He is the Founding Academic Director of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation, OPN (co-founded with Tim Cullen, OPN’s first Programme Director) at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School (SBS). He provided the initial design for OPN in 2003 and served as Academic Director until 2015. At OPN, Sherman has taught fundamental principles of negotiation, a step-by-step approach to negotiation strategy, and the roles of decision making, persuasion and other behavioral processes in achieving the best negotiated outcomes. In addition to OPN, as an Associate Fellow of SBS, he has been involved in many other activities at the School. In 2004, he also designed and co-directed the Oxford Programme on Investment Decision Making, and recruited and managed its stellar faculty including Nobel Laureate, Daniel Kahneman. He has also taught in the SBS Custom Programmes area.
As Director of Executive Seminars at Harvard’s Kennedy School (1996-2003), he designed and taught in two sets of modular leadership programs. That way, executives could deepen their understanding four major skills of leadership by participating in four two-day courses that they could attend on convenient dates throughout the year. One series, “The Executive Leadership Curriculum”, was designed for a general executive audience (executives from businesses, governmental agencies, international organizations and nonprofits) and was held in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The second series, held in Washington, D.C., dealt with the same four key skills, but was custom-designed for U.S. federal and other government executives. In both series, each seminar focused on a key leadership skill\process: decision making, persuasion, improvement of productive operations, or innovation. With Richard Zeckhauser at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Sherman also co-created the first long-running executive program on applications of behavioral economics to investment and financial decision making. In addition to Zeckhauser, the faculty included Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman (Princeton), and Richard Thaler (U Chicago), and many other luminaries from Ivy League, and other top schools. Guest speakers included top investment managers such as Charles T. Munger (Vice Chairman to Warren Buffett at Berkshire-Hathaway) Michael Price, and John Neff, and Nobel Laureate, Paul Samuelson, among many others.
With Mark Moore, he also developed a leadership course for executives from U.S. federal law enforcement agencies and their state, local and international partners. The nine programs that Sherman pioneered at Harvard Kennedy School hosted over 8,000 executives during his tenure, and accounted for over 50% of total executive attendance for the School.
In 1999, while at Harvard, Sherman founded The Ivy Faculty Consortium with the support of senior professors at Harvard, Princeton, Chicago, UC Berkeley, and other Ivy League and Ivy Caliber universities. Other experts soon joined from top universities in the US, the UK (e.g. Oxford and Imperial College, London), and in Western Europe (e.g. ESSEC in Cergy-Pontoise, and HEC, Paris). Recently re-branded as IvyFaculty, this network responds to the demand for high-quality executive education by sending experts affiliated with such major universities and business schools to deliver on-site executive education programs, short courses, and keynote addresses for private, public and nonprofit organizations worldwide.
Through the IvyFaculty network, Sherman has personally designed and taught in-house executive programs and done consulting for clients on every populated continent on earth. His personal clientele includes a wide variety of organizations in the private sector (investments and financial management, high-tech, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medical device companies, large retail businesses, hotel chains, hospitals, home goods chains, military technology firms, energy companies, public relations firms, and many others), in the public sector (U.S. federal agencies including the FBI, DEA, Customs Law Enforcement, Department of State, Department of Defense, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, as well as governments of several states and large cities), in international organizations (e.g. United Nations agencies), and in nonprofits, including both classical charities and trade and professional associations.
As Deputy Director of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (1990-1996), he created its Executive Education area, which included programs on leadership, decision making, persuasion, corporate healthcare and behavioral economics. In collaboration with Nobel Laureate Thomas C. Schelling, Sherman organized a series of research seminars on decision making and international security entitled “Behavioral Approaches to Strategy and International Security” which held research workshops for experts in the area of defense policy and arms control. He also represented the Center at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences series on “Strategic Culture”, a research symposia on how culture influences the strategic behavior of nations, military forces, and political movements.
Prior to accepting a position at the Cambridge Center he pursued an academic career in Caracas, which sometimes overlapped with a career in business. Sherman was Professor of Behavioral Science at Simón Bolívar University (USB, 1980-1988) where he taught at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, was on the Dean’s Research Committee, led the Behavioral Engineering Section, directed Teachers’ Education for the USB Open University, and, as part of the “Assistance to Industry Program”, did consulting for Venezuelan petroleum, aluminum, iron and steel industries and agricultural cooperatives.
At various times, Sherman has taught at other universities around the world, including Carnegie Mellon University, Texas A&M University’s School of Arts and Sciences, the Indian School of Business, Reykjavik University, Universidad Católica de Lima, and Universidad Lead in San Jose, Costa Rica, among others. He studied at Texas A&M, Simón Bolívar University, and Harvard University and holds advanced degrees in political science and psychology.
While residing in Caracas, Sherman undertook activities as a business executive and as an entrepreneur. He directed marketing for Venezuela’s National Savings and Loan System and, later, was Marking Director of Banco Provincial, an offshoot of French banking giant, Crédit Lyonnais. He founded, co-owned, and practiced clinical psychology in two medical-psychological clinics in Caracas. During Venezuela’s prior period of democratic rule, he also advised the Ministry of Education on matters related to higher education and adult education.
His research is oriented toward the understanding and improvement of practical action and includes many aspects of individual, team, and organizational performance, including negotiation, leadership, and essential performance skills. He has pioneered a distinctive model of human behavior. This research supports the conclusion that even the most complex human performances can be analyzed into one or some combination of only five truly fundamental behavioral processes: information gathering, choice-making, communicating, operating and innovating. Prof. Roberts' new book introduces his Result-Driven Negotiation framework and it will be published in 2019. It incorporates many insights drawn from research on his Five-Process Model and is based on a decade-long research and field-testing effort. You can get a head start on learning the unique and revolutionary negotiation method that it describes by contacting him or participating in on-going discussions of the ideas developed in the book with the author and others on social media channels.