In 1998 Professor Mercedes Costa, who holds a Master’s degree in Corporate Legal Counseling from IE Business School, founded the Negotiation and Mediation Center at IE Business School, and has lead it since its creation. The center is a pioneering research and education initiative in the negotiations field, which has enabled the incorporation of this subject across all IE graduate and university programs.
Professor Costa was trained in Negotiation and Mediation at Harvard, under the guidance of Professors Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton, Wiliam Ury and Frank Sanders. Roger Fisher was a huge supporter of the project and in the launching of the center that Professor Costa now directs.
This center has subsequently developed its own methodology based on the fundamentals of the American school, with numerous publications, technical notes, working papers and cases, through which it has made known its extensive progress in this field.
In the words of Professor Costa, “In order for a process as complex and uncertain as negotiation to reach a satisfactory result, a methodology is needed to structure and to provide foresight and control to the negotiator’s behavior.
“Our differential aspect is that we understand that the negotiation process implies a gain in itself. Throughout these years, we have worked on a single framework which, on the one hand, makes the results-oriented task as efficient as possible and, on the other hand, optimizes the possibilities of mutual knowledge, value creation, and ethical and personal growth at the negotiating table.”
With a degree in Law from the Central University of Barcelona, Professor Costa worked for ten years in the commercial department of the José Mario Armero Law Firm, carrying out all kinds of corporate transactions. She worked extensively in fields such as capital increases, mergers and acquisitions, sponsorship contracts, strategic alliances, joint venture and advertising processes, and many more. For this reason, she has established herself as an expert in the negotiation of all kinds of operations in the legal-business field.
A regular contributor to Spanish media, she has written numerous technical notes, working papers and research cases on negotiation. In 2020 she was awarded the prize for ‘The Most-Used Learning Material at IE”.
She is also the author of numerous negotiation manuals. She is notable for authoring “Negociar para CON-vencer”, edited by McGraw Hill in November 2004, which has been the subject of numerous reeditions, the last one in 2020. She also authored “Negociar para CON-seguir” edited by Pearson in 2011, “El Negociador Efectivo”, edited by LID in 2017, and is the author of the chapter “La Negociación in the manual “Sistemas de Solución Extrajudicial de Conflictos”, directed by Professor Hinojosa Segovia and edited in July 2006 by Editorial Universitaria Ramón Areces.
Professor Costa designs tailor-made executive education programs for IE Business School, where she has taught negotiation courses for staff in companies such as Adecco, Anesco, Banco Santander, Bufete Uría Menéndez, Century 21, Endesa, Iberia, Inditex, Indra, KPMG, Pfizer, PWC, Richard Ellis, Roche, Telepizza and Volvo.
She is currently a member of the board of directors of Ebro Foods, S.A., where she chairs the Audit and Control Committee and has been assigned the role of Coordinating Director. She is also a member of the advisory board of Ribé Salat and of the foundations “Quiero Trabajo” and “Contigo contra el cáncer de la mujer”.
TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE