Among the signature curriculum of the Harvard Kennedy School, negotiation training has always stood out as among the most popular due to its practicality and necessity across all sectors and policy domains. Founded by one of the luminaries of negotiation science, Howard Raiffa, HKS has faculty have always been at the forefront of negotiation research and training. With the two introductory negotiation courses outside the MPP core, MLD-223 Negotiating Across Differences with Senior Lecturer in Public Policy Kessely Hong, and MLD-224 Behavioral Science of Negotiations with Associate Professor Julia Minson, students can learn the fundamental, time-tested frameworks of negotiation analysis. Both courses introduce the core concepts of distributive bargaining, value creation, stakeholder analysis, trust-building, barriers to agreement, and strategic approaches to negotiation.
Both courses also feature numerous negotiation simulations, in which students have the opportunity to learn how to prepare effectively, to practice communication and persuasion, and to experiment with a variety of negotiation tactics and strategies. Analysis of their own approach to, and individual outcomes in, such simulations allows students to experience first-hand the powerful strategic and psychological dynamics present in negotiation situations. Both Minson and Hong, along with their skilled course coaches, facilitate students’ reflective learning from each of the simulations. Ultimately, this reflective practice through frameworks taught in the courses enables students to develop their own capacity to improve as effective negotiators.
While there is much overlap in what each course covers, there are distinctive differences between them as well. MLD-223 (Hong) offers more complex, multiple-stakeholder cases and simulations, some of which include salient cultural or power differences and multi-party dynamics. Students are challenged to navigate differences in expectations, attitudes toward risk, culture, power, status, and partisan perceptions. MLD-224 (Minson) prioritizes the negotiation topics that have the most guidance derived from experimental research. As Minson quips, “I am fundamentally skeptical of expert advice until I see the data,” so she focuses her course more on the psychology and decision-making involved in one-on-one negotiations. In Minson’s course students do almost no written-case discussion, but instead class time is spend talking about how research findings might translate into negotiation strategies. Research-derived topics covered include ethics and deception, the role of gender and personality, operating under time pressure, mixed motives and game theory, judgment biases in negotiations, psychological barriers to conflict resolution, and the impact mediation can have. In Hong’s course, students read and analyze a variety of very rich real-world cases, in which interpretations of the protagonists’ actions provide illuminating insights into similar spectrum of dynamics (personal, psychological, political, cultural, etc.) at play in negotiations over public policy.
Both MLD-223 and MLD-224 serve as pre-requisites for MLD-280M Advanced Workshop in Multiparty Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, the January-term course, taught by Brian Mandell, Mohamed Kamal Senior Lecturer in Negotiation and Public Policy. Students wanting to additional venues to study, research, and design new ways of negotiation practice will be interested in exploring the Kennedy School Negotiation Program. Established and directed by Brian Mandell, KSNP brings together affiliated faculty from the Harvard Kennedy School whose work on negotiation, conflict management, alternative dispute resolution, and intersectional leadership expands the way our community and the broader field studies leadership and negotiation. KSNP offers a variety of student resources and programming.
Learning from practice is a hallmark of the Harvard Kennedy School, and our faculty includes numerous talented individuals who have spent significant portions of their careers in public service. Perhaps the best example is adjunct lecturer Thomas Glynn, who in his career was CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority which includes Boston’s Logan International Airport, four maritime businesses in the Port of Boston and significant real estate portfolios in the South Boston Seaport and East Boston Waterfront.
Earlier, Glynn was the General Manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority which included subway, trolley, bus, paratransit and commuter rail services for Greater Boston. Plus Glynn served in a variety of other public service jobs – Deputy Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, Deputy Commissioner of Welfare under MA Governor Michael Dukakis and Executive Director of a White House Task Force on Youth Employment in the Carter-Mondale Administration. In the nonprofit sector Glynn served for 14 years as Chief Operating Officer of Harvard affiliated Partners HealthCare. For his service, Glynn was made a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
Bringing his wealth of experience into his course MLD-112 Making State and Local Government Work, Glynn focuses on how making policy innovations and change can have the impact desired when implemented in a state or local government context. Strategic thinking and strategic planning are the prominent themes as students address analytical challenges and develop the tools that are necessary to produce a successful policy outcome. MLD-112 introduces analytical techniques available to assess the specific challenges of a specific situation: 1) analyzing the organizational culture, 2) preparing a correct diagnosis of the policy challenge, 3) identifying issues of race and diversity, and 4) assessing the influence of the political environment. Glynn, through cases and scholarship, helps students explore the range of management tools available to public service leaders. These tools include 1) setting goals, 2) organizational change, 3) mobilizing the staff, 4) improving the customer experience, 5) project management, and 6) executive leadership. Finally, students, using these analytical and management tools, work to address current policy and service delivery challenges like diversity, new technology, increasing traffic, crisis management, and global health. This course also features distinguished guest lecturers who are in the heart of current practice.
This course will be offered at Harvard Kennedy School in Fall 2021. If you have any questions about this course, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.
Operations are at the heart of public service delivery. Considering essential service providers currently in the spotlight like the U.S. Postal Service, state-level providers of unemployment insurance, and public health agencies throughout the world charged with distributing the COVID-19 vaccines to populations across the globes, we see that optimal operations management can be critical to people’s lives. What, then, does it take for leaders of organizations like these to optimize for both effectiveness and efficiency, delivering for the public, and satisfying those to whom they are accountable? MLD-601: Operations Management taught by versatile Lecturer in Public Policy Mark Fagan explores how operations management is critical to value creation in the public sector. Featuring experiential learning through consulting projects with local government agencies and non-profit organizations, Fagan’s course helps students tackle real operations management issues. Past clients have included the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Massachusetts Department of Revenue, and Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy. At the end of this rigorous but fun course students will be able to:
- See opportunities to improve operations.
