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Liu, Wing Nam --- "Women'S Employment Opportunities In Negotiation: Do Females Negotiate Differently From Male Negotiators And If So, Do Gender Differences Affect Negotiation?" [2021] UNSWLawJlStuS 32; (2021) UNSWLJ Student Series No 21-32




Gender is significantly important in a negotiation because of the salience of male and female roles in the community.[1] Evidence has demonstrated that negotiations could be affected by gender differences in many ways. Firstly, female negotiators may behave differently from males in ways that affect their performance in negotiation. For instance, they may surrender to gender stereotypes where females are presumed to be more cooperative and altruistic. Secondly, men and women could be perceived differently based on stereotypes and so would be treated differently. Regardless of whether men and women have underlying behaviour differences, expectations about such differences may bring a significant impact on negotiation.[2]

It is noted that gender differences will exert a larger influence in the context of mixed-gender interaction.[3] People are concerned that negotiation gaps would foster inequities between men and women in social spheres. Various explanations, such as status characteristics theory[4] and stereotype threat models,[5] have been applied to gender effects in negotiation. Stuhlmacher and Linnabery[6] suggested that social role theories can be used as an organising framework to summarise different findings on how and why women experience negotiations differently to men.

This paper aims to critically evaluate major research findings in relation to whether women negotiate differently to men and whether such differences affect negotiation performance and women’s employment opportunities in negotiations. Specifically, this paper will first identify the position of gender roles from social aspects and determine the influences between the roles of a negotiator and an individual’s appropriate characteristics in negotiations.

Secondly, the paper will mainly be using ‘social role theories’ to help address whether gender actually makes a difference in negotiation. Negotiators' behaviour and performance will be analysed in different aspects (some parts of the seven elements in negotiations will be discussed). For instance, the willingness and motivation to strive for certain outcomes (interests), the mode of communication, relationships and behavioural tactics etc.

Thirdly, this paper will address whether gender would impact negotiation outcomes (eg, concessions and reaching an agreement) by further developing the described behaviour differences in the previous paragraphs.

Fourthly, the paper will explore the aspect of employment discrimination to address whether women's employment opportunities (being a female negotiator) will be affected based upon gender.

Fifthly, Parts V, VI, VII and VIII will summarise the discussed findings, identify limitations on research studies and equality in other countries, and suggest potential future research.


A Gender Roles

A gender role can be formed from the role beliefs and stereotypes that arise from observing sex similarities and differences. Specifically, sex difference beliefs originate in part from the evolutionary division of labour concerning physical differences. For instance, women are tied to childbearing, whereas men have greater physical strength. Gender roles are formed when physical strength becomes associated with expected behaviours like control, dominance, and assertiveness; and when childcare activities become related to expected behaviours like concern, support, and caring.[7]

Gender roles can also be shaped by proximal influences like self-regulation, social regulation, and hormonal regulation as well as more distal factors such as culture and social structure.[8] Roles carry expectations about men's and women's characteristics and provides reinforcement for role consistent behaviour.[9] Men and women usually develop perceptions about their own and others’ behaviour based on gender role beliefs. These beliefs can be communicated with varying direction, specificity, strength, and intensity to influence another’s behaviour and fit within the role.[10]

B Agency and Communion

The self and social aspects of gender roles include relating to the world and interacting with the environment. The two styles of relating to the world stated in Bakan’s (1966) discussion: agency and communion.[11] An agentic style of approach is concerned with acting as an individual, experiencing power and achievement, and mastering the environment, whereas the communal approach is regarding the relationships and connection and cooperation with others.[12] Evidence demonstrates that both agency and communion approaches are related to gender roles. The typical male gender role is often associated with agentic characteristics such as dominance, assertiveness, and competitiveness. On the other hand, the typical female social role is generally associated with communal characteristics like friendliness, warmth, unselfishness, emotional expression, helpfulness, and concern for others.[13]

C Seven Elements of Negotiations: Communication

Negotiation researchers Roger Fisher and William Ury explained the seven elements of negotiation, namely, interests, legitimacy, relationships, alternatives, options, commitments and communication, in their book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Harvard Negotiation Project developed a framework based on the seven elements of negotiations purposed by Roger Fisher and William Ury. This framework is widely used in the field of negotiations, especially in negotiation trainings.

