Lakhdar Brahimi." Harvard Business School Case 912-028, December 2011. View Details
  8. Roger Caracappa: Package Deals for the Estée Lauder Companies

    Roger Caracappa must negotiate a cost-saving, innovative proposal from a potential French supplier that could displace the otherwise satisfactory, long-time incumbent supplier. Shortly after being promoted to executive vice president of the Estée Lauder Companies with global packaging as a key responsibility, Caracappa had to assess a recent proposal he had received from a small French company that had patented a packaging innovation. The innovation could save the Estée Lauder Companies some $4 to $5 million per year if Caracappa championed it, negotiated a deal to use it, and if it were adopted by Lauder's key brands. If the new packaging functioned as promised, the consumer would not perceive any change in the high quality, stylish packaging that was essential to the luxury image of the firm's brands. But if the new packaging caused production, delivery, or quality problems, the supposed savings would be quickly forgotten and Caracappa would bear a heavy responsibility both for the problems and for disrupting an otherwise satisfactory relationship with the long-time incumbent supplier.

    Keywords: Operations; Supply Chain Management; Change; Innovation and Invention; Cost vs Benefits; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Roger Caracappa: Package Deals for the Estée Lauder Companies." Harvard Business School Case 912-003, December 2011. View Details
  9. The K-Dow Petrochemicals Joint Venture

    In 2007, the Dow Chemical Company and the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation announced plans to launch a multibillion-dollar joint venture. Later known as K-Dow Petrochemicals, it would be one of the largest manufacturers of chemicals and plastics in the world. Analysts widely hailed the planned joint venture as a game-changing deal for both companies. Shortly after the announcement, cable network CNBC requested an interview with Andrew Liveris, Dow's CEO, about this massive transaction. Liveris needed to decide how to respond. This case provides a brief background on the industry, both companies, and plans for the joint venture as of January 2008.

    Keywords: Announcements; Joint Ventures; Chemical Industry; Kuwait; United States;

    Citation:

    Subramanian, Guhan, James K. Sebenius, Phillip Andrews, Rhea Ghosh, and Charlotte Krontiris. "The K-Dow Petrochemicals Joint Venture." Harvard Business School Case 912-002, September 2011. (Revised September 2013.) View Details
  10. Col. Joshua Chamberlain: Background to a Challenging Negotiation from the Civil War

    This note provides historical context and background for a challenging negotiation by Col. Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine Regiment of the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War.

    Keywords: History; Negotiation; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Col. Joshua Chamberlain: Background to a Challenging Negotiation from the Civil War." Harvard Business School Background Note 912-029, December 2011. (Revised May 2014.) View Details
  11. Keurig: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

    Case provides confidential information for students assuming the role of senior executives of Keurig, a startup that has developed an innovative "portion pack" coffee brewing solution, in a negotiation to license technology to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR). The negotiation will determine the royalty to be paid to Keurig by GMCR, which will bear capital expenditures, and determine whether GMCR secures exclusive distribution rights to Keurig's system.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Shikhar Ghosh, and James K. Sebenius. "Keurig: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters." Harvard Business School Case 812-102, December 2011. View Details
  12. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Keurig

    Case provides confidential information for students assuming the role of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) senior executives in a negotiation to license technology from Keurig, a startup that has developed an innovative "portion pack" coffee brewing solution. The negotiation will determine the royalty to be paid to Keurig by GMCR, which will bear capital expenditures, and determine whether GMCR secures exclusive distribution rights to Keurig's system.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Food and Beverage Industry;

    Citation:

    Eisenmann, Thomas R., Shikhar Ghosh, and James K. Sebenius. "Green Mountain Coffee Roasters: Confidential Information for Negotiation with Keurig." Harvard Business School Case 812-103, December 2011. View Details
  13. Negotiating the Path of Abraham

    The Abraham Path Initiative board faces strategic and negotiating challenges in revitalizing a route of Middle East cultural tourism following Abraham's path 4000 years ago. The Path begins in the ancient ruins of Harran, in modern-day Turkey, where Abraham first heard the call to "go forth." It passes through some of the world's most revered cultural, historical, and holy sites, ending in the city of Hebron/AI-Khalil at the tomb of Abraham. With Abraham as a venerated patriarchal figure for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity--monotheistic religions whose adherents have so often clashed--the potential unifying power of this conception has attracted a remarkable range of supporters from around the world as well as considerable media interest. From a notion crystallized at Harvard in 2004, this idea has been carefully negotiated into a concrete reality with supporting country organizations in Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel. With the endorsement of the U.N.'s Alliance of Civilizations, over 300 kilometers of the Path have now been opened to a growing number of travelers ranging from student study groups to international leaders, all walking stretches of the Path. Yet, momentum has stalled in key areas, strategic and operational issues remain unresolved, and the financial future of the initiative is clouded. Soon the board will meet to debate and decide these issues.

    Keywords: Nonprofit Organizations; Governing and Advisory Boards; Partners and Partnerships; Negotiation; Social Entrepreneurship; Religion; Culture; Tourism Industry; Israel; Syria; Middle East; Turkey; Jordan;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Kimberlyn Leary. "Negotiating the Path of Abraham." Harvard Business School Case 912-017, December 2011. View Details
  14. Everything or Nothing: Martti Ahtisaari and the Aceh Negotiations (A)

    In early 2005, Martti Ahtisaari planned negotiations to end the decades-long conflict between Acehnese insurgents and the Indonesian government that had claimed thousands of lives. The "modern" phase of the insurgency by the fighters from the Free Aceh Movement that sought independence from Indonesia had persisted for some 30 years, claiming tens of thousands dead, countless wounded and tortured, as well as economic damage estimated by the World Bank at over $11 billion. In a few short days, Ahtisaari, former Finnish President and longtime diplomat active in some of the world's nastiest trouble spots, would see if he and his team could help foster an elusive accord between the bitter, distrustful parties to the conflict.

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Negotiation; Conflict and Resolution; Conflict Management; Indonesia;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Alex Green. "Everything or Nothing: Martti Ahtisaari and the Aceh Negotiations (A)." Harvard Business School Case 911-040, December 2010. View Details
  15. Everything or Nothing: Martti Ahtisaari and the Aceh Negotiations (B)

    Describes Martti Ahtisaari's negotiating strategies and tactics along with the results of his efforts to end the decades-long conflict between Acehnese insurgents and the Indonesian government that had claimed thousands of lives.

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Tactics; Conflict of Interests; Strategy; Indonesia;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Alex Green. "Everything or Nothing: Martti Ahtisaari and the Aceh Negotiations (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 911-041, December 2010. View Details
  16. The Israeli-Palestinian Negotiating Partners: 2010 Strategic Re-assessment

    A network of influential Israelis and Palestinians, jointly trained in negotiation at Harvard since 2002, faces organizational, strategic, and funding challenges in 2010. Unlike "people-to-people" or "Track II" initiatives, the Israeli-Palestinian Negotiating Partners (IPNP) consists of relatively senior people on both sides of the conflict who have undergone advanced negotiation training together and now constitute a unique network in the region. IPNP's academic sponsor, the Harvard Negotiation Project, is helping to assess this unique negotiation initiative and to assist the organization to conduct a basic re-assessment in the face of changes in regional politics, the conflict, and the funding environment.

    Keywords: Finance; Negotiation Participants; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Conflict and Resolution; Conflict Management; Social and Collaborative Networks; Strategy;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Shula Gilad. "The Israeli-Palestinian Negotiating Partners: 2010 Strategic Re-assessment." Harvard Business School Case 911-025, December 2010. View Details
  17. Esquel Group: Building a Sustainable Partnership with Cotton Farmers in Xinjiang (A)

    Esquel Group, leading manufacturer of quality shirts, sought to negotiate long-term partnerships with often-exploited farmers in Xinjiang (western China) to procure a superior cotton variety. Seeking to secure a large supply of specialty cotton in an ethical and socially responsible fashion, Esquel undertook a major 2002 initiative to negotiate value-creating contracts among itself, local Xinjiang municipal governments, and cotton farmers. Aware that contract enforcement in China can be challenging, Esquel offered the region's poor, often-suspicious farmers attractive advanced financing, guaranteed minimum pricing, and other generous terms in return for an agreement to sell their crop exclusively to Esquel. The case concludes with the specialty cotton harvest shaping up as very good while demand for the premium cotton fiber appears to be stronger than ever.

    Keywords: Contracts; Agreements and Arrangements; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Leasing; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; Partners and Partnerships; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Hong Kong; Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Jason Cheng Qian. "Esquel Group: Building a Sustainable Partnership with Cotton Farmers in Xinjiang (A)." Harvard Business School Case 911-031, November 2010. View Details
  18. Esquel Group: Building a Sustainable Partnership with Cotton Farmers in Xinjiang (B)

    Details and evaluates results in Esquel's 2002 initiative to negotiate long-term partnerships with often-exploited farmers in Xinjiang (western China) to procure a superior cotton variety.