- Diagnose the problems and barriers to creating value.
- Design effective and efficient solutions.
- Apply concepts to solve client issues.
Harvard students can learn more about MLD-601 and Mark Fagan’s teaching style by viewing the course preview video.
In addition to Operations Management, Fagan also teaches MLD-605: Service Delivery via Systems Thinking and Supply Chain Management (Spring)
Learn more about the work of Fagan and his students in these courses by exploring the Autonomous Vehicles Policy Initiative at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government,
Listen to Fagan discuss how policymakers can navigate the robot car revolution on this HKS PolicyCast podcast.
Read how students in the Spring 2020 Supply Chain Management course went to work to help when the COVID-19 struck
For questions about any of Mark Fagan’s courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.
The challenges confronting public policy professionals in this exceptional period call for the ability to engage effectively across professional cultures, political inclinations, and ideologies. Those on the frontlines of global negotiation must establish a dialogue to address global problems like the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, migration pressure, and protracted armed conflicts that affect millions of people every day. MLD-234 Conducting Negotiation on the Frontlines with Claude Bruderlein will introduce students to negotiation practices in crisis situations where the level of distrust and, at times, hostility between the parties require specific tools and methods to establish and maintain a minimum of a dialogue, particularly for the purpose of protecting the most vulnerable populations and ensuring the provision of food, water, shelter, and other essential items. MLD-234 is taught in close collaboration with the Centre of Competence and Humanitarian Negotiation and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, enabling students to engage virtually with frontline humanitarian negotiators from the UN and other international agencies operating in crises around the globe. Taking advantage of the digital platform on which the course will be given in the fall 2020, this course offers a unique safe space to review and discuss current challenges and dilemmas with stakeholders of ongoing negotiation processes and examine practical tools and methods to overcome these challenges. Students will also be encouraged to develop their own critical thinking about these issues and to test their negotiation skills in simulations and other practical exercises.
Watch and learn more about the course and meet Prof. Bruderlein
MLD-234 was last offered at Harvard Kennedy School in the Fall of 2020, when it was also jointly listed at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health as GHP-243.
This course is not offered in Academic Year 2021-22 and, unfortunately, as of August 2021 there is no definite timeline as to when we will be able to offer it again.
For questions about other MLD negotiation courses or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.
According to MLD’s Marshall Ganz, the Rita E. Hauser Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Organizing, and Civil Society, “To lead is to accept responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose in the face of uncertainty.” But where should a student aspiring to lead for the the greater good begin? For Ganz, the process of leadership starts with the “self” and builds outward into a constituency, creating “us,” a group that’s ready “now” to meet the challenges on the path to shared goals. In MLD-355: Public Narrative Ganz and his highly collaborative teaching team introduce students to the discursive process through which individuals, communities, and nations learn to make choices, construct identity, and inspire action. The goal is teaching students to link their our own callings to that of a community that shares a call to action, translating deeply held personal values into effective action. Ganz continues, “Because it engages the ‘head’ and the ‘heart,’ narrative can instruct and inspire – teaching us not only why we should act, but moving us to act.” Based on a pedagogy of guided reflective practice, students work in groups to learn to tell their own public narrative. Developing their own personal practice of public narrative builds students’ leadership capacity, and is especially critical when they are called to respond in moments of challenge like facing loss, lacking power, confronting inequality and difference, and enacting meaningful change.
Over the years Ganz and his course graduates have introduced public narrative training widely across the globe including in the Obama presidential campaign (2007-8), Sierra Club, Episcopal Church, United We Dream Movement, the Ahel Organizing Initiative, (Jordan), Serbia on the Move (Belgrade), Avina (Bogata), National Health Service (UK), Peking University (Beijing), Tatua (Kenya), Community Organizing Japan (Tokyo) and elsewhere, proving the relevance of narrative practice across disciplines, professions, and cultures.
Students seeking to extend their narrative practice and learning often follow up MLD-355 in the spring by enrolling in Ganz’s other course MLD-377: Organizing: People, Power, Change, in which put into practice what they’ve learned in organizations, movements, and campaigns of their own.
Beyond HKS, Ganz and graduates of his teaching have established the Leading Change Network, a global community of organizers, educators and researcher aiming ” To meet the challenges to democracy by developing the leadership to organize communities which build power and realize the values of equality, solidarity, and dignity.”
To learn more, view a complete (~75 minute) mini-workshop with Marshall Ganz introducing public narrative pedagogy on the YouTube channel of The Resistance School which was founded in March of 2017 by graduate students of HKS and other Harvard schools. Lesson 1 of the 15 short videos is below; the full set is here.
Well before COVID-19 moved HKS teaching online during the 2020-21 academic year, Ganz and his team with HKS Executive Education were pioneering the teaching of leadership and organizing online. With over 8 years experience developing his online public narrative Exec Ed course Ganz and his team have created an exceptionally strong model of experiential, interpersonal, and interdependent learning. For a sample of, and in-depth introduction to their online teaching pedagogy, view here a (~60 min) video of an online interactive session led by Ganz for Harvard Kennedy School faculty on his approach to online teaching.
MLD-355 will be offered at the Harvard Kennedy School in Fall semseter, and MLD-377 will be taught in Spring. For questions about these courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator. You may also contact Heather Adelman, Senior Project Coordinator for Marshall Ganz (firstname.lastname@example.org).