Max H. Bazerman

Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration

Max H. Bazerman is Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Co-Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Max's research focuses on decision making, negotiation, and ethics. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of twenty books (including The Power of Noticing, Simon and Schuster, 2014; and Blind Spots [with Ann Tenbrunsel], Princeton University Press, 2011) and over 200 research articles and chapters. He is a member of the editorial boards of the American Behavioral Scientist, Journal of Management and Governance, Mind and Society, Negotiations and Conflict Management Research, Psychological and Personality Science, and The Journal of Behavioral Finance. Also, he is a member of the international advisory board of the Negotiation Journal.

From 2002-2011, Max was consistently named one of the top 40 authors, speakers, and teachers of management by Executive Excellence. He was named "Teacher of the Year" by the Executive Masters Program of the Kellogg School. In 2003, Max received the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 2006, Max received an honorary doctorate from the University of London (London Business School), the Kulp-Wright Book Award from the American Risk and Insurance Association for Predictable Surprises (with Michael Watkins), and the Life Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute's Business and Society Program. In 2008, Max was named as Ethisphere's 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics, was named one of Daily Kos' Heroes from the Bush Era for going public about how the Bush Administration corrupted the RICO Tobacco trial(with Deepak Malhotra) received the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR) Outstanding Book Award for Negotiation Genius, and received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Academy of Management. In 2014, Max received the Academy of Management Career Award for Scholarly Contributions to Management.

Max was named the Harvard Kennedy School’s Advisory of the Year in 2014. In 2009, Max won both the Wyss Award for doctoral student mentoring and the Williams Award for teaching excellence at the Harvard Business School.  His former doctoral students have accepted positions at leading business schools throughout the United States, including the Kellogg School at Northwestern, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Fuqua School at Duke, the Johnson School at Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Columbia, and the Harvard Business School.

His professional activities include projects with Abbott, Aetna, AIG, Alcar, Alcoa, Allstate, Ameritech, Amgen, Apax Partners, Asian Development Bank, AstraZeneca, AT&T, Aventis, BASF, Bayer, Becton Dickenson, Biogen, Boston Scientific, BP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Business Week, Celtic Insurance, Chevron, Chicago Tribune, City of Chicago, and additional companies that start with letters between D and Z.  Max's consulting, teaching, and lecturing includes work in 30 countries.  Details are available at

  1. Bounded Ethicality

    by Max H. Bazerman

    Much of my research over the past decade has been focused on the unintentional unethical behavior of even good people.  This work includes the failure to notice the unethical actions of others.  I am currently working on combining this work with philosophical thought on ethics to develop the notion of “practical utilitarianism”.  I expect this to be a multi-year journey resulting in a book.

  2. We Are All Rats Now

    by Max H. Bazerman

    Michael Luca and I are at the early stages of working on a book on the evolution of the use of experimentation in organizations.  We plan to trace experimentation from the bible’s report of the experiment of Daniel of Judah to the fact that we are all in dozens of experiments a year without our awareness.  We will take a societal perspective to understand the role of consumers, managers, and policy-makers in this development.

  3. Societal Decision Making

    by Max H. Bazerman

    In recent years, an increasing percentage of my time is devoted to societal decision making. This work focuses on how pharmaceutical firms “pay-for-delay” of generic entry, and cost consumers billions of unnecessary dollars in the process.  This work also focuses on how to reform the insurance industry, and includes a recent paper in HBS with Danny Kahneman.