Fundamental Negotiation Training at HKS: MLD-215 with Rob Wilkinson and MLD-223 with Kessely Hong

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 faculty have always been at the forefront of negotiation research and training. Furthermore, we recognize negotiation skills are a critical contributor to effective leadership of organizations, campaigns, and social movements of all types.

With the two introductory negotiation courses outside the MPP core, MLD-215 Negotiation and Leadership: Essential Theory and Practice for Enhancing Your Personal Effectiveness with Robert Wilkinson and MLD-223 Negotiating Across Differences with Kessely Hong 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.

Portrait photo of Robert Wilkinson, Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership
Robert Wilkinson, Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership

MLD-215 (Wilkinson) will provide students with the fundamental principles, theory and practice of the field of negotiation, but MLD-215 is especially distinctive in blending leadership and negotiation principles in a single course. The curriculum will balance theory and practice, and draws on the classic literature, as well as more recent work. Students will learn using the case study method, active simulations, group work and lectures to bring the conceptual material to life, as well as to build students’ personal negotiation and leadership skills. Drawing on his extensive experience as a practitioner in the field, Wilkinson will emphasize bringing in international examples and cases throughout the course, to provide both domestic and global perspectives on negotiation and leadership.

 

 

Kessely Hong smiling and teaching students in a Harvard classroom
Senior Lecturer Kessely Hong

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. 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-215 and MLD-223 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 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Collaboratory. Established and directed by Brian Mandell, the NCRC develops ways to connect students of negotiation with practitioners on the frontlines and faculty leading cutting-edge research. They seek to advance the field of experiential learning and motivate innovations in teaching advanced negotiation in simulated environments. In addition, NCRC faculty affiliates within the Center for Public Leadership engage in the interdisciplinary study of developments and trends at the intersection of negotiation and leadership.

MLD-215 and MLD-223 are offered at Harvard Kennedy School in Fall semester. MLD-215 will also be offered in spring semester. MLD-280M is offered in January term. If you have any questions about these courses, or any other in the MLD curriculum, email Greg Dorchak, MLD Area Administrator.