How People Approach Negotiations: Understanding the Roles of Gender and Concern About Jeopardizing a Deal



Negotiation typically benefits people economically, yet many, especially women, are often reluctant to negotiate. In this talk, I will share insights from two projects aimed at understanding gender gaps in negotiations and concerns about negotiating, respectively. The first project concerns gender and perceptions of salary information, inspired by the recent push towards pay transparency in the U.S. Based on results from two studies (a survey and an online experiment), and consistent with past work, salary information is beneficial in mitigating gender gaps. However, we also find nuanced effects when salary information is framed in terms of social comparisons, i.e., what a more, similarly, or less qualified employee in a comparable position earns. Although men and women make equivalent salary requests when presented with downward or lateral social comparison information, a gender gap still emerges when participants are presented with upward social comparison information. In addition, salary information triggers competitiveness, which underlies the interactive effect of gender and information framing on salary request. In a second project, my co-authors and I investigate a concern about negotiating that we have found to be widespread, but thus far not studied: that the initial offer will be withdrawn, and that negotiators will lose a deal entirely. In the context of job offers, and across multiple, multi-method studies, we find that people are highly concerned about their likelihood of jeopardizing an offer by negotiating, which contributes to negotiation avoidance. Notably, job candidates’ perceptions of this likelihood are discrepant with those of their counterparts on the hiring side. Although withdrawal of offers due to negotiation occurs, it is uncommon; candidates have an inflated concern and, in turn, may be too reluctant to negotiate. Altogether, these projects enhance our understanding of people’s perceptions and concerns about negotiation and their concomitant influence on negotiation outcomes.

This seminar will take place in T10-67. To join online, find the details below:

Meeting ID: 937 6066 7740