Given that gender is one of the most salient roles that individuals occupy, gender role expectations can be automatically activated in social interactions.[14] However, gender roles and mentioned characteristics can become more or less salient in certain circumstances.[15] For instance, the saliency of roles can be influenced by such things as the negotiation group’s composition (majority or minority gender), type of task (caretaking or leadership), communication style (participative or directive), and communication form (virtual or face-to-face).

It has been argued that ‘negotiation’ is a form of ‘back-and-forth communication’. It is designed to help two opposing parties reach an agreement. Given ‘communication’ of the seven elements hold a significant role in pre-negotiation preparation, differences in communication shall also be considered. Male negotiators tend to discuss positions, while female negotiators appear to be more open and sincere in disclosing emotions and personal information. This suggests that male and female negotiators may communicate differently in negotiations.[16]

D Negotiator Roles

Research suggests that negotiator roles can influence the inferences and expectations about an individual’s appropriate characteristics in that job or situation. Surprisingly, Small et al. expressed that ‘the term negotiation is not gender neutral’ and that the gender stereotypes facilitate shape the negotiator role.[17] Kray further specified that ‘negotiator traits are laden with masculine gender stereotypes’.[18] Negotiators are, arguably, expected to have agentic characteristics. While women are often described as emotional, insightful, and verbally expressive, men are associated with the adjectives of high regard for own interests and good problem solver. Research suggests that agentic and stereotypically masculine traits like rational, assertive, and dominant are seen as more critical for negotiation success than communal or stereotypical feminine traits such as intuitive and submissive.[19]

E Role Congruity Theory: Agentic Qualities

Similarly, role congruity theory was first applied to explain the prejudice against women in leadership roles. It identified that ‘agentic characteristics consistent with that negotiation role would be perceived as most successful’.[20] Hence, men are perceived to have the advantage in traditional negotiation situations. Stuhlmacher and Linnabery also suggested that agentic qualities such as dominance, confidence, and assertiveness are expected as part of the negotiator role.[21] Despite these qualities are incongruous with the (traditional) female gender role, women can also become good negotiators.

F Gender Triggers

‘Gender triggers’ usually refer to the situational factors that make gender relevant to expectations or behaviour. For instance, gender-based social roles are one of the forms of a gender trigger. Various potential gender triggers have been found in negotiation. Despite these triggers do not always benefit men over women in a negotiation, they implicitly or explicitly enhance negotiators the awareness of gender as a social factor.[22]


In 1975, Rubin and Brown already proposed that ‘men and women behave differently while negotiating because they are sensitive to different cues’.[23] Specifically, Rubin and Brown identified that differences in interpersonal orientation are linked to negotiation behaviours. However, many other early studies had been suggested that individual differences such as gender and personality have no discernible effect on negotiation behaviours and outcomes.[24] In addition, a later review by Bowles and McGinn (2008) suggested that ‘current thinking has moved away from the previous models that look at behaviours as driven by stable individual differences to consider gender-in-context models which recognize situational influences in gender differences’.[25]

A Behaviour: Initiate a Negotiation

A negotiation initiates with a decision to negotiate. Babcock and Laschever stated that ‘given the negotiation's role in securing organizational and societal resources, it is disquieting if women are less likely to start negotiations than men’.[26] Moreover, Greig expressed that ‘the behaviour of initiating a request was associated with a pattern of faster promotions and involvement in negotiations’.[27] Babcock et al. carried out a field study on gender differences in initiating negotiation. This study concluded that the percentages of MBA graduates that initiated a job negotiation between male and female were 51% and 12% respectively.[28]

B Cooperative and Competitive Behaviours

In later studies, more attention was directed at actual negotiations and behaviours like exchanging information, initial offers, counteroffers, and more deceptive behaviours such as bluffing, threats, and lies. Walters et al. conducted a meta-analysis to compare the cooperativeness and competitiveness of negotiation offers and language (eg, bottom-line statements, putdowns, threats) between men and women.[29] The study found a small but significant difference where women displayed more cooperative behaviour than men. Examples of cooperative negotiation behaviour included listening, asking open-ended questions, empathising, openness and information sharing.[30]

Intriguingly, women were also found to act more competitively than men in this study (despite many other studies demonstrating that men behave more competitively than females).[31]Competitive behaviour comprises of poor mouthing, withholding information, setting deadlines, and making threats and demands. This kind of behaviour would ultimately lead to less effective communication in negotiations.[32] However, Walters et al. pointed out that ‘the behaviours could be interpreted differently depending on the social roles that are involved’.[33]

C Can initial offers predict negotiators' final outcomes?

To address whether gender differences in behaviour would arise in the negotiation process, Miles carried out a comparison of the aspiration levels, expected opening offers, and first offers and counteroffers (‘actual opening offers’) between men and women.[34] Surprisingly, no gender differences were found in the aspiration level and expected opening offer. However, differences were found after the negotiation commenced, where women tended to propose less consistent and lower actual opening offers than the initial intentions, compared to men.[35]

Additionally, the study demonstrated that men's initial offers strongly predicted their final outcomes, whereas women's initial offers failed to predict so. Therefore, Miles held that ‘the beginning of the negotiation conversation is a particular point where social roles might come into play, and a critical point for behavioural gender differences’.[36]

D Can gender difference predict negotiation performance?

Kray (2007) argued that ‘negotiation context is a stronger predictor of negotiators' performance than gender difference’. The beliefs and attitudes the negotiators bring to a negotiation dictate the goals they set and their behaviour and performance in such a negotiation.[37]

E Social role theory: When women negotiate for others

However, it is worthwhile to note that single snapshots of negotiation behaviour are deficient in making a conclusion because role behaviour exists in an ongoing environment. Given the female gender role is associated with caring for others, Amanatullah and Morris conducted a negotiation study where women negotiate as a representative or an advocate for another. Interestingly, gender differences were found to reverse or disappear.[38] Amanatullah and Morris held that the outcome was consistent with predictions from social role theory, where women tend to speak up for others who are in their care rather than negotiating on behalf of themselves.

F Behavioural Tactics

Men and even women themselves often expect women to behave like ‘a lady’. This is because gender-based stereotypes influence the way in which people interact with others of the opposite sex.[39] For instance, the word ‘aggressiveness’ could be characterised as offensive and inappropriate if employed by women, whereas it would be considered vigorous advocacy when used by men.[40]

Negotiation behaviour is tactical. Negotiators attempt to attain their goals by acquiring their counterparts’ consent through influence. Moreover, negotiators will apply various behavioural tactics based upon the general strategy (eg, cooperative or competitive) of their opponents in negotiations.[41] Research demonstrated that different effects can be produced even when men and women have used similar tactics. For instance, men who apply exchange tactics are more successful than women. Females, on the other hand, tend to employ more cooperative strategies and tactics than males.[42]

Male negotiators would usually counter aggressive tactics by other men with similar responses. However, studies indicated that it would be difficult for male negotiators to counter aggressive tactics when dealing with female opponents. Additionally, when male negotiators failed to counter such aggressive behaviour by females, or were unwilling to act as competitively toward female adversaries as they would act toward male opponents, they provide their female adversaries with additional leverage and an inherent bargaining advantage.[43]

G Seven Elements of Negotiations: Relationships

In 2002, Miller et al. argued that ‘male and female do not behave identically in overtly competitive situations’. Females tend to be more trusting and trustworthy than males, but less willing than their male counterparts to forgive violations of trust.[44] Furthermore, research has indicated that females are more sensitive to contexts involving relationships than males in a negotiation.[45] Surprisingly, the analysis of the results cited in Dobrijević (2014) revealed that females are also more sensitive than males to the age and gender of their adversaries.[46] Kray and Babcock (2006) expressed that individuals interacting with female adversaries who behave in ‘seemingly open and cooperative manners’ can potentially establish a trusting and cooperative relationship between the two parties.

H Seven Elements of Negotiations: Interests

Males, nevertheless, are less likely to focus on ‘relationship’ matters because they are expected to be objective and rational. Instead, males tend to establish elevated aspirations which enhance their ability to obtain more beneficial results when dealing with females.[47]


Empirical studies presented a mixed picture of gender differences in negotiation outcomes, while theoretical perspectives suggested that men receive better negotiation outcomes than women.[48] Stuhlmacher and Walters (1999) held that ‘differences in outcomes were prospective and unsurprised due to differences in contextual factors, behaviours, and perceptions between male and female negotiators’.[49]

Studies have been argued that men are more highly competitive and adversarial, while women are assumed to be more accommodating and pleasant. Dobrijević (2014) proposed that when subconscious biases are brought to the negotiation table, gender stereotypes and schemas would ultimately undermine an otherwise successful negotiation.[50]

A Behaviours: Build Long-Term Relationships

Despite gender differences in negotiation behaviour influence negotiation outcomes, no single behaviour will be consistently superior.[51] In the instances in which men and women would behave differently in a negotiation, female negotiators appear to behave in a manner that would help teams build long-term relationships.[52] This pattern of results implies that female negotiators are more successful in delicate negotiations in which ‘long-term relationships trump short-term gains’.