    Keywords: Contracts; Agreements and Arrangements; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Outcome or Result; Leasing; Business and Community Relations; Business and Government Relations; Partners and Partnerships; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Manufacturing Industry; Hong Kong; Xinjiang Uygur Zizhiqu;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Jason Cheng Qian. "Esquel Group: Building a Sustainable Partnership with Cotton Farmers in Xinjiang (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 911-032, November 2010. View Details
  19. C.K. Claridge, Inc.

    Sued for patent infringement, chemical manufacturer C.K. Claridge tries to design a settlement strategy taking into account a decision analysis of litigating v. negotiating. The plaintiffs are the patent holder and its sole licensee, who is also a CKC competitor. (This case is a revised, alternative version of "C.K. Coolidge, Inc. (Abridged)," HBS No. 607-006.)

    Keywords: Decision Making; Patents; Lawsuits and Litigation; Negotiation Style; Negotiation Tactics; Chemical Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "C.K. Claridge, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 910-045, May 2010. (Revised May 2013.) View Details
  20. Bill Nichol Negotiates with Walmart: Hard Bargains over Soft Goods (A)

    CEO Bill Nichol must somehow negotiate a surprise ultimatum from Walmart, his largest customer, about his largest and most profitable product line: “We're dropping it.” Among its hosiery products, the Kentucky Derby Hosiery Co. produces and sells a branded line of infant socks to Walmart under an expensive license from another manufacturer, subject to unconditional, multi-year sales minimums and significant forward financial obligations. Taking out long-term bank loans, his firm has purchased modern, high-speed machinery to manufacture this line. Yet his Walmart contracts run only one year at a time. Without the Walmart volume and profit on these branded infant socks, Kentucky Derby Hosiery Co. faces financial distress. In a generally bleak North American textile environment, Nichol ponders the most promising negotiating strategy and tactics to rescue this product line.

    Keywords: Customer Relationship Management; Crisis Management; Negotiation Tactics; Conflict Management; Apparel and Accessories Industry; North America;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Bill Nichol Negotiates with Walmart: Hard Bargains over Soft Goods (A)." Harvard Business School Case 910-043, April 2010. View Details
  21. Bill Nichol Negotiates with Walmart: Hard Bargains over Soft Goods (B)

    This case describes the multi-prong negotiating approach that Bill Nichol, Kentucky Derby Hosiery Co. CEO, took to deal with an ultimatum from his largest customer, as well as the outcome of this process. It concludes with a number of Nichol's observations about supplier-retailer negotiations.

    Keywords: Customers; Management Practices and Processes; Negotiation Deal; Outcome or Result; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Bill Nichol Negotiates with Walmart: Hard Bargains over Soft Goods (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 910-044, April 2010. View Details
  22. Tom Muccio: Negotiating the P&G Relationship with Wal-Mart (A)

    Describes the retailer-supplier negotiations of Tom Muccio, one of the earlier Proctor & Gamble (P&G) employees to be based in Bentonville, Arkansas, in negotiating the early operational components of the supplier-retailer partnership between P&G and Wal-Mart in the late 1980s. Provides background on the supplier-retailer relationship and negotiation barriers encountered when executing operational components of the partnership.

    Keywords: Negotiation Process; Supply Chain Management; Partners and Partnerships; Conflict and Resolution; Bentonville;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Tom Muccio: Negotiating the P&G Relationship with Wal-Mart (A)." Harvard Business School Case 907-013, January 2007. (Revised January 2010.) View Details
  23. Tom Muccio: Negotiating the P&G Relationship with Wal-Mart (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Relationships; Consumer Products Industry; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Tom Muccio: Negotiating the P&G Relationship with Wal-Mart (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 907-014, April 2007. (Revised January 2010.) View Details
  24. Michael Brown: Negotiating Slots at Foxwoods (A)

    The issues of the impending negotiation between the CEO of Foxwoods and the governor of Connecticut over lifting the ban on slot machines at Foxwoods are presented. Reviews the gaming business in the United States, the special history of Indian gaming, the Pequot Tribe, the battle over casino gambling in Connecticut, and the early success of Foxwoods. A fiscal crisis sets the stage for a possible deal.

    Keywords: Financial Crisis; Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Policy; Negotiation Deal; Business and Government Relations; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Connecticut;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Michael Brown: Negotiating Slots at Foxwoods (A)." Harvard Business School Case 899-234, February 1999. (Revised November 2009.) View Details
  25. Negotiating Star Compensation at the USAWBL (A-1): Confidential Instructions for Jesse J.

    In this three-party negotiation exercise, Jesse J, star center in the U.S.A. Women's Basketball League, with her agent, is negotiating a possible compensation package with the Boston Sharks involving a base salary, a possible share of team merchandising profits, and a performance incentive. Each player (Jesse J, her agent, the Sharks general manager) has a confidential brief as the basis for the negotiation.

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Contracts; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Conflict and Resolution; Sports; Sports Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Larkin, Ian, James K. Sebenius, and Guhan Subramanian. "Negotiating Star Compensation at the USAWBL (A-1): Confidential Instructions for Jesse J." Harvard Business School Case 906-026, January 2006. (Revised October 2009.) View Details
  26. Negotiating Star Compensation at the USAWBL (A-2): Confidential Instructions for the Boston Sharks General Manager

    Keywords: Negotiation; Compensation and Benefits; Sports; Sports Industry; Boston;

    Citation:

    Larkin, Ian, James K. Sebenius, and Guhan Subramanian. "Negotiating Star Compensation at the USAWBL (A-2): Confidential Instructions for the Boston Sharks General Manager." Harvard Business School Supplement 906-027, January 2006. (Revised October 2009.) View Details
  27. Negotiating Star Compensation at the USAWBL (A-3): Confidential Instructions for Jesse J's Agent

    Citation:

    Larkin, Ian, James K. Sebenius, and Guhan Subramanian. "Negotiating Star Compensation at the USAWBL (A-3): Confidential Instructions for Jesse J's Agent." Harvard Business School Supplement 906-028, January 2006. (Revised October 2009.) View Details
  28. Don Soderquist: Negotiating the Wal-Mart-P&G Relationship (A)

    This case describes the negotiations and strategic choices of Don Soderquist, who as Chief Operating Officer of Wal-Mart, helped to forge a major partnership with P&G in the 1980s and 1990s. The case chronicles the challenging barriers to success along with several of the moves that Soderquist and the Wal-Mart executive leadership team made in order to make the Wal-Mart- P&G relationship an extremely profitable supplier - retailer relationship.

    Keywords: Negotiation Style; Partners and Partnerships; Leadership; Value Creation; Problems and Challenges; Management Teams; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Don Soderquist: Negotiating the Wal-Mart-P&G Relationship (A)." Harvard Business School Case 910-004, October 2009. View Details
  29. Don Soderquist: Negotiating the Wal-Mart-P&G Relationship (B)

    This case follows the A case and describes the negotiations and strategic choices of Don Soderquist, who as Chief Operating Officer of Wal-Mart, helped to forge a major partnership with P&G in the 1980s and 1990s. The case chronicles the challenging barriers to success along with several of the moves that Soderquist and the Wal-Mart executive leadership team made in order to make the Wal-Mart- P&G relationship an extremely profitable supplier - retailer relationship.

    Keywords: Negotiation Style; Partners and Partnerships; Leadership; Value Creation; Problems and Challenges; Distribution Channels; Distribution Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Don Soderquist: Negotiating the Wal-Mart-P&G Relationship (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 910-005, October 2009. View Details
  30. Wyoff and China-LuQuan: Negotiating a Joint Venture (A)

    Through stalled joint venture talks between Pennsylvania-based Wyoff Corp. and China-based China-LuQuan, strategic and cross-cultural negotiation challenges are explored both from American and Chinese perspectives. Wyoff, a leading US chemical company has been seeking ways to secure the company's foothold in China's emerging market since the late '90s. When approached by China-LuQuan in 2000, a major Chinese state-owned chemical producer for a joint-venture opportunity to make a popular chemical catalyst in China, Wyoff, leveraging its superior technology, demanded one-sided terms and played hardball, ruining both the deal and the relationship with China-LuQuan. Seven years later in 2007, Wyoff faced market pressure to again seek a joint venture with China-LuQuan on two other types of products. Both parties had to overcome past distrust to work things out on a series of strategic issues: investment, product slate, marketing, technology, management, organization, staffing, etc. In the negotiations, cross-cultural themes (e.g. trust, relationships, communication, time, autonomy, face, etc.) and different negotiation styles created challenges along with the business and strategic issues. The (A) case sets up the negotiations, highlights issue impasses, explores cross-cultural frictions, and poses tactical challenges. The (B) case describes the strategies, tactics, and results of these negotiations.

