Jeffrey Z. Rubin Theory-To-Practice Award Recipient Deborah M. Kolb

Published by Brandon Taylor Charpied on

The IACM Rubin Award honors a member who bridges theory and practice in conflict management through generating theory from practice, using practice to inspire research, and/or changing practice. The 2022 recipient, Deborah Kolb, exemplifies all three of these bridges between theory and practice in her 40-year career. She has produced 8 books and over 80 articles and chapters that translate theory to practice, especially in helping women uncover hidden assumptions in negotiation, navigate power relationships, and turn small gains into big wins. She also introduced key constructs to the field, ones that inspire research and theory development, such as the shadow negotiation, moves and turns, and everyday negotiations.

In the area of practice, she has conducted negotiation training workshops with such organizations as the 2016 Obama Administration, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (funded by the Gates Foundation), women parliamentarians in Bosnia, and women leaders in Sarajevo as well as corporate and non-profit venues, including Deloitte, Google, HBO, Time Warner, The Ford Foundation, Girl Scouts USA, and Women in Technology International. In each of these endeavors, Prof. Kolb draws on theoretical perspectives to advance negotiation practice, create opportunities, and manage workplace relationships. As an aside, Prof. Kolb and Jeff Rubin were close friends and colleagues. He recruited her as a Senior Fellow to the Harvard Program on Negotiation and the two of them conducted numerous workshops together, developed the Negotiation Journal, and wrote case studies that we use to teach negotiation.

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