Women in Negotiation: Effects of Gender and Power on Negotiation Behavior

Authors

  • Alain P. C. I. Hong,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Communication and Information Sciences, Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
    • Correspondence

      Alain P. C. I. Hong, Department of Communication and Information Sciences, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands; e-mail: a.p.c.i.hong@tilburguniversity.edu.

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  • Per J. van der Wijst

    1. Department of Communication and Information Sciences, Tilburg Center for Cognition and Communication, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
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  • We acknowledge Marc G. J. Swerts, Aske Plaat, and Hans Verhulst for critiquing an earlier version of this manuscript.

Abstract

Research on gender and negotiation has shown that women are often left worse off at the negotiation table and tend to negotiate less favorable outcomes than men. These findings may be, in part, due to the socialization of men and women, which has resulted in a greater negotiation advantage for men than for women. It is, however, hypothesized that power affects men's and women's negotiation behavior in such a way that it positively influences women's negotiation behavior while men remain unaffected by it. In an experimental setting using a face-to-face distributive bargaining situation, participants were primed with the experience of having power and were subsequently asked to negotiate with an opponent about the asking price of a house. The results of this study show that women who were primed with the experience of having power made better first offers and negotiated better outcomes than women who were not. Men's first offers and negotiation outcomes turned out not to be affected by power. Moreover, results also show that power significantly reduced differences in negotiation outcomes between men and women. All in all, this study shows that power influences men's and women's behavior in negotiation differently.

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