Howard Raiffa

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Howard Raiffa (January 24, 1924 – July 8, 2016) helped found and was the first director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. He was the Frank P. Ramsey Professor (Emeritus) of Managerial Economics, a joint chair held by the Business School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was an influential Bayesian decision theorist and pioneer in the field of decision analysis, with works in statistical decision theory, game theory, behavioral decision theory, risk analysis, and negotiation analysis.


The Art and Science of Negotiation (1982)[edit]

  • Ideas are incestuous.
    • Acknowledgments, p. v.
  • Game theory, however, deals only with the way in which ultrasmart, all knowing people should behave in competitive situations, and has little to say to Mr. X as he confronts the morass of his problem.
    • Prologue, p. 2.
  • There is no shortage of disputes.
    • Part I, Overview, p. 7.
  • The party that negotiates in haste is often at a disadvantage.
    • Part I, Chapter 1, Some organizing Questions, p. 16.
  • A mediator is an impartial outsider who tries to aid the negotiators in their quest to find a compromise agreement.
    • Part I, Chapter 2, Research Perspectives, p. 23.
Advice: don't embarrass your bargaining partner by forcing him or her to make all the concessions
  • The best practical advice then is: try to maximize your expected payoff, which is the sum of all payoffs multiplied by probabilities.
    • Part I, Chapter 2, Research Perspectives, p. 31.
  • Advice: don't embarrass your bargaining partner by forcing him or her to make all the concessions.
    • Part II, Chapter 4, Analytical Models ans Empirical Results, p. 48.
  • Each party tended to view its own chances in court as better than the other side viewed them.
    • Part II, Chapter 5, Settling Out of Court, p. 75.
  • After a little reflection, the best strategy becomes clear: bid aggressively up to a maximum cutoff value and then quit.
    • Part II, Chapter 6, The Role of Time, p. 87.
  • It is always amazing to see how wide a spectrum of results can be obtained from replicating an identical negotiation with different principal actors; it makes no difference whether there subjects are inexperienced or whether they are senior executives and young presidents of business firms. That is an important lesson to be learned here.
    • Part II, Chapter 7, Acquisitions and Mergers, p. 94.
  • It's easy, of course, for two teams to collude, but somewhat more difficult for twenty-eight-
    • Part II, Chapter 7, Acquisitions and Mergers, p. 107. (See also: European Union).
  • Final-offer arbitration should have great appeal for the daring (the risk seekers) who play against the timid (the risk avoiders).
    • Part II, Chapter 8, Third Party Intervention, p. 118.
  • A final word of advice: don't gloat about how well you have done.
    • Part II, Chapter 9, Advice for Negotiators, p. 130.
  • The art of compromise centers on the willingness to give up something in order to get something else in return. Successful artists get more than they give up.
    • Part III, Chapter 10, AMPO Versus City, p. 142.
  • Most people, even in simple risky situations, don't behave the way the theory of utility would have them behave.
    • Part III, Chapter 11, Tradeoffs and Concessions, p. 155.
  • " the mediation of internal conflicts can be resolved by linkages with other problems."
    • Part III, Chapter 12, The Panama Canal Negotiations, p. 183.
  • A lot depends on the starting point.
    • Part III, Chapter 14, The Camp David Negotiations, p. 215.
  • We act like a zero-sum society, when in reality there is a lot of non zero-sum fat to be skimmed off to everyone's mutual advantage.
    • Part IV, Chapter 21, Environmental Conflict Resolution, p. 310.
A final word of advice: don't gloat about how well you have done.
  • It's worth repeating here, though, because we are talking about mechanisms for resolving conflict and many people don't realize it's impossible to devise a foolproof scheme.
    • Part IV, Chapter 23, Voting, p. 331.
  • Disputants often fare poorly when they each act greedily and deceptively.
    • Part V, Chapter 25, Ethical and Moral Issues, p. 345.
  • The need is not for the creation of new analytical techniques specially designed for the negotiation process, but rather for the creative use of analytical thinking that exploits existing techniques.
    • Epilogue, p. 360.

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