B Behaviours: More Focus on Interests

Male negotiators, by contrast, are more responsive to social pressure, and pecuniary costs and benefits.[53] Although male negotiators may result in a better starting position, it is potentially that their behaviour would hinder the ability of the negotiators to reach a satisfactory agreement. Does this imply that ‘a better outcome’ do not necessarily achieve by being in a better starting position?

C Cooperative Behaviour

It has been argued that ‘the most successful negotiators are those who admit to being not entirely open, and somewhat manipulative, but whose opponents think they have been completely open and cooperative’.[54] Female negotiators are often perceived to be more cooperative than males. It was surprising to find out that cooperative and problem-solvers do not produce the most efficient joint returns, despite many people believe so. An empirical study certified that ‘individualistically motivated negotiators generated greater joint outcomes than cooperatively motivated pairs’.[55]

D Conflict Resolution

On the other hand, Brahnam et al. (2005) illustrated that females are more inclined to utilize ‘a collaborative conflict resolution style’. Males, in contrast, tend to avoid conflict. Females tend to have more productive conflict resolution characteristics than males because cooperation is more useful and less obstructing than avoidance in the conflict resolution process.[56]

E Gender Stereotypes: A Mixed-Gender Negotiation

Gender stereotypes have a significant impact on the success and behaviour of both males and females in negotiations. For instance, empathy and better communication skills are common gender stereotypes for women. Gender stereotypes may influence both male and female negotiators' performance. When negotiators are aware of such stereotypes, they may act in ways that support these stereotypes.[57]

Research has shown that feminine features in a mixed-gender negotiation resulted in female negotiators to outperform their male opponents.[58] Kray (2007) suggested that women tend to approach negotiations with higher expectations of their ability to succeed. This critical characteristic can help any female negotiator to reach a better outcome.[59]

F Mixed-Gender Negotiations: Integrative and Distributive

Experience has demonstrated that females are more successful in integrative negotiations, while males are generally better in distributive negotiations.[60] Regarding mixed-gender multi-party negotiations, Karakowsky and Miller (2006) concluded that female negotiators will have greater influence than males when the negotiation explicitly demonstrates the potential for an integrative outcome, which is a stereotypical female-oriented task. Male negotiators, on the other hand, will have greater influence when the negotiation demonstratively includes the potential for a distributive outcome.[61]

G Concessions

Males and females are regarded differently in negotiations. For instance, evidence has demonstrated that female negotiators are often treated worse than males in negotiations.[62] It is interesting to note that when individuals feel the negotiation process has been fair, they are more satisfied with objectively less beneficial terms than when they feel they have been treated unfairly.[63] Accordingly, these studies identified that concessions are likely to occur when individuals believe they have been treated respectfully.


A pervasive stereotype has suggested that ‘men are more effective negotiators than women’ - Snyder, Tanke, & Berscheid (1977) [64]

A Are men more proficient negotiators?

In 1999, Stuhlmacher and Walters expressed that ‘males in the sample of their studies negotiated significantly better outcomes than females’.[65] Does this implicitly suggest that male negotiators would perform better in negotiations than females? An article by Professors Russell Korobkin and Joseph Doherty (2009) suggested that ‘male law students are more proficient negotiators than female law students’.[66] Their study compared the negotiation performance on a single employment discrimination hypothetical (money) between 136 male and female first-year law students.

1 Limitations

There is no doubt that their findings are interesting. However, all the subjects were first-year students who had no formal training related to critical lawyer or negotiation skills. The study outcome is questionable because (i) the samples (first-year students) may not realistically reflect the nature of negotiations; and (ii) those statistics were only based on a single negotiation exercise. Accordingly, this study should not be used to make generalisations about the entire population of law students.

It has been argued that the study of Professors Korobkin and Doherty was limited due to lack of research evidence. However, their study has echoed with Stuhlmacher and Walters's expression in suggesting ‘stereotyped issues’. More importantly, their studies showed a strong contrast with Craver and Barnes's studies. Stuhlmacher and Walters (1999) have suggested that many of these studies seem to ‘be biased toward male stereotyped issues’ where ‘the influence of stereotype threat is operating’.[67]

B Can female students negotiate as effectively as male students?

On the other hand, Craver and Barnes (1999) conducted several studies comparing the stylistic differences between males and females to address whether ‘female students can negotiate as effectively as male students’.[68] No statistically significant differences were found in their previous studies, with respect to the standard deviations involved or the average results achieved by male and female law students in Craver's legal negotiation class exercises. Regarding the stark gender-based differences discerned by Professors Korobkin and Doherty in 2009, Craver further explored the results achieved by his students in 1999.[69] Specifically, Craver examined some of the real and perceived gender-based differences that could influence negotiation performance.

Craver conducted t-test comparisons of gender-based means and t-probability values from 1997 to 2012. It is noted that the samples in Craver's studies were his legal negotiation students. Craver explained that his students possess the skills required to be effective negotiators because ‘they learned (i) not to judge their future adversaries by their gender, (ii) to appreciate the fact that women can be as competitive and Machiavellian as men’.[70] No significant differences were found in the negotiation exercise results based upon gender. The results summarised the data within the 16 years and indicated that the means between males and females were almost identical, with a t-probability of 0.9731.[71]

C Effects of Studies on Women's Employment Opportunities

Craver expressed that he has always been surprised by the degree to which law students and practitioners ‘of both sexes permit gender-based stereotypes to influence their bargaining interactions’.[72] Regarding the study published by Professors Korobkin and Doherty, Craver argued that their study would have a negative impact on women's employment opportunities. It is difficult to determine the degree to which subtle gender-based stereotypes would subconsciously influence discrimination against female applicants based upon their gender. Legal practitioners who have read similar findings or stereotypical beliefs could have the gender-based stereotypes described in those studies reinforced.[73] Craver found that the capabilities and proficiency of female negotiators are still underestimated by a number of practicing attorneys in today’s society.[74] Despite the fact that it is unlawful for law firms to discriminate against current employees or job applicants based directly on their sex,[75] this still occurs in reality.


A Gender Differences

Gender differences are remarkably visible where the participants of negotiations are members of both genders.[76] Particularly, evidence has demonstrated that males and females think of negotiations in different ways. For instance, when addressing ‘what the negotiation is all about’, males tend to concentrate on tasks while females focus on relationships.[77]

Findings illustrated that women have more negative reactions to negotiations than men. These reactions could lead to avoiding negotiation and represent lost resources and opportunities. Men, however, reported more opportunities to negotiate,[78] higher negotiation confidence,[79] and more relief at having first offers accepted than women.[80] In addition, research has indicated that women tend to achieve lower objective outcomes than men. However, other studies suggested that perhaps women have already compensated for achieving less favourable settlements in negotiation by achieving other outcomes such as being more effective in achieving intangible outcomes, reaching quicker solutions, and fostering better relationships.[81]

Many people consciously or even subconsciously believe that males are more assertive and proficient than female negotiators. When law firms are reinforced by statistically questionable studies, like the one published by Professors Korobkin and Doherty, employment opportunities for female graduates would adversely be affected. However, Craver's studies have unequivocally illustrated that there are no significant differences between male and female law students (potential negotiators in future) during course negotiation exercises. Correspondingly, many studies have supported similar notions, where gender differences in behaviour appear to be small and vary with context. By enhancing the awareness of people to the significant role which stereotyping plays in forming expectations, the pre-negotiation assessments of motives, behaviour, and outcomes can be more accurate.[82]

B A Gender Gap in Negotiation among Children

‘We should be teaching young girls to advocate for themselves in the context of negotiation from as early as elementary school’ - Katherine McAuliffe (2021)

Arnold and McAuliffe (2021) conducted a study among 240 boys and girls between ages 4 and 9 in the US. Their study is the first to demonstrate that gender differences in negotiation emerge in childhood. This study showed a major interaction between age, participant gender, and evaluator gender, and concluded that a gender gap in negotiation can emerge surprisingly as early as age 8.[83]

This study demonstrated that there was a gender gap when girls were asked to negotiate with a male evaluator. Specifically, these 240 children were given a chance to negotiate for a bonus (stickers) with a male or a female evaluator. Boys requested the same number of stickers regardless of the age or evaluator gender. When the evaluator was a female, girls asked for more stickers with age. when the evaluator was a male, older girls, however, requested fewer stickers than younger girls.[84]

