Deepak Malhotra

Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration

Deepak Malhotra is the Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. His teaching, research and advisory work is focused on negotiation, deal-making and conflict resolution. Deepak has won numerous awards for his teaching, including the HBS Faculty Award by Harvard Business School's MBA Class of 2011, and the Charles M. Williams Award.  In both 2011 and 2012, the MBA students selected Deepak to give the end-of-year speech to graduating students.  In 2014, Deepak was chosen by Poets & Quants to be among their "40 under 40", a listing of the world's best business school professors under the age of 40.

Deepak's latest book, Negotiating the Impossible, is now available. 

Deepak's earlier books include Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond (with Max Bazerman), which was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Book Award by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and I Moved Your Cheese, which is a Wall Street Journal Best-Seller that has sold translation rights in over 20 languages.

Deepak's research focuses on negotiation strategy, trust development, competitive escalation, and international and ethnic dispute resolution, and has been published in top journals in the fields of management, psychology, conflict resolution, and foreign policy. 

Deepak's professional activities include training, consulting, and advisory work for firms across the globe.  He also advises governments who are seeking to negotiate an end to armed conflicts.

You can follow Deepak on Twitter:

  1. Negotiation

    by Deepak Malhotra

    A large part of my work focuses on negotiation, dealmaking and conflict resolution. My book on negotiation (with Max Bazerman) is titled Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond.  The book was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Book Award by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.  A recent article looks at how the degree and type of contract complexity shapes inter-firm dispute resolution when conflict arises.  Current projects include an HBR article entitled "How to Negotiate with VCs", published in 2013, and an article on "How to Negotiate Your Job Offer", published in 2014.  I have also contributed often to the Negotiation Newsletter, writing on topics such as: negotiating from a position of weakness, managing distrust, dealing with a seemingly irrational counterpart, using psychological influence tactics, making concessions strategically, and finding smart alternatives to lying in negotiation.  My current focus is on strategies for dealing with complex, ugly disputes.
  2. International & Ethno-political Conflict

    by Deepak Malhotra

    A second stream of research looks at issues related to conflict resolution in the context of international and ethno-political conflict, and in particular, at the role of negotiation in ending armed conflicts.  One article examines whether and when countries should set preconditions to negotiating with their 'enemies'; this analysis was published in Foreign Affairs, the premier foreign policy journal for practitioners.  In another project, a colleague and I study Israeli attitudes towards a two-state solution.  We find that concerns regarding successful implementation of a negotiated agreement can lead parties to prefer "balanced" over advantageous deals.  Another project, conducted in Sri Lanka, demonstrates the kind of long-term impact that 'peace camps' can (and cannot) have on attitudes and behaviors of ethnic disputants.  My current work in this area is looking at how peace processes can be designed more effectively.
  3. Trust

    by Deepak Malhotra

    My research on trust falls into two broad categories.  First, I study barriers to trust development, and focus on mechanisms that might help to overcome these barriers.  One recent project analyzes over 150,000 pages of documents concerning 102-interfirm disputes to examine whether and when contracts facilitate vs. undermine inter-party trust and collaboration.  In other work, I have used laboratory and field experiments to examine the psychological barriers that inhibit trust development among otherwise well-intentioned parties, and how parties might facilitate trust and reciprocity.  Second, I study stakeholder trust in organizations.  One recent project examines how organizations build trust with multiple stakeholder groups when the very nature of trust differs across groups.  Another project looks at whether we need to rethink the nature of "trust in business" in light of the recent financial crisis (i.e., in the "post-bailout" economy).
  4. Competitive Arousal

    by Deepak Malhotra

    A fourth stream of research examines a phenomenon that my co-authors and I have termed Competitive Arousal. We find that some features of competitive contexts (e.g., time pressure, perceptions of rivalry, and the presence of an audience) can heighten physiological arousal and lead to a win-at-any-cost mindset.  For example, as perceptions of rivalry and time pressure are heightened, competitor motivation seems to shift away from the initial goal of making the best decision and towards a new goal of winning at any cost. My work on this topic looks at when any why competitive arousal is likely to derail otherwise sound strategy, and how decision makers in a variety of contexts (e.g., negotiations, bidding wars, disputes, etc.) might avoid its ill effects.  My most recent publication on the topic incorporates a field study, a field experiment, and a laboratory experiment to examine the effects of rivalry and time pressure on competitive motivation and behavior.