    Keywords: Joint Ventures; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Style; Strategy; Chemical Industry; China; Pennsylvania;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Cheng (Jason) Qian. "Wyoff and China-LuQuan: Negotiating a Joint Venture (A)." Harvard Business School Case 908-046, January 2008. (Revised April 2009.) View Details
  31. Wyoff and China-LuQuan: Negotiating a Joint Venture (B)

    Through stalled joint venture talks between Pennsylvania-based Wyoff Corp. and Jinan-based China-LuQuan, strategic and cross-cultural negotiation challenges are explored both from American and Chinese perspectives. Wyoff, a leading U.S. chemical company, has been seeking ways to secure the company's foothold in China's emerging market since the late 90s. When approached by China-LuQuan, a major Chinese state-owned chemical producer, in 2000 for a joint-venture opportunity to make a popular chemical catalyst in China, Wyoff, leveraging its superior technology, demanded one-sided terms and played hardball, ruining both the deal and the relationship with China-LuQuan. Seven years later in 2007, Wyoff faced market pressure to again seek a joint venture with China-LuQuan on two other types of products. Both parties had to overcome past distrust to work things out on a series of strategic issues: investment, product slate, marketing, technology, management organization, staffing, etc. In the negotiations, cross-cultural themes (e.g., trust, relationships, communication, time, autonomy, face, etc.) and different negotiation styles created challenges along with the business and strategic issues. The (A) case sets up the negotiations, highlights issue impasses, explores cross-cultural frictions, and poses tactical challenges. The (B) case describes the strategies, tactics, and results of these negotiations.

    Keywords: Joint Ventures; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Chemical Industry; China; Pennsylvania;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Cheng (Jason) Qian. "Wyoff and China-LuQuan: Negotiating a Joint Venture (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 909-014, September 2008. (Revised April 2009.) View Details
  32. ADR Choices

    Six different business disputes, all in the shadow of pending litigation, are described. Students are asked to recommend the appropriate method of dispute resolution (mediation, arbitration, mini-trial, etc.) for each one, depending on the circumstances, especially to assess likely barriers to unassisted negotiation.

    Keywords: Lawsuits and Litigation; Managerial Roles; Negotiation; Agreements and Arrangements; Conflict Management;

    Citation:

    Wheeler, Michael, James Sebenius, and Marjorie Aaron. "ADR Choices." Harvard Business School Background Note 908-040, March 2008. (Revised June 2012.) View Details
  33. Doyle's Dealmaking Dilemma (A): Negotiating the Job Search

    MBA student Doyle Williams searches for his ideal job in a private equity group and uses his negotiation skills to try to attain the best possible compensation package. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Job Search; Negotiation Process; Personal Development and Career;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Doyle's Dealmaking Dilemma (A): Negotiating the Job Search." Harvard Business School Case 801-229, October 2000. (Revised December 2008.) View Details
  34. The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China

    To deliver 5-6 major new Chinese joint ventures annually, Hong Kong China Gas executives began extracting cross-border negotiating lessons from their 80 existing Chinese JVs. Chairman Alfred Chan and CEO Peter Wong knew that HKGC's growth strategy required significant mainland expansion through negotiating joint ventures to run gas and water distribution systems in diverse urban and rural locations throughout mainland China-often in the face of entrenched local interests who could have blocking power. Discussions with HKGC's negotiation teams revealed an increasingly sophisticated negotiating approach from target identification and party mapping, to "social mapping" and building guanxi, to creative deal design and tactics, in order to most effectively work out issues of equity, management control, territory, and exclusivity.

    Keywords: Joint Ventures; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Tactics; Interests; Cooperation; Expansion; Utilities Industry; Hong Kong;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., Michael Shih-ta Chen, and Medha Samant. "The Hong Kong & China Gas Company Ltd.: Negotiating Joint Ventures in China." Harvard Business School Case 909-028, November 2008. View Details
  35. Steven Scheyer: Renegotiating the Newell Rubbermaid Relationship with Wal-Mart

    In April 2001, Newell Rubbermaid's incoming CEO Joe Galli tapped Steve Scheyer to become President of Newell Rubbermaid's soon-to-be-created Wal-Mart Division. Scheyer had to renegotiate a partnership with Wal-Mart--Rubbermaid's largest customer--that had grown acrimonious under Rubbermaid's previous management. This case details these challenging internal and external negotiations, together with supporting business changes, that Scheyer spearheaded to engineer a major turnaround in the supplier-retailer relationship.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Distribution Channels; Partners and Partnerships; Negotiation Process;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Steven Scheyer: Renegotiating the Newell Rubbermaid Relationship with Wal-Mart." Harvard Business School Case 909-013, September 2008. View Details
  36. The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for Pearl Equity Partners

    In a six-party negotiation exercise, the TNDA Corp. plans to sell the Elcer Products Division to one of four potential buyers (industrial, financial, U.S., German). This case contains confidential information for the Pearl Equity Partners management role. Challenges include how to set up and implement the most promising sale process, come up with the right deal, and choose the best tactical approach given each party's role and objectives. This negotiation exercise draws on and illustrates the "3-D Negotiation" logic of Lax and Sebenius.

    Keywords: Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for Pearl Equity Partners." Harvard Business School Exercise 908-031, December 2007. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  37. The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for US Industrial ElectroCeramics (US-IND)

    In a six-party negotiation exercise, the TNDA Corp. plans to sell the Elcer Products Division to one of four potential buyers (industrial, financial, U.S., German). This case contains confidential information for the US Industrial ElectroCeramics (US-IND) management role. Challenges include how to set up and implement the most promising sale process, come up with the right deal, and choose the best tactical approach given each party's role and objectives. This negotiation exercise draws on and illustrates the "3-D Negotiation" logic of Lax and Sebenius.

    Keywords: Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for US Industrial ElectroCeramics (US-IND)." Harvard Business School Exercise 908-032, December 2007. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  38. The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for Euro Elektrische Keramische Vorrichtungen (Euro EKV), GmbH

    In a six-party negotiation exercise, the TNDA Corp. plans to sell the Elcer Products Division to one of four potential buyers (industrial, financial, U.S., German). This case contains confidential information for the Euro Elektrische Keramische Vorrichtungen, GmbH (Euro EKV) management role. Challenges include how to set up and implement the most promising sale process, come up with the right deal, and choose the best tactical approach given each party's role and objectives. This negotiation exercise draws on and illustrates the "3-D Negotiation" logic of Lax and Sebenius.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Managerial Roles; Negotiation Deal; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for Euro Elektrische Keramische Vorrichtungen (Euro EKV), GmbH." Harvard Business School Exercise 908-033, December 2007. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  39. The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for TNDA Corporation

    In a six-party negotiation exercise, the TNDA Corp. plans to sell the Elcer Products Division to one of four potential buyers (industrial, financial, U.S., German). This case contains confidential information for the TNDA Corporation management role. Challenges include how to set up and implement the most promising sale process, come up with the right deal, and choose the best tactical approach given each party's role and objectives. This negotiation exercise draws on and illustrates the "3-D Negotiation" logic of Lax and Sebenius.

    Keywords: Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for TNDA Corporation." Harvard Business School Exercise 908-034, December 2007. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  40. The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for RubyFibre Enterprises

    In a six-party negotiation exercise, the TNDA Corp. plans to sell Elcer Products Division to one of four potential buyers (industrial, financial, U.S., German). This case contains confidential information for the RubyFibre Enterprises management role. Challenges include how to set up and implement the most promising sales process, come up with the right deal, and choose the best tactical approach given each party's role and objectives. This negotiation exercise draws on and illustrates the "3-D Negotiation" logic of Lax and Sebenius.

    Keywords: Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for RubyFibre Enterprises." Harvard Business School Exercise 908-035, December 2007. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  41. The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for Elcer Products Division President

    In a six-party negotiation exercise, the TNDA Corp. plans to sell Elcer Products Division to one of four potential buyers (industrial, financial, U.S., German). This case contains confidential information for the Elcer Divisional management role. Challenges include how to set up and implement the most promising sales process, come up with the right deal, and choose the best tactical approach given each party's role and objectives. This negotiation exercise draws on and illustrates the "3-D Negotiation" logic of Lax and Sebenius.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Managerial Roles; Negotiation Deal; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Guhan Subramanian. "The Elcer Products Transaction: Confidential Information for Elcer Products Division President." Harvard Business School Exercise 908-036, December 2007. (Revised April 2008.) View Details
  42. Bidding on Martha's Vineyard (A)

    To buy a desirable Martha's Vineyard property, Robert and Sally Franklin must craft a bidding strategy informed by their assessment of their competitor. The "A" case sets up the situation and bidding history to date, describes how they assessed their valuations and probabilistic views, and leaves them with a key decision. The B case describes their choice as well as the twists and turns leading to the conclusion.

    Keywords: Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Process; Valuation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Property; Bids and Bidding; Real Estate Industry; Martha's Vineyard;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James. "Bidding on Martha's Vineyard (A)." Harvard Business School Case 908-044, January 2008. (Revised March 2008.) View Details
  43. Bidding on Martha's Vineyard (B)

    To buy a desirable Martha's Vineyard property, Robert and Sally Franklin must craft a bidding strategy informed by their assessment of their competitor. The "A" case sets up the situation and bidding history to date, describes how they assessed their valuations and probabilistic views, and leaves them with a key decision. The B case describes their choice as well as the twists and turns leading to the conclusion.

    Keywords: Bids and Bidding; Property; Competitive Strategy; Real Estate Industry; Martha's Vineyard;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James. "Bidding on Martha's Vineyard (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 908-045, January 2008. (Revised March 2008.) View Details
  44. "To hell with the future, let's get on with the past." George Mitchell in North Ireland

    Examines the strategies and tactics used by U.S. negotiator George Mitchell during his two-year tenure as chairman of the all-party talks in Northern Ireland. His efforts culminated in the signing of the historic Good Friday Accords.

