The author would like to thank Linda Babcock, Laurie Weingart, Hannah Riley Bowles, and Denise Rousseau for their extremely helpful comments on this manuscript. Data collection was partially funded by a grant from the Center for Behavioral Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University.
“Passing the Buck”: Incongruence Between Gender Role and Topic Leads to Avoidance of Negotiation
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
© 2011 International Association for Conflict Management and Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Negotiation and Conflict Management Research
Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 47–72, February 2011
How to Cite
Bear, J. (2011), “Passing the Buck”: Incongruence Between Gender Role and Topic Leads to Avoidance of Negotiation. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 4: 47–72. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-4716.2010.00072.x
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2011
- conflict management style
Avoidance of negotiation is rarely investigated, and the implicit assumption guiding much of the current negotiation research is that engagement is inevitable. In addition, compensation is typically examined, although topics related to both employment and family life are also negotiated in organizations. Two experimental studies tested hypotheses about how incongruence between gender role and negotiation topic influences the likelihood of passing off the negotiation, i.e., “passing the buck.” In study 1, women were significantly more likely to avoid a negotiation about compensation than men, and aversion partially mediated this gender difference. Study 2 revealed a significant two-way interaction between gender and negotiation topic on avoidance. Women were significantly more likely to avoid negotiation about compensation than men; conversely, there was a trend for men to avoid negotiation about access to a lactation room, with the interaction mediated by aversion. The findings underscore the importance of both negotiation topics and avoidance.