Mary Rowe


Mary Rowe

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Mary P. Rowe is an Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and taught these topics for twenty years. She served for almost 42 years as an organizational ombuds reporting directly to five presidents of MIT. 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 consults widely to corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies.

Rowe’s research and publications encompass a variety of topics encountered in her career—ranging from the role and work of an organizational ombuds to harassment, micro-affirmations, and bystanders. If you are interested in a particular article or topic in Rowe's publications, click here.

Her research interests include the different kinds of power that are used in interpersonal negotiations; harassment; dispute resolution system design; and coping with difficult people and unacceptable behavior. She is especially interested in the role of bystanders and the “bystanders of bystanders” in helping to affirm professional and productive behavior within organizations, and in the power of micro-affirmations to mitigate and even help to prevent the damage caused by micro-inequities of all kinds. Her current writing focuses on providing options for people to have a voice about their concerns and good ideas.

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


"'Drafting a Letter' for People Dealing with Harassment or Bullying How Did this Option Evolve? How May it Help?"

Rowe, Mary, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6826-22. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, February 2023.

"BELONGING—The Feeling That We 'Belong' May Depend in Part on 'Affirmations'."

Rowe, Mary, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6452-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, December 2022.

"An Unusual Harassment Training that Inspired Bystanders."

Rowe, Mary, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6478-21. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, November 2022.

"The Most Serious Cases Reported by Organizational Ombuds: Data from Surveys and Interviews."

Rowe, Mary, Timothy Hedeen, Jennifer Schneider, and Hector Escalante. The Independent Voice. International Ombuds Association, October 2022. Download Paper.

"Is the Other Person Competing? Collaborating? Possibly Intending Harm? Ideas to Consider in a Negotiation."

Rowe, Mary, MIT Sloan Working Paper 6792-22. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, September 2022.

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How to draft a letter to a workplace harasser

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New study quantifies occupational distress among physicians

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