Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight
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Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight

by Robert Mnookin
     
 

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ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST EMINENT PRACTITIONERS of the art and science of negotiation offers practical advice for the most challenging conflicts — when you are facing an adversary you don't trust, who may harm you, or who you may even feel is evil.

The head of Harvard's famed Program on Negotiation, Robert Mnookin provides tools for confronting devils of all

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Overview

ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST EMINENT PRACTITIONERS of the art and science of negotiation offers practical advice for the most challenging conflicts — when you are facing an adversary you don't trust, who may harm you, or who you may even feel is evil.

The head of Harvard's famed Program on Negotiation, Robert Mnookin provides tools for confronting devils of all kinds — in business, politics, and family life. Bargaining with the Devil guides the reader on how to make wise decisions about whether to negotiate or fight. Mnookin explains what it means to make a "wise decision" and identifies the emotional, strategic, and political traps to avoid.

Drawing from a remarkable range of real-life stories, Mnookin offers his thoughtful guidance in disputes of all sorts where the temptation is to demonize:

The CEO of a small high-tech company learns that his joint-venture partner, a big foreign corporation, has been secretly cheating him under a license agreement; IBM discovers that Fujitsu, its largest competitor, has copied its software; the San Francisco Symphony is torn apart by poisoned labor-management relations; divorcing spouses, each feeling wounded and betrayed, disagree about custody and support; three siblings are in conflict about what to do with a jointly inherited vacation property.

Mnookin also examines decisions made in conflicts with evil regimes, where lives and liberty were at stake. He analyzes Winston Churchill's fateful choice in May 1940 — Britain's darkest hour — to reject negotiations with Adolf Hitler and to carry on the fight. He compares Nelson Mandela's decision to initiate negotiations with the South Africa apartheid governmentthat had imprisoned him for life with the imprisoned Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky's decision not to negotiate with the KGB for his freedom. And Mnookin evaluates with sensitivity the Hungarian Jew Rudolf Kasztner's still controversial decision to negotiate with Adolf Eichmann in the hope of saving lives.

This lively, informative, indispensable book identifies the tools one needs to make wise decisions about life's most challenging conflicts.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mnookin, head of Harvard's Program on Negotiation, combines business, history, philosophy and psychology to present a complete set of tools for confronting "Devils," defined as any individual perceived as a harmful adversary. Examining eight conflicts, including Winston Churchill's decision to reject negotiations with Adolf Hitler, Nelson Mandela's decision to initiate discussions with South Africa's apartheid government, IBM's discovery that its largest competitor copied its software, poisoned labor-management issues in the San Francisco Symphony, and examples from his professional experience, Mnookin (Beyond Winning) provides a straightforward account of the deliberative options when facing a "Faustian tension between pragmatism and principle." Along with cogent analysis, Mnookin suggests four general guidelines for determining the best course of action: systematically compare the cost-benefit ratios of negotiating or fighting, collect advice from others, tip the scales in favor of negotiation before fully committing, and don't allow moral intuition to override pragmatic assessment. While Mnookin admits his suggestions are "hardly the last word," they will help decision-makers focus their thoughts in challenging situations.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416583332
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
04/12/2011
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
599,449
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Robert H. Mnookin is the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law, the Chair of the Steering Committee of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and the Director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project. A renowned teacher and lecturer, Professor Mnookin has taught numerous workshops for corporations, governmental agencies and law firms throughout the world and trained many executives and professions in negotiation and mediation skills. Professor Mnookin has written or edited nine books and numerous scholarly articles. His books include Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes (with Scott Peppet and Andrew Tulumello) and Negotiating on Behalf of Others.

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