    Keywords: Policy; International Relations; Managerial Roles; Negotiation Tactics; Strategy; Northern Ireland;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Daniel F. Curran. "To hell with the future, let's get on with the past." George Mitchell in North Ireland. Harvard Business School Case 801-393, May 2001. (Revised March 2008.) View Details
  45. Joe Bachelder: Reflections

    After Charles Suarez's failed compensation negotiations with Victor, Suarez's attorney, Joe Batchelder, joined class discussions of the case in a course taught by Professor Brian Hall. Professor James Sebenius also interviewed Joe Bachelder at length on this case and related issues of negotiation and executive compensation. A significantly edited, elaborated, and composite version of Bachelder's informal remarks in these two settings follows: Joe Bachelder: Executive Pay Negotiator (904030), by Jason R. Barro, Brian J. Hall, and Aaron M.G. Zimmerman.

    Keywords: Courts and Trials; Attorney and Client Relationships; Negotiation Deal; Executive Compensation; Knowledge Sharing; Talent and Talent Management; Perspective; Organizations;

    Citation:

    Hall, Brian, and James K. Sebenius. "Joe Bachelder: Reflections." Harvard Business School Supplement 908-030, January 2008. View Details
  46. Great Negotiator Case Study Package

    This special curriculum package includes the following case studies in the Great Negotiator Case Study Series, each of which features a past recipient of PON's Great Negotiator Award:

    • 2000 PON Great Negotiator: "To Hell with the Future, Let's Get On With the Past": George Mitchell in Northern Ireland, featuring former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's work on the all-party talks in Northern Ireland between 1996 and 1998 that culminated in the signing of the historic Good Friday Accords
    • 2001 PON Great Negotiator: Charlene Barshefsky (A) and (B), featuring former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefky's work from 1994 to 1996 negotiating a trade agreement with China
    • 2002 PON Great Negotiator: Lakhdar Brahimi: Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan, featuring former United Nations Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's involvement in negotiating an interim government for Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001
    • 2003 PON Great Negotiator: Stuart Eizenstat: Negotiating the Final Accounts of World War II, featuring former EU Ambassador and Special Representative to the President Stuart Eizenstat's work facilitating the award of $8 billion in reparations from multiple European governments, banks, and companies to victims of World War II

    Each case study describes the featured negotiator's background and examines the context, strategies, tactics, and outcome of a particularly difficult international negotiation in which the negotiator was involved. Used together, the case studies offer a unique opportunity to learn from recent history and to compare and contrast the approaches of three renowned professional negotiators.

    Keywords: Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., Jeswald Salacuse, Daniel Curran, Rebecca Hulse, and Kristin Schneeman. "Great Negotiator Case Study Package." Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Case, 2008. View Details
  47. DEC v. Riverside

    Riverside Lumber is a pulp manufacturer in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. Riverside regularly dumps effluent into a nearby river. The Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC) claims that the effluent is toxic and jeopardizes the local salmon catch. Relations between the two parties have deteriorated. DEC has filed suit against Riverside in an attempt to close the plant. The trial date is three days away, and the parties are meeting to see if a last minute settlement is possible. Several issues will surface in the negotiation: Should Riverside be forced to purchase a special scrubber to neutralize the toxic effects of its effluent? Should Riverside be forced to close temporarily or permanently? Can DEC provide Riverside financial incentives to encourage cooperation?

    Keywords: Competition; Conflict Management; Cooperation; Courts and Trials; Decision Choices and Conditions; Natural Environment; Negotiation; Pulp and Paper Industry; Northwestern United States;

    Citation:

    Lax, David A., James K. Sebenius, Lawrence Susskind, and Thomas Weeks. "DEC v. Riverside." Simulation and Teaching Note. Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, 2008. View Details
  48. Great Negotiator 2004: Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

    The Program on Negotiation honored Ambassador Holbrooke in events in October 2004. These began with an in-depth faculty-moderated discussion with an invited group of students, faculty and guests at Harvard Business School and concluded with Ambassador Holbrooke receiving the Great Negotiator Award at a formal dinner at Harvard Law School. This DVD features excerpts from both discussions with Ambassador Holbrooke.

    Keywords: Leadership; Negotiation;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Great Negotiator 2004: Ambassador Richard Holbrooke." Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, 2008. Video. (DVD.) View Details
  49. Tools and Tactics for Transformation: Three "Whats" and Three "Hows"

    Important transformation at Goldman Sachs, where one of the authors was Chairman, required analysis, political leadership, and management in order to fundamentally shift the strategy, people, and culture on a sustainable basis. After describing the actions needed to move a reluctant Goldman Sachs into junk bonds, private equity, and toward a genuinely global presence, broader lessons are drawn about the tools and tactics for transforming organizations.

    Keywords: Negotiation Tactics; Business Strategy; Organizational Culture; Transition; Strategic Planning; Core Relationships; Multinational Firms and Management; Leadership Style; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Private Equity;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Stephen Friedman. Tools and Tactics for Transformation: Three "Whats" and Three "Hows". Harvard Business School Background Note 908-028, December 2007. View Details
  50. The Bollingers: Negotiating with Wal-Mart (A)

    Describes the negotiations by Howard and Marilyn Bollinger over supplying a new product line to Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. The (A) case outlines the Bollingers' development of their product, the Wallpockett, documents their negotiation preparation for dealing with Wal-Mart, and describes their negotiation challenges. The (B) case describes strategies, tactics, and the results of their negotiations with Wal-Mart and draws on their experience to provide a set of recommended approaches to retail-supplier negotiations.

    Keywords: Negotiation Preparation; Product Development; Supply Chain; Problems and Challenges; Retail Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "The Bollingers: Negotiating with Wal-Mart (A)." Harvard Business School Case 907-009, November 2006. (Revised September 2007.) View Details
  51. Peter Welz: When a Marquee Prospect Plays Hardball (A)

    Describes the hardball tactics facing Peter Welz, who seeks to negotiate a make-or-break contract with a vastly larger potential client. Welz's counterpart team is led by Preston Spitzer, a notoriously tough player who fully understands his side's massive advantages in the process. With the economic fate of Welz's newly public smaller firm in the balance, Welz and his team must figure out how to handle some very tough tactics by Spitzer and his minions aimed at extracting lopsided contract concessions. These tactics include demeaning remarks, repeated threats to opt for a competitor, misrepresentations, repudiation of previously agreed provisions, last-minute demands, divide-and-conquer moves, and a waiting game that exploits the smaller firm's evidently urgent need for a closure. The (A) case sets up the negotiations and poses an immediate tactical challenge in the context of the overall process. The (B) case describes the strategies, tactics, and results of these negotiations, along with Welz's broader insights into a more productive approach to the common challenge of dealing with very hard bargainers.

    Keywords: Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Behavior; Conflict and Resolution; Competitive Advantage;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Peter Welz: When a Marquee Prospect Plays Hardball (A)." Harvard Business School Case 908-010, September 2007. (Revised April 2013.) View Details
  52. Lou Pritchett: Negotiating the P&G Relationship with Wal-Mart

    Describes several internal and external negotiations in the 1980s that led to a significant and growing partnership between Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Wal-Mart. From the perspective of Lou Pritchett, P&G's Vice President of Sales and Customer Development, the unfolding negotiations are described, starting with a canoe trip Pritchett took with Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Provides insight into various negotiating situations as well as key lessons learned from early efforts to help P&G and Wal-Mart forge a more integrated supplier-retailer partnership.

    Keywords: Marketing; Negotiation; Distribution Channels; Partners and Partnerships; Sales;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Lou Pritchett: Negotiating the P&G Relationship with Wal-Mart." Harvard Business School Case 907-011, January 2007. View Details
  53. Sarah Talley and Frey Farms Produce: Negotiating with Wal-Mart (A)

    Describes the retailer-supplier negotiations of Frey Farms Produce in its growth from a small local produce supplier to becoming a supplier for Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. The (A) case sets up three negotiations led by Sarah Talley of Frey Farms Produce in order to sell produce to Wal-Mart, manage price expectations during a difficult growing season, and deal with issues of co-management. The (B) case describes strategies, tactics, and the results of these negotiations, along with broader insights from the protagonist into a general approach to retailer-supplier negotiations.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Distribution Channels; Sales;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ellen Knebel. "Sarah Talley and Frey Farms Produce: Negotiating with Wal-Mart (A)." Harvard Business School Case 907-003, November 2006. View Details
  54. Smartix (A): Dancing with Elephants

    This case describes issues facing the founder-CEO of a high-tech start-up in Boston, as he negotiates with multiple large potential partners and investors. The negotiations include a potential business partnership with FleetCenter and Madison Square Garden, and a potential investment from two large venture capital firms. The case focuses on the sequencing among the parties, how to resolve conflicting interests among the parties, and the issues facing small entrepreneurial firms trying to negotiate with very large and powerful investors and business partners.

    Keywords: Technology; Venture Capital; Negotiation; Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Power and Influence; Technology Industry; Boston;

    Citation:

    Sull, Donald N., James K. Sebenius, and Noam Wasserman. "Smartix (A): Dancing with Elephants." Harvard Business School Case 902-156, November 2001. (Revised October 2006.) View Details
  55. Negotiating for the Motion Picture Association of America and the Motion Picture Association: Jack Valenti (A)

    Summarizes the background and career highlights of Jack Valenti, longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America and the Motion Picture Association. Sets up three difficult negotiation challenges facing Valenti over a rating system for movies, the financial syndication rules for television networks, and a French-backed "culture exemption" for movies in world trade talks.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Film Entertainment; Television Entertainment; Negotiation; Problems and Challenges; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., Ellen Knebel, and Erin Egan. "Negotiating for the Motion Picture Association of America and the Motion Picture Association: Jack Valenti (A)." Harvard Business School Case 906-025, January 2006. View Details
  56. Negotiating for the Motion Picture Association of America and the Motion Picture Association: Jack Valenti (B)

    Keywords: Negotiation; Motion Pictures and Video Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., Ellen Knebel, and Erin Egan. "Negotiating for the Motion Picture Association of America and the Motion Picture Association: Jack Valenti (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 906-032, January 2006. View Details
  57. Betonn Corporation: Confidential Negotiation Information

    A two-party, multiple-issue dollar-scoring negotiation exercise dealing with the formation and terms of an IT-industry joint venture. Subordinates have made some progress on several issues but have reached an impasse. Division heads will now attempt to reach a resolution.

    Keywords: Negotiation Types; Joint Ventures; Conflict Management; Information Technology; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Betonn Corporation: Confidential Negotiation Information." Harvard Business School Exercise 801-419, May 2001. (Revised April 2005.) View Details
  58. Ray Rogers and the Corporate Campaign (A)

    Sets the stage for analyzing the strategy of labor organizer Ray Rogers in bringing J.P. Stevens to the bargaining table when conventional union tactics failed. Though set in the specific context of labor-management relations, it illustrates much more fundamental aspects of negotiation analysis, strategy, and tactics. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Strategy; Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Tactics; Labor Unions; Labor and Management Relations; Manufacturing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Michael A. Wheeler. "Ray Rogers and the Corporate Campaign (A)." Harvard Business School Case 905-054, January 2005. (Revised February 2005.) View Details
  59. Great Negotiator 2002: Lakhdar Brahimi

    The Program on Negotiation honored Ambassador Brahimi in events on October 2, 2002. These began with an in-depth faculty-moderated discussion with a group of students, faculty, and guests at Harvard Business School. On the evening of the 2nd, Ambassador Brahimi received the Great Negotiator Award at a formal dinner at Harvard Law School. This DVD features excerpts from the award discussion with Ambassador Brahimi.

    On the DVD, Ambassador Brahimi speaks from personal experience about strategies, tactics, and lessons learned as UN Special Envoy to Afghanistan both before and after the fall of the Taliban; and about general negotiation issues such as knowing what is and what isn't negotiable, taking account of outside players in a negotiation, the role of deadlines in negotiation, negotiating with parties together or separately, and knowing when to continue negotiating and when to walk away.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Learning; Strategy; Afghanistan;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Kristin Schneeman. "Great Negotiator 2002: Lakhdar Brahimi." Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, 2004. Video. (DVD.) View Details
  60. George Mitchell in Northern Ireland (A)

    Examines the strategies and tactics that U.S. negotiator George Mitchell used during his two-year tenure as chairman of the all-party talks in Northern Ireland. His efforts culminated in the signing of the historic Good Friday Accords. A revised version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Policy; International Relations; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Tactics; Northern Ireland; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Daniel F. Curran. "George Mitchell in Northern Ireland (A)." Harvard Business School Case 904-001, December 2003. View Details
  61. George Mitchell in Northern Ireland (B)

    Examines the strategies and tactics that U.S. negotiator George Mitchell used during his two-year tenure as chairman of the all-party talks in Northern Ireland. His efforts culminated in the signing of the historic Good Friday Accords. A revised version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Policy; International Relations; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Tactics; Northern Ireland; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Daniel F. Curran. "George Mitchell in Northern Ireland (B)." Harvard Business School Case 904-002, December 2003. View Details
  62. Morgan Stanley and S.G. Warburg: Investment Bank of the Future (A)

    Describes secretive negotiations that took place between the top executives of Morgan Stanley and S.G. Warburg in the fall of 1994, when the two firms were contemplating a merger that would create one of the world's most powerful investment banks. By December, in order to speed post-merger reorganization, the handful of executives who have been conducting the talks are considering disclosing the proposed merger to the top 100 managers at each firm. The goal is to complete the merger and announce it publicly by December 19. Taking the position of a key executive and point person in the negotiations at either Morgan Stanley or S.G. Warburg, students must decide whether to draw 100 managers at each firm into the deal before it is finalized, as well as how to implement the merger once this decision has been made.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Investment Banking; Mergers and Acquisitions; Consolidation; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Morgan Stanley and S.G. Warburg: Investment Bank of the Future (A)." Harvard Business School Case 898-140, January 1998. (Revised November 2003.) View Details
  63. Lakhdar Brahimi / Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan

    Part of the PON Great Negotiator Case Study Series, this factual case study examines former UN Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's involvement in negotiating an interim Afghani government after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. As a result of these efforts, Brahimi received the Program on Negotiation's 2002 "Great Negotiator" Award.

    The case study covers Brahimi's background and early career, the background of the 2001 conflict in Afghanistan, the players and issues involved in the 2001 Bonn Conference on establishing an interim Afghani government, the main points of the Bonn Agreement, and the post-Bonn peace process. It also includes an ethnic map of Afghanistan, excerpts from Brahimi's remarks to the United Nations about Afghanistan, and a diagram of the Bonn Conference participants.

    This case study provides a wonderful opportunity to teach from recent history, using a living, working diplomat as a focus for learning about negotiation. It may be used alone or in conjunction with the "Great Negotiator 2002: Lakhdar Brahimi DVD." The case study provides a wealth of factual details regarding Brahimi's negotiations, while the DVD features Brahimi's personal reflections and observations. An instructor might, for instance, use the case study as a basis for classroom discussion, and use excerpts from the DVD to offer Brahimi's own thoughts on the issues discussed in class.

    Keywords: Government and Politics; Agreements and Arrangements; Leadership Style; Cognition and Thinking; Contemporary History; Conferences; Afghanistan;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Kristin Schneeman. "Lakhdar Brahimi / Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan." Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Case, 2003. View Details
  64. Alphexo Corporation: Confidential Negotiation Information

    A two-party, multiple-issue dollar-scoring negotiation exercise dealing with the formation and terms of an IT-industry joint venture. Subordinates have made some progress on several issues but have reached an impasse. Division heads will now attempt to reach a resolution.

    Keywords: Negotiation Types; Joint Ventures; Conflict Management; Information Technology; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Alphexo Corporation: Confidential Negotiation Information." Harvard Business School Exercise 801-418, May 2001. (Revised December 2002.) View Details
  65. Case Brief: Stone Container in Honduras and Costa Rica

    Summarizes contents of two full-length cases. The cases provide examples of two different approaches to managing complex multi-party negotiations with stakeholders. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Negotiation Participants; Costa Rica; Honduras;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Hannah Bowles. "Case Brief: Stone Container in Honduras and Costa Rica." Harvard Business School Case 800-137, October 1999. (Revised June 2002.) View Details
  66. Honda-Rover (A): Crafting an Alliance

    Faced with vexing financial challenges in 1993, British Aerospace (BAe) is determined to shed its loss-making automaker, Rover. It offers to sell its stake in Rover to Honda, Rover's partner since 1979, but Honda is reluctant to raise its stake in Rover. Meanwhile, BMW approaches BAe with a confidential bid to buy out Rover. This case places these developments within the context of the history of the British auto industry, Rover's heritage, evolution of the Honda-Rover partnership, and the rationale for BMW's interest in Rover. The case series describes subsequent developments.

    Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Joint Ventures; Alliances; Knowledge Sharing; Strategy; Contracts; Negotiation Process; Change Management; Negotiation Tactics; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Auto Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, James K. Sebenius, and Ron Fortgang. "Honda-Rover (A): Crafting an Alliance." Harvard Business School Case 899-223, March 1999. (Revised November 2001.) View Details
  67. Honda-Rover (B): Honda Draws the Line

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Joint Ventures; Alliances; Knowledge Sharing; Strategy; Contracts; Negotiation Process; Change Management; Negotiation Tactics; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Auto Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, James K. Sebenius, and Ron Fortgang. "Honda-Rover (B): Honda Draws the Line." Harvard Business School Case 899-224, March 1999. (Revised November 2001.) View Details
  68. Honda-Rover (C): "The Sting"

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Joint Ventures; Alliances; Knowledge Sharing; Strategy; Contracts; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Auto Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, James K. Sebenius, and Ron Fortgang. Honda-Rover (C): "The Sting". Harvard Business School Case 899-225, March 1999. (Revised November 2001.) View Details
  69. Honda-Rover (D): The Changing Tide of the BMW-Rover Alliance

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Business Exit or Shutdown; Joint Ventures; Alliances; Knowledge Sharing; Strategy; Contracts; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Auto Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Nanda, Ashish, James K. Sebenius, and Ron Fortgang. "Honda-Rover (D): The Changing Tide of the BMW-Rover Alliance." Harvard Business School Case 899-226, March 1999. (Revised November 2001.) View Details
  70. Telecom Italia Takeover (A)

    After two months at the helm of Telecom Italia, Franco Bernabe is confronted by a hostile takeover bid from a much smaller rival. He has a few days in which to maneuver. The case describes the background of Italian telecoms and of the bid itself. Also presents the personalities, the issues, and the options from which Bernabe can choose to defend himself and his company. How should he respond to this threat? Given his personal strengths, what is he likely to do and will it be successful? How new is the "new order" that the bid appears to represent?

