Wheeler’s current research focuses on negotiation dynamics, dispute resolution, organizational design, and ethics. He is the editor of the Negotiation Journal and co-director of the Negotiation Pedagogy initiative at the inter-university Program on Negotiation.
Wheeler is the author or co-author of nine books, including most recently, What’s Fair? Ethics for Negotiators (with Carrie Menkel-Meadow), Business Fundamentals in Negotiation, and On Teaching Negotiation. His text Environmental Dispute Resolution (with Lawrence Bacow) won the CPR-ADR’s annual award as the best book on negotiation. He has written numerous articles in both scholarly journals (among them, the Yale Journal of Regulation, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, and The Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies) and the public press, including The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times.
He has also written scores of negotiation exercises, cases, notes, and self-assessment tools. These materials cover subjects ranging from nonverbal communication and complexity theory, to the parallels between negotiation strategy and both jazz and war-fighting. He has written extensive case studies of negotiation system design, documenting GE’s “early dispute resolution initiative” and Guinness’s process for approving acquisitions and joint ventures. With colleagues Gerald Zaltman and Kimberlyn Leary, he is investigating emotions and unconscious attitudes that people bring to the bargaining table. With Clark Freshman he is also exploring nonverbal communication and lie detection in negotiation.
Wheeler taught at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1981 to 1993, where he was Director of Research at MIT’s Center for Real Estate Development. Previously he was Director of Education and Research at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Professor of Law at New England Law School. He has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Colorado and the Politecnico di Torino, Italy. He has appeared extensively on public television in Boston and elsewhere.
He holds degrees from Amherst College, Boston University, and Harvard Law School, and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1969. He has been a panelist for the American Arbitration Association, and has served as a mediator or arbitrator in a variety of business and regulatory disputes. He has advised corporate clients, trade organizations, and government agencies on negotiation issues in the United States and abroad.