This study shed new light on the salary gap females face in the workforce and. More importantly, their findings highlighted childhood as a key period for interventions and mirrored the dynamics of the negotiation gap that persists between males and females in the workforce.[85]

C Women's Employment Opportunities: A Gender-Based Earnings Differential

Stuhlmacher and Walters (1999) conducted a meta-analysis on ‘gender differences in negotiation outcome’. The organisational significance of their findings is analysed and discussed in terms of the glass ceiling, women in negotiation positions and a gender-based earnings differential.[86] In their study, opponent sex, mode of communication, relative power of the negotiator, year of the study and integrative potential of the task were tested as moderators of the effect. Stuhlmacher and Walters’s research revealed that negotiation outcomes can be a critical factor in creating a ‘glass-ceiling’ for female negotiators in the workplace because females tend to be less effective in gaining access to positions of power and status than males.[87] Despite the overall difference in outcomes between male and female negotiators was small, none of the hypothesized or exploratory moderators eliminated or reversed this effect.[88]

Many researchers of negotiation confirmed that female negotiators often failed to start negotiations, even if it was in their best interest. Studies also indicated that females tend to ask for less and accept less in a negotiation, while males generally ask for things they want and initiate negotiations two to three times more often than females.[89] It is crucial to note that interests are ‘the fundamental drivers of negotiation’. The willingness to accept less and silently accept what they are offered could detriment female negotiators' final negotiation outcome.[90] Babcock and Laschever (2010) also believed that this is the explanation of why male negotiators in average earn 7 to 8% more than females.[91]

Some studies had argued that ‘men achieve more profits than women’,[92] while others found no differences.[93] Gerhart and Rynes (1991) reported that ‘males negotiating for a higher salary after receiving an actual job offer’. Correspondingly, males tend to reap more payoffs from these negotiations than their female counterparts.[94] Does this suggest that male negotiators would have more employment opportunities than females? Dobrijević (2014), on the other hand, suggested that the initial difference in pay between male and female negotiators was mostly caused by the reluctance of females to initiate negotiations with the employer.[95]


In general, principled negotiation primarily focuses on conflict resolution and conflict management, employing an interest-based approach to negotiation. Specifically, it utilises an integrative approach to finding a mutually shared outcome. For instance, negotiators can devote significant time to brainstorming all possible options before selecting the most satisfactory one.

Despite there are two essential paradigms of negotiations, namely, position-based and interest-based, substance is significantly important in both paradigms. Katz and McNulty (1995) explained that interest-based negotiations generally emphasise the significance of relationships. Specifically, both parties are more than happy to achieve a common objective or to reach a mutually acceptable outcome. However, the opposing party is often seen as an ‘enemy’ to overcome in a position-based negotiation.[96]

The Harvard Negotiation Project is perhaps best known for its development of ‘principled negotiation’. When analysing gender differences in negotiation, this paper specifically cited many US studies. Therefore, the paper may not reflect all the circumstances of negotiation in different countries.

A Research Studies

Given insignificant findings were found in various studies that tested other elements, this paper did not analyse and discuss all seven elements of negotiations. Despite that, a very interesting observation was discovered based upon the discussed studies. In most cases, studies failed to define the findings. Examples include Dobrijević (2014)[97] and Kray (2007)[98] which suggested that feminine features and characteristics may help women to reach a better outcome, while Stuhlmacher and Walters (1999)[99] held that men negotiated better outcomes than women. Both studies, however, neither defined what is ‘a better outcome’ nor determined the measurement (seven elements of negotiations: legitimacy) of a better outcome. Hence, the results could be questionable.

On the other hand, many existing studies on negotiation assigned participants the task of negotiating. For instance, Pinkley et al. (1994) operationalised power by assigning a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (‘BATNA’) to participants.[100] However, negotiators will not be instructed in real life, they must decide to come to the table.[101] It is argued that the current studies failed to illustrate and reflect the true scenario of a negotiation process, the findings still provide certain insights on whether men and women act differently in negotiations.

