Executive Program

Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives

The Program on Negotiation (PON) is a university consortium dedicated to developing the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. As a community of scholars and practitioners, PON serves a unique role in the world negotiation community. Founded in 1983 as a special research project at Harvard Law School, PON includes faculty, students, and staff from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University.


We believe that negotiation is an art and a science. Through different lenses, including law, business, government, psychology, economics, anthropology, the arts, and education, members of the PON community seek to better understand negotiations. Why did a deal not close that would have benefited both companies? Why did one country resolve differences peacefully, while another fought a bloody civil war? Why are some divorcing couples able to mediate their separation amicably, while others fight painfully and expensively in court?

There will always be conflict. In fact, many remark ruefully that conflict is a “growth industry.” Knowing how to negotiate to solve problems, make deals, build consensus, avoid violence, and manage intractable disputes is a competency that is vitally needed in the world.

The goal of reducing conflict and violence can seem like an impossible dream. At PON, we have the privilege of doing work in service to that mission, believing that increasing our understanding of negotiation and conflict management is one essential step forward.

Program Features

Learn how to prepare for and conduct negotiations that result in better outcomes.

Enhance your leadership skills and learn to reach consensus with the people you work with.

Find out how to deal with difficult people and tactics.

Learn skills you can put to use right away in your organization.

Some 15,000 corporate executives, government officials, and leading attorneys around the world have completed the Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives. They have used what they learned to resolve conflict, make deals, avoid costly litigation, mediate public disputes, and defuse crises.

Who Should Attend

CEOs; Presidents; Board Members; Executive Vice Presidents; Operations, Administration, Human Resources, Marketing, Manufacturing, and Finance; Corporate Counsel; and other executives who face the pressures of resolving conflicts that have a direct effect on day-to-day management and long-term success.

Program Overview

How can you improve the outcomes of your negotiations with business partners, clients, competitors, vendors, and employees?

What can you do to increase your ability to negotiate deals, persuade investors, avoid needless conflict, improve financial terms and influence the decisions of others?

At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, an internationally renowned center for the development of negotiation theory and practice, we have designed a unique approach to teaching executives to be better negotiators. Combining the theory of effective negotiation with successful strategies employed by experienced negotiators, we provide a framework for negotiating effectively at work, at home, and in your community.

More than 15,000 corporate executives, government officials and practicing attorneys have completed The Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives. They have used what they learned to resolve conflict, make deals, avoid costly litigation, mediate public disputes, and defuse crises.


Can you Be a Better Negotiator?

At the Program on Negotiation, we believe you can.

We believe you can learn to achieve better outcomes; become more proficient in long-term decision making; enhance your leadership skills; and more easily reach consensus with people working around you.

We teach a negotiation process that will enable you to deal more effectively with the kinds of complex problems you face every day. Through expert presentations and interactive simulations, you’ll learn how to prepare for, conduct, and analyze negotiations.

You’ll also learn the elements of mutual gains negotiation –

- Know your BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)

- Distinguish interests from positions

- Invent options without committing

- Insist on objective criteria

- Separate the people from the problem

Who Should Attend?

This program is appropriate for Chief Executive Officers; Presidents; Board Chairs and Board Members; Executive Vice Presidents; Vice Presidents of Operations, Administration, Human Resources, Marketing, Manufacturing, and Finance; Corporate Counsel; and other executives who face the pressures of resolving conflicts that have a direct effect on both successful day-to-day management and long-term strategies.

Program Outline

Setting the Stage for Productive Negotiations: Diagnosing the Negotiation Problem
You'll be taught a framework for identifying and analyzing negotiation problems. You will learn about the barriers to negotiation success and how you can overcome them. You will be introduced to the "Three Tensions," which every skilled negotiator must learn to manage.

Identifying Sources of Value in Negotiation
You will learn to find often hidden sources of value in negotiation and to use mutual gains negotiations to create value. At the same time, you will discover how to get the best deal for yourself by claiming your rightful share of the distributed value.

Negotiating Better Outcomes: Building Successful Relationships
Effective communication is a core skill of all successful negotiators. Learn listening skills that will help you understand the other party, gain needed information, and show empathy. Also, learn to hold onto your own interests and express them clearly and persuasively. Discover how to negotiate without locking into positions and destructive escalation dynamics. Find out how to decide when it is better to walk away and when it is better to close.

Dealing With Obstacles and Complicating Factors
In managing internal and external negotiations, what can you do to maximize the deal for both sides even in the face of obstacles and complicating factors such as blocking coalitions and institutional barriers? What tools work best for managers who need to shape agreements and informal understandings within a complex web of internal and external relationships?

How do you deal with such sources of resistance as: your own fears (that the other side will take advantage of you, that you won't be good at it), their hard bargaining style (that they'll use what you say against you, that they'll make unreasonable demands, that they won't play fair), or organizational difficulties (that others won't understand what you're trying to do, or that you won't look tough enough)?

Program Faculty

Guhan Subramanian
Professor of Business Law
Harvard Business School
Professor of Law & Business
Harvard Law School
Harvard University

Guhan Subramanian is the Joseph Flom Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and the Douglas Weaver Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School. He is the first person to hold tenured appointments at both HLS and HBS. At HLS he teaches courses in negotiations and corporate law. At HBS he teaches courses in the MBA program as well as several executive education programs, such as Making Corporate Boards More Effective, Strategic Negotiations, and Changing the Game. He is the faculty chair for the JD/MBA program at Harvard University and a member of the Executive Committee of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty he spent three years at McKinsey & Company in their New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C. offices.

Professor Subramanian's research explores topics in negotiations, corporate dealmaking, and corporate governance. He has published articles in the Stanford Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Harvard Law Review, and the Journal of Legal Studies, among other places. He is also a co-author of Commentaries and Cases on the Law of Business Organization, a leading textbook on corporate law. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal's "Heard on the Street" column, the New York Times, the American Lawyer, The Daily Deal, and Corporate Control Alert. He has been involved in recent public-company deals such as Oracle's $10.3 billion hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft; Cox Enterprises' $8.9 billion freeze-out of the minority shareholders in Cox Communications; and the $6.6 billion leveraged buyout of Toys "R" Us. He also advises individuals, boards of directors, and management teams on issues of dealmaking and corporate governance.

Professor Subramanian holds an A.B. in Economics (magna cum laude) from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa; an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School; and a J.D. from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and a winner of the Ames Moot Court Competition. He is formerly a Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project and an Olin Fellow for research in law and economics, both at Harvard Law School. He is a member of the New York Bar Association and the American Law & Economics Association.

Participants’ Profile

(in alphabetical order)
(in alphabetical order)
ABN AMRO Bank HE Qilian & Associates Solicitors Associate, Economic Research
Achieve Wise Management Hong Kong Land Limited Business Development Manager
AEG Promotion Ltd Hong Kong Productivity Council CFO
AIA Company Ltd. Hopewell Holdings Ltd Chairman
Air Products Asia HSBC Chief Executive Officer
Aktis Capital Advisory Ltd Huens & Partners Solicitors Country Division Head
Alan Lam, Yam & PE Hutchison Harbour Ring Limited Director
Allergan Asia Ltd Invesco Asset Management P Executive Director
Allianz Global Investors Asia Pacific Gambit Juniper Networks Finance Director
American Express Bank Kerry Holdings Limited Financial Controller
Analogue Holdings Limited KHI Management Limited General Council
AON Asia Lai Sun Development Co. Ltd General Director
Applix Asia Pacific Limited Lamex Holdings Ltd General Manager, China
Aquamarine enterprise Ltd Li & Fung (Trading) Ltd. General Manager, Finance
Asia Satellite Telecom Ltd. Linklaters Group Financial Controller
ASRIA Mekim Ltd. Group Treasurer
Bayer Healthcare Limited Melco Crown Entertainment Head of Global Financial Markets.
BF Asia Limited Merrill Lynch Head of Procurement
BII Finance Co. Ltd. Metro Gallery Ltd. Head of Project Management Office
Caritas (HK) MGB Hong Kong Head of Research
Carlsberg Brewery HK Ltd Motorola Inc. Lawyer
Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. MTR Corp Ltd Legal Affairs Manager
Christine M. Koo & Ip, Solicitors & Notaries Occasions Corporate & Financial Communication Ltd. Legal Council General
Citrix Systems HK Ltd Pacific Century Premium Developments Ltd Managing Director
Clifford Chance PCCW Limited Partner
CMA PetroChina President, Corporate Management
Coco Cola Asia Pfizer Corp HK Ltd Regional Director
DBS Bank Ltd. & DBS Securities Philips Electronics Regional Head of Cash & Risk
Deacons Samsung Electronics Sales Director
FedEx Express Shui On Construction Secretary to Board of Directors
Ferrier Hodgson Philippines Inc. Shun Tak Group Senior Director, Field Services
Fhattarwong Simmons & Simmons Senior Legal Council
Fortis Bank Sonic Teleservices Solicitor
Fortis Insurance International South China Morning Post Vice President
Giordano Spirent Communication Vice President, Legal
Global Call Limited Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited VP Technical Operations
Goldman Sachs Treasure Land Property Ltd.
Grosvenor Ltd Walt Disney
Yu & Partners Weichert Relocation Resources Asia Pacific Ltd
Yum! Restaurants Asia Pte Ltd Willas-Array Electronics Ltd.
WKK Int'l (Holdings) Ltd.