Beam-column joint in moment resisting frames is very crucial particularly for nonseismically designed cases, which requires strengthening by various methods. This paper reports on shear strength reduction in exterior beam-column joints using haunch elements. Numerical analysis has been performed on exterior beam-column joint of moment resisting frame with and without a haunch element using SAP software. A parametric study has been performed for optimum haunch location (L') along the beam length (Lb) (10%, 12.5%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 40% and 50% of Lb) and the angle of the haunch element along column axis (15°, 30°, 45° and 60°). It has been observed that the optimum location of the haunch element is at 0.2Lb along the beam at an inclination of 45° with the column axis. The analysis results show that the addition of haunch element significantly reduced the joint shear strength. © (2013) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.