Mary Rowe


Mary Rowe


Mary Rowe is an Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

As a conflict management specialist and an expert in interpersonal negotiations, Rowe hears from hundreds of people a year about serious conflicts and concerns. She served for 42 years as an organizational ombuds reporting directly to five presidents of MIT.

Her research interests focus on the uses of power in interpersonal negotiations; harassment; dispute resolution system design; and coping with difficult people. She is especially interested in the role of “bystanders” in helping to affirm professional and productive behavior within organizations. Rowe taught Negotiations and Conflict Management for many years—and consults widely to corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies. Her writing probes the subtle inequities experienced by people who are nontraditional in any context, micro-affirmations, conflicts of interest, and other classic workplace problems.

Rowe holds a BA in history from Swarthmore College and a PhD in economics from Columbia University. 


Rowe’s Negotiation Journal articles made free for a limited time


"Consider Generic Options When Complainants and Bystanders Are Fearful."

Rowe, Mary, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6259-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, February 2021.

"Thinking About the Most Serious Cases Reported by Organizational Ombuds."

Rowe, Mary, Timothy Hedeen, and Jennifer Schneider. The Independent Voice. International Ombudsman Association, September 2020.

"What do Organizational Ombuds Do? And Not Do?"

Rowe, Mary, Timothy Hedeen and Jennifer Schneider. The Independent Voice. International Ombudsman Association, September 2020.

"Supporting Bystanders: See Something, Say Something is Not Enough."

Rowe, Mary, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5897-20. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, January 2020.

"Micro-inequities in Medicine."

Silver, Julie K., Mary Rowe, Michael S. Sinha, Diana M. Molinares, Nancy D. Spector, and Debjani Mukherjee. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Vol. 10, No. 10 (2018): 1106-1114. Download paper.

"Fostering Constructive Action by Peers and Bystanders in Organizations and Communities."

Rowe, Mary. Negotiation Journal Vol. 34, No. 2 (2018): 137-163.

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Recent Insights


'Negotiation Journal' unlocks MIT Sloan professor’s research and articles

Decades of negotiation and conflict management research and articles written by one of MIT’s leading experts, Mary Rowe, are now freely available.

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Ideas Made to Matter

Revisiting a classic negotiation framework

Insights into attitudinal restructuring and intra-organizational negotiations still hold the key to positive outcomes.

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