    Keywords: Negotiation Process; Mergers and Acquisitions; Leadership Style; Telecommunications Industry; Italy;

    Citation:

    Watkins, Michael D., James K. Sebenius, and Ann Leamon. "Telecom Italia Takeover (A)." Harvard Business School Case 800-363, May 2000. (Revised August 2001.) View Details
  71. Charlene Barshefsky (A)

    Describes the challenges former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky faced while negotiating a trade agreement with China to improve its domestic intellectual property rights enforcement. After briefly describing Barshefsky's past experience with trade negotiations, this case discusses the history of U.S.-China trade relations and analyzes Ambassador Barshefsky's strategy in coalition-building in the United States and abroad.

    Keywords: Trade; International Relations; Copyright; Negotiation Style; Negotiation Tactics; Alliances; Business and Government Relations; China; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Rebecca Hulse. "Charlene Barshefsky (A)." Harvard Business School Case 801-421, March 2001. (Revised April 2013.) View Details
  72. Charlene Barshefsky (B)

    Details former U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky's strategic and tactical approach to surmounting the barriers laid out in the (A) case.

    Keywords: Trade; International Relations; Copyright; Negotiation Style; Negotiation Tactics; Alliances; Business and Government Relations; China; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Rebecca Hulse. "Charlene Barshefsky (B)." Harvard Business School Case 801-422, March 2001. View Details
  73. Bumper Acquisition (C), A

    Carries the negotiation between Thermo-Impact and Medallion Capital through October 1996. The companies began talks in 1995 when Medallion offered to buy Thermo-Impact. Students view developments from the perspective of Thermo-Impact's owners and must make decisions about how to proceed in the negotiation with Medallion. Can be taught over a span of two or three class periods.

    Keywords: Decisions; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Participants; Entrepreneurship; Acquisition; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Illinois;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Bumper Acquisition (C), A." Harvard Business School Case 898-201, March 1998. (Revised August 2000.) View Details
  74. Doyle's Dealmaking Dilemma: Negotiating the Job Search

    MBA student Doyle Williams searches for his ideal job in a private equity group and uses his negotiation skills to try to attain the best possible compensation package.

    Keywords: Compensation and Benefits; Job Interviews; Job Search; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Doyle's Dealmaking Dilemma: Negotiating the Job Search." Harvard Business School Case 800-124, November 1999. View Details
  75. Stone Container in Honduras (A)

    Chicago-based Stone Container Corp., a leading producer of cardboard containers and paper bags, proposes a large-scale pine forest management and utilization program in the La Mosquitia region of Honduras. A framework agreement with the government is strongly endorsed by senior political leaders. The announcement of the agreement sparks broad-based opposition from Honduran and international environmental organizations, indigenous people's activists, business and labor associations, and minority politicians. Stone is thinking through a negotiating strategy to deal with the conflict over implementing the agreement. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Types; Environmental Sustainability; Conflict of Interests; Globalized Firms and Management; Developing Countries and Economies; Government and Politics; Manufacturing Industry; Pulp and Paper Industry; Honduras; Chicago;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Hannah Bowles. "Stone Container in Honduras (A)." Harvard Business School Case 897-172, March 1997. (Revised October 1999.) View Details
  76. Double Dealmaking in the Browser Wars (A)

    Recounts two complex negotiations in which Netscape and Microsoft compete to win a browser contract with AOL--then later with KPMG. After reviewing the web and browser sectors, this case recounts AOL's dramatic negotiations with Netscape and with Microsoft over which firm's web browser would be used by the online service. A path-breaking deal was announced between AOL and Netscape to use Navigator as the "default" AOL browser, only to be undermined the next day by an AOL-Microsoft deal that designated Microsoft Explorer as the "preferred" AOL browser. The deal also put an AOL icon, the Windows desktop, the "world's most valuable cyber-real estate." Describes the first stages of a see-saw negotiation the following year in which Netscape and Microsoft were again competing, but this time for a major deal with KPMG. Concludes as KPMG has awarded the contract to Netscape with Microsoft still scrambling to get the business.

    Keywords: Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Negotiation Deal; Web; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Double Dealmaking in the Browser Wars (A)." Harvard Business School Case 800-050, August 1999. (Revised September 1999.) View Details
  77. Michael Brown: Negotiating Slots at Foxwoods (B)

    The approach taken by Michael Brown and Governor Lowell Weicker and the means by which the agreement's sustainability was enhanced in the face of attacks by other gaming operators are detailed.

    Keywords: Games, Gaming, and Gambling; Agreements and Arrangements; Government and Politics; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Connecticut;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Michael Brown: Negotiating Slots at Foxwoods (B)." Harvard Business School Case 899-235, February 1999. (Revised August 1999.) View Details
  78. Doing Business in Russia: Note on Negotiating in the "Wild East"

    Based on an MBA's experience, this anecdotal note explores cross-border negotiations between U.S. executives and Russian counterparts. The first section guides the reader through general aspects of the Russian market. Next follows a characterization of the Russian negotiating psyche. Finally, the note describes common elements of the Russian negotiating style and gives advice on concluding successful deals in current-day Russia.

    Keywords: Negotiation Deal; Problems and Challenges; Negotiation Style; Decisions; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation Participants; Russia; United States;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Randall A Fine. Doing Business in Russia: Note on Negotiating in the "Wild East". Harvard Business School Background Note 899-048, January 1999. (Revised August 1999.) View Details
  79. Automated Intelligence Corporation

    Precision Controls is a Minnesota-based manufacturer of electronic control devices. To enhance its product line, Precision would like to establish an artificial intelligence research group, either through internal development or, preferably, by merging with or acquiring a firm that has strong artificial intelligence capabilities. Automated Intelligence Corp. (AIC), a New York-based research and development firm specializing in artificial intelligence, is an attractive candidate for a merger. For accounting reasons, a merger--if it is to take place--must be accomplished through an exchange of shares. It is up to representatives of both companies to negotiate a mutually agreeable ratio at which all of the shares of AIC can be exchanged for shares of Precision. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Technology; Valuation; Research and Development; Stock Shares; Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Mergers and Acquisitions; Manufacturing Industry; Electronics Industry; Minnesota;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Automated Intelligence Corporation." Harvard Business School Case 898-045, September 1997. (Revised May 1999.) View Details
  80. Precision Controls, Inc.

    Precision Controls is a Minnesota-based manufacturer of electronic control devices. To enhance its product line, Precision would like to establish an artificial intelligence research group, either through internal development or, preferably, by merging with or acquiring a firm that has strong artificial intelligence capabilities. Automated Intelligence Corp. (AIC), a New York-based research and development firm specializing in artificial intelligence, is an attractive candidate for a merger. For accounting reasons, a merger--if it is to take place--must be accomplished through an exchange of shares. It is up to representatives of both companies to negotiate a mutually agreeable ratio at which all of the shares of AIC can be exchanged for shares of Precision. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

    Keywords: Technology; Valuation; Research and Development; Negotiation Process; Stock Shares; Negotiation Tactics; Mergers and Acquisitions; Manufacturing Industry; Electronics Industry; Minnesota;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Precision Controls, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 898-046, September 1997. (Revised May 1999.) View Details
  81. Steve Perlman and WebTV (A)

    The dynamics of a linked series of internal and external negotiations involved in launching, growing, and selling a high-tech, Internet start-up are explored. Steve Perlman unfurled an impressive new technology, recruited a top technical and management team, secured seed capital, laid the groundwork for later stages of financing, initiated alliances with content and Internet service providers, maneuvered into negotiation with major consumer electronics players Sony and Philips (for manufacturing and distribution), and ultimately had to decide on his strategy for possibly selling the firm. WebTV provided a low-cost, easy-to-use set-top box that linked televisions to the Internet, allowing users instant web access.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Entrepreneurship; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Tactics; Alliances; Internet; Communications Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ron Fortgang. "Steve Perlman and WebTV (A)." Harvard Business School Case 899-270, April 1999. View Details
  82. Steve Perlman and WebTV (B)

    The dynamics of a linked series of internal and external negotiations involved in launching, growing, and selling a high-tech, Internet start-up are explored. Steve Perlman unfurled an impressive new technology, recruited a top technical and management team, secured seed capital, laid the groundwork for later stages of financing, initiated alliances with content and Internet service providers, maneuvered into negotiation with major consumer electronics players Sony and Philips (for manufacturing and distribution), and ultimately had to decide on his strategy for possibly selling the firm. WebTV provided a low-cost, easy-to-use set-top box that linked televisions to the Internet, allowing users instant web access.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Business Startups; Agreements and Arrangements; Negotiation Process; Value Creation; Alliances; Technological Innovation; Business Exit or Shutdown; Television Entertainment; Media and Broadcasting Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Ron Fortgang. "Steve Perlman and WebTV (B)." Harvard Business School Case 899-271, April 1999. View Details
  83. Bumper Acquisition (A1), A: Confidential Information for Thermo-Impact, Inc.

