Gender And Negotiation Behaviour Essay

3254 words - 13 pages

Rather than attempt to find a definitive link between gender and negotiation behaviour, one should explore the concept that gender is a multi-faceted dimension influencing negotiation. In previous associations, it is evident that the situation of the negotiation is what determines the way negotiators approach tasks and form their expectations and goals (Kray & Babcock 2006). Negotiation behaviour, for this reason, is traditionally context derived as opposed to gender influenced. However, it arguable that gender can alter the negotiation context and by these means influence negotiator behaviour. Therefore behaviour is not static in nature, but instead, dynamic and sensitive to situational context (Small et al. 2007). Consequently, an interdependent and concurrent relationship is established between gender, context and negotiation behaviour. Previous research links gender and negotiation by outlining the differences found in the negotiation outcomes and attributes this to the difference of gender; however, a more current view should interpret this correlation as having multiple causations. Therefore, contemporary research complements the idea that gender is not a unilateral factor influencing negotiation behaviour, but an area that is dependent on and, manipulated by multiple factors. Furthermore, this modern interpretation of gender in negotiations is used in this essay to highlight the link between gender and negotiation behaviour.

Gender is commonly viewed as an individual characteristic forming one’s identity, behaviour and perception of themselves (Wharton 2009). This concept builds a narrow view of gender being an isolated determinant in negotiation behaviour. Nevertheless, it is important to distinguish that gender in this regard, is a prevalent factor contributing to the variance in negotiation behaviour. In attempts to differentiate gender in negotiation, previous research in this field tends to portray women as deficient negotiators (Kolb 2013). It is worth noting that women, preceding negotiation involvement, may not make it to the metaphorical ‘negotiating table’. Research indicates women are reluctant to initiate negotiations (Babcock 2003; Bowles, Babcock & Lai 2007; Small et al. 2007) or otherwise report that they can feel intimidated by negotiations (Kray & Gelfand 2009); implying that women will forego or avoid opportunities to negotiate. This mindset offers an insight to the averse disposition women may hold in regards to negotiation (Kray & Babcock 2006) and yields a level of uncertainty in women’s approach to negotiation. These are observable actions attributed to women being less likely than men to ask (Babcock 2003), show less confidence (Watson 1994), and being more inclined to set lower goals (Stevens, Bavetta & Gist 1993).

Similarly, meta-analyses show consistent gender differences in regards to compensation (Stuhlmacher & Walters 1999), alluding to the idea that are disadvantaged in negotiations. Females, in comparison...

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