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PROF Mara Olekalns


  • Communication processes in negotiation
  • Gender and social stereoptypes in negotiation
  • Negotiation Lab
  • Social and organisational psychology
  • Trust and relational risk in negotiation (deception, ethics in negotiation)



  • Professor Mara Olekalns’ research is in the field of negotiation. It focuses on the relationships between how individuals think about negotiation, what they do and say during the negotiation, and their outcomes. Her current research is focused on the role of trust strategic choice. Her current research programme, A Relational Model of Strategic Choice in Negotiation, is funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. A second research stream focuses on how gender influences perception of strategic choices, and the extent to which women may encounter social and economic reprisals when the violate normative expectations in negotiation. The aim of her research is to help negotiators understand and improve the process of negotiating, with the goal of creating better agreements. Her research has been published in leading, international journals. She served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Conflict Management for 2003-2005; she is currently a Division Editor for Group Decision and Negotiation, and also on the Editorial Boards of Negotiation and Conflict Management Research and Journal of Organizational Behavior. From 2001 -2003, she was a board member of the International Association of Conflict Management.

    Before joining Melbourne Business School, Professor Olekalns taught organisational behaviour for the Department of Management at Melbourne University, and for the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago (New Zealand). In 1999, she was awarded a Universitas 21 Teaching Fellowship by the University of Melbourne.

    Less recently she has worked for Department of Employment, Education & Training (Staff Training, Equal Opportunity, Organization Development, Resources); Public Service Board (Project Officer for Regional Director) and National Police Research Unit (research on recruitment, training, stress, domestic violence).


Member of

  • International Communication Association. Member 1998 -
  • International Association of Conflict Management. Member 1997 -
  • Academy of Management. Member 1993 -
  • American Psychological Association. Member 1990 -


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • PhD, Adelaide University 1986
  • BA(hons), Adelaide University 1979
  • BA, Adelaide University 1978

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2010