University of California, Riverside

Anderson Graduate School of Management

School of Business News

Professor Robert H. Mnookin talks about the importance of putting up your dukes in a negotiation, as well as when to back down. 

(May 14, 2010)

Professor Mnookin

Harvard Law School Professor Robert H. Mnookin visited the School of Business Administration on May 13th for a lecture and discussion with SoBA students on the topic of negotiation. He is the author of "Bargaining With the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight." 

During the hour-long public lecture, Professor Mnookin spoke about the importance of negotiation and how it applies to business. During his lecture he had audience members pair up and arm-wrestle each other to "win points," an exercise in the tug-of-war of negotiation between two parties. He also talked about a hypothetical scenario involving a "Sally Soprano" (an opera singer) and how she would negotiate with the Lyric Opera (her employer). Other questions he covered also included how his ideas on negotiation apply to conflicts such as those between the United States and Iraq and North Korea.

Professor Mnookin later spoke at the UCR Alumni and Visitors Center later on for a university-wide public lecture where he went more in-depth about the application of negotiation from a broader perspective. Professor Mnookin was here at UC Riverside as the 2010 Forrest S. Mosten Lecturer and Scholar in Residence in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies.

Bio: Robert Mnookin has applied his interdisciplinary approach to negotiation and conflict resolution to a remarkable range of problems, both public and private. He has written extensively about barriers to the negotiated resolution of conflict and how to overcome them, ethnic conflicts both violent and nonviolent, and divorce bargaining. In his latest book Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight, he addresses the most challenging conflicts--when you are facing an adversary you don't trust, who may harm you, or may even be evil. Mnookin provides tools for confronting devils of all kinds--in international relations, in business and in family conflicts. 

- article by Mark Manalang

Watch the Video of the Lecture

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