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


Mary Rowe, Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Management, MIT Sloan

Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 29, 2020— Decades of negotiation and conflict management research and articles written by one of MIT’s leading experts are now freely available to the public in Negotiation Journal through September 21, 2021. Negotiation Journal is a quarterly, peer-reviewed journal published by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Mary Rowe, Adjunct Professor of Negotiation and Management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has a distinguished career in conflict management and interpersonal negotiations, which includes 42 years’ service as an organizational ombudsperson who reported directly to five presidents of MIT.

Dr. Rowe’s articles span decades. They explore such topics as:

  • The functions needed in an Integrated Conflict Management System, and the effectiveness of an organizational ombudsperson.
  • The importance of these different functions for employees and managers who feel harassed.
  • A report on the US Navy’s Integrated Dispute Resolution System after the Tailhook scandal.
  • Notes on President Donald Trump’s unconventional negotiation style, suggesting the need for universal teaching of “negotiation literacy."
  • The implications for negotiation theory when, instead of bargaining over goods and services, conflicting parties simply want to hurt each other.

A recent article explores the many reasons why peers and bystanders do not—or do—act in a helpful way, and offers a list of some ‘naturally occurring’ beneficial acts by bystanders who are very helpful, which has implications for organizations and communities who wish to appear as receptive to help from bystanders.

“Mary Rowe is an inspiration to all of us in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution,” said Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, editor of Negotiation Journal. “She has pioneered the role of an organizational ombudsperson, while documenting this work in the pages of the Negotiation Journal. Building on what were literally hundreds of cases a year, she has challenged us to appreciate the complex and systemic implications of workplace disputes. It is with delight that we are able to collect in one place all of her contributions.”

Dr. Rowe holds a BA in History from Swarthmore College and a PhD in Economics from Columbia University. Her research interests focus on interpersonal negotiations, harassment, dispute resolution system design, and how to cope with difficult people. She is especially interested in the role of bystanders in helping to affirm good organizational culture. She consults widely for corporations, academic institutions and government agencies.

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