Constraints and Triggers: Situational Mechanics of Gender in Negotiation

John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 01/2006; 89(6):951-65. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.89.6.951
Source: PubMed


The authors propose 2 categories of situational moderators of gender in negotiation: situational ambiguity and gender triggers. Reducing the degree of situational ambiguity constrains the influence of gender on negotiation. Gender triggers prompt divergent behavioral responses as a function of gender. Field and lab studies (1 and 2) demonstrated that decreased ambiguity in the economic structure of a negotiation (structural ambiguity) reduces gender effects on negotiation performance. Study 3 showed that representation role (negotiating for self or other) functions as a gender trigger by producing a greater effect on female than male negotiation performance. Study 4 showed that decreased structural ambiguity constrains gender effects of representation role, suggesting that situational ambiguity and gender triggers work in interaction to moderate gender effects on negotiation performance.

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    • "To date, most of it has been conducted in the classroom or laboratory. Few field studies of negotiation have taken place (for exceptions , see Curhan, Elfenbein, & Kilduff, 2009; Bowles, Babcock , & McGinn , 2005 ; Gerhart & Rynes , 1991). Students who elect to take negotiations courses form the vast majority of samples , including our own studies . "
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    ABSTRACT: Women’s relatively worse performance in negotiation is often cited as an explanation for gender differences in advancement and pay within organizations. We review key findings from the past twenty years of research on gender differences in negotiation. Women do underperform relative to men in negotiation, but only under limited circumstances, which means the performance gap is unlikely due to lesser skills on their part. The barriers between women and negotiation excellence are of three types: cognitive, motivational, and paradigmatic. Cognitive barriers stem from negative stereotypes about women’s negotiating abilities. Motivational barriers stem from desire to prevent women negotiators from excelling in a masculine domain. Paradigmatic barriers stem from how negotiation is currently studied. We call for greater attention to motivational barriers and for changes to the negotiation paradigm. Women negotiators are not incompetent, and training them to negotiate more like men is not obviously the solution. In fact, women have greater concern for others than men do, and their cooperativeness elevates collective intelligence and enables ethical behavior. Under a new paradigm of negotiation, the value of these strengths could become more readily apparent. In particular, we advocate for greater attention to long-term relationships, subjective value, and relational capital, all of which may have important economic implications in real world negotiations.
    Research in Organizational Behavior 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.riob.2015.09.002 · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    • "Unfortunately, many negotiations in and out of the classroom never happen because the parties fail to recognize a negotiable moment or to ask for what they want due to fear of confrontation/conflict (Bowles et al., 2005; Small, Gelfand, Babcock, & Gettman, 2007; Volkema & Fleck, 2012). As a consequence , one if not all participants can fail to achieve their preferred outcomes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Negotiation is an interpersonal process common to everyday personal and professional success. Yet individuals often fail to recognize opportunities for initiating negotiations and the immediate and long-term implications of these oversights for themselves and others. This article describes a simple yet rich negotiation exercise that learners can undertake outside the classroom in a familiar and highly accessible setting, an exercise that offers insights into and reinforcement of principles and theories from the individual (e.g., perception, personality, motivation), interpersonal/group (e.g., communication media, group dynamics, power), and organizational/ environmental (e.g., design/structure, ethics) dimensions of organizational behavior and management. The application of these and other lessons to negotiations across organizational levels are offered, along with specific observations from learners of the parallels to asking one's boss for a raise.
    Journal of Management Education 08/2015; DOI:10.1177/1052562915600202
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    • "The findings indicate that, first, even in the country which is more influenced by traditional gender roles, differences by gender in accommodating behavior of WRs do not emerge, and second, that female WRs perceive less social support than male in an industrial relations context with more tradition on gender roles. This work contributes to a growing body of research demonstrating the importance of situational moderators in understanding gender and negotiation, such as the representation role (Amanatullah and Morris 2010; Bear 2011; Bowles et al. 2005; Kray et al. 2001; Small et al. 2007). Further, this study augments upon previous research by identifying the moderator effect of the industrial relations culture and gender in the relation between accommodating behavior and perceived social support in WRs. "
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    ABSTRACT: Historically, the role of worker representatives (WRs) is traditionally perceived as masculine. With an increasing participation of women in the workforce, the number of female WRs grows all over Europe. WRs’ main task is to negotiate on behalf of the constituency. We explore how male and female WRs perceive support from their constituency and how this perceived support is related to their negotiation behavior. We test hypotheses about the impact of gender and societal culture on perceived support and accommodating behavior in negotiations. The hypotheses are tested using a quantitative approach among 219 female and 495 male WRs in Spain and 166 female and 398 male WRs in the Netherlands. Following the research question there was no evidence indicating gender differences in accommodating behavior. Results show that a) WRs accommodate less to management in Spain than in the Netherlands; b) female WRs perceive less social support than their male counterparts in Spain, but not in the Netherlands; c) social support is negatively related to accommodating behavior only for female WRs in Spain, but not in the Netherlands. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.
    Sex Roles 07/2014; 70(11-12). DOI:10.1007/s11199-014-0378-4 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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