David Matz teaches conflict resolution at UMass/Boston and is a partner in The Mediation Group. Professor Matz has focused his work on the techniques of mediation and negotiation and on the relationship of these to the workings of organizations and courts. In the United States, he has led in the development and use of assessment tools for court mediators and trained mediators, judges, and engineers. Professor Matz has written extensively about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Israel, he was central in developing policies and practices for the Israeli Ministry of Justice and Supreme Court in integrating mediation into the judicial system. He has also studied these approaches to the peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians and he has worked extensively with Arab and Jewish groups, here and abroad. More recently, he has begun work with courts and law schools in China and Nigeria.
On Tools and Their Dangers(03/26/15)
We, like all professionals, focus most of our attention on making and using tools. We have jobs to do, expectations to meet, and tools are extensions of our selves. They imply a strategy for proceeding, a source of confidence that we really can make an impact on a reality that badly needs it. The negotiation literature, especially the teaching and research literature, is dominated by a focus on tools. Tools are thus essential, and also dangerous.
The Limelight Hypothesis, Part 2(05/05/14)
Being an essay of opinions and observations on sundry issues related to the practice of negotiation; politics and electioneering; dickering over debt in the nation’s capital; Otto von Bismarck’s admonition about watching laws and sausages being made; a budding theory on the effect of constant attention-mongering from MSNBC, FOX News, and other bloggers, pundits, and blabbermouths; the creation of statutes, ordinances, rules, policies, regulations, and standards; and the making of hot dogs, chorizos, kielbasas, and bratwursts.
The Limelight Hypothesis(04/28/14)
There is a Yiddish proverb that says God made man because he loves stories. The world is made of stories and good stories make the world. So here is a good story about negotiation.