Negotiation is not merely to determine a series of alternatives. Good negotiation tactics (eg, a strong BATNA) can help negotiating parties to understand their appealing alternatives to the deal or to reach a win-win situation for both parties. The term BATNA was originally coined by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 bestseller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.[102] It is noted that BATNA is an advantageous alternative and a path that is commonly be followed when negotiations prove unsuccessful, and no agreement can be reached. These researchers also clarified in their book that a party's BATNA refers to what a party can fall back on or the course of action that a party engaged in a negotiation will take if such negotiation is not agreeable to the parties involved.[103] Therefore, BATNA is generally used in negotiation tactics to grant negotiating power and to provide an alternative.

B Equality

Gender equality in workplace is getting more attention these days because it is associated with a country's overall economic performance. However, it is still almost a century away from the current pace of change to gender equality. In March 2021, the World Economic Forum ranked the United States 30th in terms of gender equality out of 156 countries. Despite the fact that the United States has been advertising and promoting both ‘racial equality’ and ‘gender equality’, there is still news reported on the racism of black people in the US. Furthermore, McKenzie Stauffer (2021) has reported on KUTV that certain US States continue to suffer 'gender pay gap'. In particular, Wyoming was found to have the largest pay gap, with women earning 35% less than men.[104] This raised a concern on whether black women would be treated differently than women with other skin colours in the negotiation process or in employment opportunities as a negotiator. Nevertheless, there is currently insufficient evidence indicating that working women with lower wages are mainly dark skin women.

The table showed the Global Gender Gap (‘GGG’) in other countries in 2021.

New Zealand
South Africa
United Kingdom
United States

While gender differences are merely one element of many individual differences between the negotiators, such differences can be more prominent in situations where gender roles differ greatly and in some international negotiations.[105] Cultural differences in different countries may profoundly influence how negotiators think, communicate, and behave.

This paper discussed many US studies and evaluated various findings based on US and European studies. Hence, the paper cannot represent the negotiation process nor women's employment opportunities in other countries.


Gender equality is a critical issue globally. Given that many promotions of equality have been carried out worldwide, the status differential between male and female negotiators should be on the decline. It would be valuable to compare earlier studies to future research to determine whether a trend toward greater equality of negotiation remuneration, negotiation outcomes and employment opportunities will be found.

Having examined gender differences in behaviour, performance, outcomes, salary, and employment opportunities, it would be appropriate to consider other dependent variables such as time and cost expended on conflict resolution in negotiation and to explore more subjective reactions to negotiation like satisfaction and opponent perceptions.


This paper identified the social roles between men and women and summarised many cognitive and behavioural processes which demonstrate gender differences in negotiation. For instance, male and female negotiators communicate differently in negotiations and generate different effects even when using similar tactics.

There are not always ‘pleasant win-win interactions’ in negotiation (where women tend to accept concessions). This paper analysed various studies on negotiation performance and concluded that male and female negotiators most often behave in similar manners. In other words, female negotiators would also professionally strive for the best interest of their teams.

Studies like Craver's established that the gender difference between men and women (who had participated in formal negotiation courses) was small. Regardless, this paper suggests that gender differences do not influence the results of bargaining interactions in negotiation; nor should the differences affect female negotiation students’ employment opportunities (eg, hiring and promotional determinations) in negotiations.


A Articles / Books

Amanatullah, Emily T. and Michael W. Morris, 'Negotiating gender roles: Gender differences in assertive negotiating are mediated by women’s fear of backlash and attenuated when negotiating on behalf of others' (2010) 98(2) Journal of personality and social psychology 256, 267.

Ayres, Ian, ‘Fair driving: Gender and race discrimination in retail car negotiations’ (1991) 104 Harvard Law Review 817, 872.

Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever, Ask for it: How women can use negotiation to get what they really want (Bantam, 2008).

Bendersky, Corinne and Kathleen L. McGinn, 'Perspective—open to negotiation: Phenomenological assumptions and knowledge dissemination' (2010) 21(3) Organization Science 781, 797.

Bowles, Hannah Riley and Francis Flynn, 'Gender and persistence in negotiation: A dyadic perspective' (2010) 53(4) Academy of Management Journal 769, 787.

Calhoun, Patricks and William P. Smith, 'Integrative bargaining: Does gender make a difference?' (1999) International Journal of Conflict Management.

Correll, Shelley J., Stephen Benard and In Paik, 'Getting a job: Is there a motherhood penalty?' (2007) 112(5) American journal of sociology 1297, 1338.

