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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