The Harvard Concept
Harvard University is without doubt one of the worlds leading educational institutions. Research findings, books and articles authored by Harvard professors – of all faculties – are much discussed, and not only in academic circles. In all of this, there is always a clear emphasis on practical application as part of the “Harvard brand”.
Among the many academic disciplines studied and taught at Harvard is the emerging field of „negotiation“. The key teams of researchers working in this field are organized at Harvard Law School under the auspices of the Program on Negotiation (PON).
There is, of course, no single theory of negotiation taught at Harvard. The challenge of seeking to deal effectively with divergent interests in order to reach optimal results which are beneficial for all has occupied researchers in a variety of disciplines, including, for instance, those working in the growing field of game theory. But despite this complexity and diversity, the outline of a common approach has emerged from this institution over the last twenty years.
The „Harvard Concept“ is not only the title of the German translation of the bestselling book by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton, published in 1981 as „Getting to Yes“. Even in the Anglo-Saxon world, practitioners refer to the
„Harvard Method“ or the „Harvard Approach“ to negotiation. What they mean here is more than a method or a concept. In general, they refer to a negotiation philosophy which is focused on identifying and reconciling interests, with the goal of reaching a “Win-Win” result.
Further guiding principles of this approach to negotiation include the separation of relationship and content and the realization that negotiation can only end in a
successful result if the parties manage to get behind entrenched positions in order to find and satisfy underlying interests.
Egger Philips + Partner - Verhandlungsberater nach dem Harvard-Konzept