    Located in Mundelein, IL, Thermo-Impact, Inc. is a rapidly growing, private firm that manufactures automotive bumpers. In 1995, a number of large automotive supply companies and a private equity investment firm offer to buy Thermo-Impact. The cases in this series focus on the offer made by the private equity investment firm, New York-based Medallion Capital, and subsequent negotiations between a Medallion principal and Thermo-Impact's owners. This case provides background information on Thermo-Impact and Medallion, as well as a description of Thermo-Impact's emergence as an attractive acquisition target. Concludes with the terms of a buyout offer sent by Medallion to the owners of Thermo-Impact. The offer serves as a starting point for students to negotiate the possible transaction, with some students representing Thermo-Impact and others representing Medallion. Contains confidential information for Thermo-Impact negotiators. Can be taught over a span of two or three class periods.

    Keywords: Private Equity; Valuation; Negotiation Participants; Decision Making; Negotiation Process; Entrepreneurship; Negotiation Offer; Acquisition; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Illinois;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Bumper Acquisition (A1), A: Confidential Information for Thermo-Impact, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 898-198, March 1998. View Details
  84. Bumper Acquisition (A2), A: Confidential Information for Medallion Capital, Inc.

    Located in Mundelein, IL, Thermo-Impact, Inc. is a rapidly growing, private firm that manufactures automotive bumpers. In 1995, a number of large automotive supply companies and a private equity investment firm offer to buy Thermo-Impact. The cases in this series focus on the offer made by the private equity investment firm, New York-based Medallion Capital, and subsequent negotiations between a Medallion principal and Thermo-Impact's owners. This case provides background information on Thermo-Impact and Medallion, as well as a description of Thermo-Impact's emergence as an attractive acquisition target. Concludes with the terms of a buyout offer sent by Medallion to the owners of Thermo-Impact. The offer serves as a starting point for students to negotiate the possible transaction, with some students representing Thermo-Impact and others representing Medallion. Contains confidential information for Medallion counterparts. Teaching Purpose: Designed to provide students with a realistic experience in negotiating the sale of a rapidly growing, entrepreneurial firm. Allows students to negotiate the transaction in small groups outside of class. Can be taught over a span of two or three class periods. Allows students to formulate responses to unexpected developments that arise in the course of the Thermo-Impact/Medallion negotiation, as well as to convey a sense of the often lengthy and complex nature of negotiating buyouts.

    Keywords: Private Equity; Valuation; Negotiation Participants; Decision Making; Negotiation Process; Entrepreneurship; Negotiation Offer; Acquisition; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Illinois;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Bumper Acquisition (A2), A: Confidential Information for Medallion Capital, Inc." Harvard Business School Case 898-199, March 1998. View Details
  85. Bumper Acquisition (B), A

    Picks up the negotiation between Thermo-Impact and Medallion Capital where the (A1) and A2) cases leave off. The companies began talks in 1995 when Medallion offered to buy Thermo-Impact. This case brings the negotiation through May 1996. Students view developments from the perspective of Thermo-Impact's owners and must make decisions about how to proceed in the negotiation with Medallion. of class.

    Keywords: Negotiation Process; Negotiation Tactics; Negotiation Participants; Decision Making; Entrepreneurship; Manufacturing Industry; Auto Industry; Illinois;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Bumper Acquisition (B), A." Harvard Business School Case 898-200, March 1998. View Details
  86. Morgan Stanley and S.G. Warburg: Investment Bank of the Future (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Negotiation; Valuation; Investment Banking; Mergers and Acquisitions; Consolidation; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "Morgan Stanley and S.G. Warburg: Investment Bank of the Future (B)." Harvard Business School Case 898-141, January 1998. View Details
  87. From Wall Street to Main Street: Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co.

    Designed as a follow-up to Morgan Stanley and S.G. Warburg: Investment Bank of the Future (A).

    Keywords: Negotiation; Valuation; Investment Banking; Mergers and Acquisitions; Banking Industry; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and David T. Kotchen. "From Wall Street to Main Street: Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter, Discover & Co." Harvard Business School Case 898-143, January 1998. View Details
  88. Stone Container in Honduras (B)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Types; Environmental Sustainability; Conflict of Interests; Globalized Firms and Management; Developing Countries and Economies; Government and Politics; Manufacturing Industry; Pulp and Paper Industry; Honduras; Chicago;

    Citation:

    Bowles, Hannah, and James K. Sebenius. "Stone Container in Honduras (B)." Harvard Business School Case 897-173, March 1997. View Details
  89. Stone Container in Honduras (C)

    Supplements the (A) case.

    Keywords: Negotiation Preparation; Negotiation Types; Environmental Sustainability; Conflict of Interests; Globalized Firms and Management; Developing Countries and Economies; Government and Politics; Manufacturing Industry; Pulp and Paper Industry; Honduras; Chicago;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Hannah Bowles. "Stone Container in Honduras (C)." Harvard Business School Case 897-174, March 1997. View Details
  90. Dr. Sergio Ceccuzzi and SMI: Negotiating Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe (A)

    Over several years, Societa Metallurgica Italiana SpA (SMI), a small Italian copper processing firm, successfully completed a number of challenging acquisitions. This case explores SMI's negotiation strategies and tactics, concentrating especially on its acquisition of Trefimetaux from the French giant Pechiney. Concludes as SMI is contemplating the acquisition of a much larger rival, Kabelmetal AG.

    Keywords: Mergers and Acquisitions; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Negotiation; Strategy; Manufacturing Industry; France; Italy;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Dr. Sergio Ceccuzzi and SMI: Negotiating Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe (A)." Harvard Business School Case 897-084, January 1997. View Details
  91. Dr. Sergio Ceccuzzi and SMI: Negotiating Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe (B)

    Since the 1960s, SMI has quietly executed a series of brilliantly negotiated takeovers throughout Europe, often acquiring companies much larger than itself. Despite formidable obstacles, SMI has managed to acquire state-owned competitors in Italy and France, as well as a tightly held semi-finished copper producer--one of Europe's largest--in "fortress" Germany, a country notoriously hostile to takeover bids from foreign firms. In an interview with the chairman of SMI's copper operations at the company's Florence headquarters, Prof. J.K. Sebenius of the Harvard Business School explores the negotiating strategies that have enabled what was once a little-known firm in Italy to consolidate a fragmented industry and become one of Europe's leading producers of semi-finished copper.

    Keywords: Acquisition; Corporate Governance; International Relations; Negotiation Tactics; Consolidation; Mining Industry; Europe;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Dr. Sergio Ceccuzzi and SMI: Negotiating Cross-Border Acquisitions in Europe (B)." Harvard Business School Case 897-085, January 1997. View Details
  92. Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, David Carlson, VP, Management Information Systems

    This case provides the confidential role information necessary for one person in a four-person negotiation simulation about a major corporate change. Specifically, it describes the role of David Carlson as he attempts to negotiate a new uniform corporate information system with three peers.

    Keywords: Transformation; Information Management; Negotiation; System;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, David Carlson, VP, Management Information Systems." Harvard Business School Exercise 897-057, January 1997. View Details
  93. Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, Helen Freeman, VP, Small Appliances Division

    This case provides the confidential role information necessary for one person in a four-person negotiation simulation about a major corporate change. Specifically, it describes the role of Helen Freeman as she attempts to negotiate a new uniform corporate information system with three peers.

    Keywords: Transformation; Information Management; Negotiation Deal; System;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, Helen Freeman, VP, Small Appliances Division." Harvard Business School Exercise 897-058, January 1997. View Details
  94. Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, Jack Morris, VP, Food Division

    This case provides the confidential role information necessary for one person in a four-person negotiation simulation about a major corporate change. Specifically, it describes the role of Jack Morris as he attempts to negotiate a new uniform corporate information system with three peers.

    Keywords: Business Units; Transformation; Food; Information Management; Negotiation Deal; System;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, Jack Morris, VP, Food Division." Harvard Business School Exercise 897-059, January 1997. View Details
  95. Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, Paul Stokes, VP, Health and Beauty Aids Division

    This case provides the confidential role information necessary for one person in a four-person negotiation simulation about a major corporate change. Specifically, it describes the role of Paul Stokes as he attempts to negotiate a new uniform corporate information system with three peers.

    Keywords: Business Units; Transformation; Information Management; Negotiation Deal; System; Beauty and Cosmetics Industry; Health Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Negotiating Corporate Change: Confidential Information, Paul Stokes, VP, Health and Beauty Aids Division." Harvard Business School Exercise 897-060, January 1997. View Details
  96. Wheeling and Dealing: The Zirconia GT

    A personal negotiation episode in purchasing a car is presented. Tactics and strategies commonly encountered by car buyers and car salespeople are illustrated.

    Keywords: Debates; Negotiation Tactics; Sales; Strategy;

    Citation:

    Raiffa, Howard, James K. Sebenius, Craig Best, and Scot Melland. "Wheeling and Dealing: The Zirconia GT." Harvard Business School Case 895-013, November 1994. (Revised January 1995.) View Details
  97. Four-Way Organization

    Three divisions seek to form a two- or three-way conglomerate of maximum economic value. A manager seeks to assist them. Individual and shared interests are in conflict.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Negotiation; Business Conglomerates; Alliances;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K. "Four-Way Organization." Harvard Business School Exercise 894-015, January 1994. (Revised December 1994.) View Details

Presentations

  1. Short Term Natural Gas Consumption Forecasts: Optimal Use of National Weather Service Data

    Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Research; Business and Government Relations; Energy Industry;

    Citation:

    Sebenius, James K., and Richard Lehman. "Short Term Natural Gas Consumption Forecasts: Optimal Use of National Weather Service Data." Paper presented at the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting, American Geophysical Union, January 01, 1977. View Details

Other Publications and Materials

    Research Summary

  1. 3-D Negotiaton

    In articles and books, often with David Lax, I have been developing a broad approach to effective negotiation that encompasses three "dimensions." In this "3-D" approach, our first dimension — "tactics"-- is the most familiar territory. Tactics are the persuasive moves one makes and the process one chooses for dealing directly with the other side, at the table. To most people and most researchers, "negotiation" is synonymous with this first dimension.

    Where one-dimensional negotiators hone their back-and-forth tactics, we also focus on underlying value, which often means more than just price. Our second dimension—"deal design"—systematically probes that value and develops principles for crafting agreements that unlock it for the parties. For example: should the prospective agreement really be a pure price deal? Does some sort of trade between sides make sense and, if so, on what terms? Can we unbundle different aspects of what looks like a single issue, and give to each side what it values most? Should it be a staged agreement, perhaps with contingencies and risk-sharing provisions? If there’s a contract involved, should it be an unusual kind of contract – one with a more creative concept and structure than we’ve used before? One that meets ego, needs as well as economic ones?

    Where one-dimensional negotiators mainly focus on actions at the table, we also analyze moves away from the table, designed to shape the situation advantageously. Our third dimension – "setup" – flows from our observation that, once the parties and issues are fixed, and once the negotiating table has otherwise been set, much of the game has already been played. Therefore, before even showing up at the conference room, 3-D Negotiators act away from the table to set up the most promising possible situation, ready for tactical interplay. This means ensuring that the right parties have been approached, in the right sequence, to deal with the right issues, that engage the right set of interests, at the right table or tables, at the right time, under the right expectations, and facing the right consequences of walking away if there is no deal. If the setup at the table isn’t promising, this calls for moves to re-set it more favorably. A superior setup can enable tactics at the table to achieve otherwise impossible results.

    In practice, a 3-D negotiator first does an "audit" of barriers to agreement—tactical and interpersonal challenges, deal-related problems, or setup flaws—then crafts a 3-D strategy: an aligned combination of setup, deal design, and tactical moves designed to overcome the barriers.

  2. Dealing with Hard Bargainers

    In this line of research, I have been developing effective approaches to negotiating 1) with hard bargainers, 2) in difficult situations, and 3) from positions of perceived weakness. Through field study and theoretical inquiry, I have been developing classes of moves, both at and away from the table, to constructively handle these challenges.
  3. Negotiating Campaigns

    While most negotiation research focuses on specific transactions, many important negotiating situations can better be understood as elements of larger "campaigns."  By this term, I mean a series of related negotiations and other away-from-the-table moves, carefully orchestrated to build toward success in an ultimate "target" negotiation.  Examples of negotiation campaigns include very large-scale sales, efforts to gain approval among many internal parties for major initiatives, as well as actions to build support and secure permission for a controversial project such as a dam, pipeline, or real estate development.  Through field investigation and analytic modeling, this line of research investigates the consequences of shifting the unit of analysis from the individual negotiation to the campaign.  Further, it seeks to characterize and define negotiating campaigns more precisely, crystallize the most important questions about them (e.g., inter-related questions of sequencing and framing), and develop grounded diagnostic and prescriptive theory.  
  4. Cross-border negotiations, emphasis on China

    For several years, I have been interested in the special challenges of cross-border negotiations. I am now working with colleagues on this topic, but with an emphasis on negotiations involving Chinese parties.  In particular, through the Harvard China Negotiation Initiative, I have been doing research and casewriting on effective China-related negotiations.
  5. Middle East Negotiation Initiative

    The Middle East Negotiation Initiative is a component of the Harvard Negotiation Project that seeks to analyze and develop grounded analysis and advice for complex negotiations in and around the Middle East.  Its current focus is on the intellectual and study questions surrounding a) the Israeli Palestinian Negotiating Partners network and b) the long-term negotiation of the Abraham Path, a cultural tourism route that retraces the journey made some four thousand years ago by Abraham (Ibrahim) through through Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, and elsewhere in the Middle East.  In an activity jointly undertaken by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Program on Negotiation, I co-chaired (with Graham Allison) a working group on Iran Nuclear Negotiations, which has produced working papers and articles on this subject.  
  6. Great Negotiator Study Initiative

    What can be legitimately be learned from closely studying great negotiators at work? Since 2000, the Program on Negotiation (PON)—an active inter-university consortium mainly comprised of numerous faculty from across Harvard, MIT, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts--has annually bestowed the “Great Negotiator Award,”  a program that I have chaired in my role at PON.  Over their careers, the awardees have typically negotiated against great odds in different settings to accomplish worthy purposes.  By systematically probing the experiences of this distinguished group of men and women from varied backgrounds (briefly characterized below), I have designed a faculty study initiative (and an exploratory HBS course) to uncover broader lessons and generalizations about effective negotiation and dispute resolution.

     
    This initiative investigates the pedagogical and intellectual challenges associated with what (and how) we can learn from this group.  Specifically, this initiative analyzes the Great Negotiators that have been named so far in the context of a few of their key accomplishments: Senator George Mitchell’s work in Northern Ireland leading to the Good Friday Accords; Bruce Wasserstein’s dealmaking at Lazard and elsewhere; Special Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky’s negotiations with China over intellectual property rights; the efforts of Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General, to forge a post-conflict government in Afghanistan; Ambassador Richard Holbrooke’s negotiations leading to the Dayton Agreement that ended the Bosnian war as well as his multiparty efforts to deal with unpaid U.S. dues to the United Nations; the Honorable Stuart Eizenstat’s negotiations over Holocaust-era assets in various European countries; U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata’s quiet negotiations on behalf of refugees and internally displaced persons in regions from Iraq to the Balkans to Rwanda; as well as the complex negotiations by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude to erect massive, controversial installations from the Running Fence in California to the Gates in Central Park, New York, and wrapping Paris’s Pont Neuf and the German Reichstag.

  7. Winning Coalitions

    James K. Sebenius is examining the most effective ways to generate and sustain cooperation among a corporation’s many stakeholders. As the number of stakeholders grows, and management actions more often involve players outside the traditional chain of command and organizational boundaries, corporate governance and general management must increasingly take into account the interests and influence of multiple stakeholders. At the public and international levels, effective action almost always involves many players, whether in the financial, economic, or environmental realm-even in the realm of security (e.g., the Gulf War coalition). In these tasks, success involves building and sustaining 'winning coalitions,' in part by dealing with 'blocking coalitions.' Sebenius has developed a series of cases and papers on the fundamental issues of coalitional assessment and action. Using concepts drawn from negotiation analysis, he seeks to discover how to build and sustain winning coalitions and deal successfully with would-be blocking coalitions through the processes of coalition-building and coalition-breaking, in particular, by sequencing choices.
  8. Dealforum Design for Large, Multiparty Negotiations

    When large projects such as mines, pipelines, oilfields, or powerplants are proposed, negotiations often commence with many kinds of interested parties. Such 'stakeholders' can range from corporate or government project sponsors to international financial institutions, environmental groups, advocates for indigenous people, and other NGOs. Two very different approaches bracket common approaches to undertaking these kinds of long term negotiations. Caricaturing only slightly, they might be called "decide-announce-defend" ("DAD") and "full consensus" ("FC") models. Both approaches have a high failure rate, even for projects that arguably create value for most stakeholders. By contrasting a variety of field cases utilizing these polar approaches, I have highlighted and investigated the effects of a variety of underlying "dealforum" design choices. Such design choices--sometimes explicit and sometimes implict-- include the auspices, mandate, participation, agenda, decision rules and procedures, staging, external communication, process support, and post-deal arrangements. By tailoring the dealforum design choices to the specific negotiating challenges for a particular project, the odds of sustainable success can be enhanced.
    1. Winner of the 1986 Harold and Margaret Sprout Prize presented by International Studies Association for Negotiating the Law of the Sea: Lessons in the Art and Science of Reaching Agreement (Harvard University Press, 1984).