Cotter, Michael J. and James A. Henley, 'Gender Contrasts in Negotiation Impasse Rates' (2017) 12(1) Management 3.

Cuddy, Amy, Elizabeth Wolf, Peter Glick, Susan Crotty, Jihye Chong and Michael Norton, ‘Men as cultural ideals: Cultural Values Moderate Gender Stereotype Content’ (2015) 109(4) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 622.

Dalton, Dan R. and William D. Todor., 'Gender and workplace justice: A field assessment' (1985) 38(1) Personnel Psychology 133, 151.

Eagly, Alice H., Sex differences in social behavior: A social-role interpretation (Psychology Press, 2013).

Fuegen, Kathleen et al., 'Mothers and fathers in the workplace: How gender and parental status influence judgments of job‐related competence' (2004) 60(4) Journal of Social issues 737, 754.

Gelfand, Michele J. et al., 'Negotiating relationally: The dynamics of the relational self in negotiations' (2006) 31(2) Academy of Management Review 427, 451.

Greenberg, Danna, Jamie Ladge, and Judy Clair, 'Negotiating pregnancy at work: public and private conflicts' (2009) 2(1) Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 42, 56.

Güngör, Gökçe and Monica Biernat, 'Gender bias or motherhood disadvantage? Judgments of blue collar mothers and fathers in the workplace' (2009) 60(3) Sex Roles 232, 246.

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[1] Hannah R. Bowles and Kathleen L. McGinn, 'Untapped Potential in the Study of Negotiation and Gender Inequality in Organizations' (2008a) 2(1) Academy of Management annals 99, 132.

[2] Catherine Eckel, Angela CM De Oliveira, and Philip J. Grossman, 'Gender and negotiation in the small: are women (perceived to be) more cooperative than men?' (2008) 24(4) Negotiation Journal 429, 430.

[3] Alice F. Stuhlmacher and Amy E. Walters, 'Gender differences in negotiation outcome: A meta‐analysis' (1999) 52(3) Personnel Psychology 653, 657.

[4] Edward W. Miles and Elizabeth F. Clenney, 'Gender differences in negotiation: A status characteristics theory view' (2010) 3(2) Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 130, 144.

[5] Laura J. Kray et al., 'Stereotype reactance at the bargaining table: The effect of stereotype activation and power on claiming and creating value' (2004) 30(4) Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 399, 411.

[6] Alice F. Stuhlmacher and Eileen Linnabery, Gender and negotiation: A social role analysis (Handbook of research on negotiation, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013) 221.

[7] Wendy Wood and Alice H. Eagly, 'Authors’ reply: Commentaries on Wood & Eagly’s (2015), Two traditions of research on gender identity' (2015) 73(11) Sex Roles 497, 501.

[8] Wendy Wood and Alice H. Eagly, 'Biosocial construction of sex differences and similarities in behavior' (2012) Vol. 46 Advances in experimental social psychology (Academic Press) 55, 123.

[9] Alice H. Eagly et al., Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders (Harvard Business Press, 2007).

[10] Daniel Katz and Robert L. Kahn, The social psychology of organizations (Vol. 2. New York: Wiley, 1978).

[11] David Bakan, The duality of human existence: An essay on psychology and religion, (1966).

[12] Ibid.

[13] Stuhlmacher and Linnabery (n 6).

[14] Ellen P. Cook, 'Role salience and multiple roles: A gender perspective' (1994) 43(1) The Career Development Quarterly 85, 95.

[15] Alice H. Eagly and Steven J. Karau, 'Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders' (2002) 109(3) Psychological review 573, 598.

[16] Roy J. Lewicki, B. Barry, and D. M. Saunders, Best Practices in Negotiation (Negotiation: Readings, Exercises and Cases, 6th ed, McGraw-Hill, Singapore, 2010) 443-452.

[17] Deborah A. Small et al, 'Who goes to the bargaining table? The influence of gender and framing on the initiation of negotiation' (2007) 93(4) Journal of personality and social psychology 600, 610.

[18] Laura J. Kray, Adam D. Galinsky, and Leigh Thompson, 'Reversing the gender gap in negotiations: An exploration of stereotype regeneration' (2002) 87(2) Organizational behavior and human decision processes 386, 409.

[19] Laura J. Kray and Leigh Thompson, 'Gender stereotypes and negotiation performance: An examination of theory and research' (2004) 26 Research in organizational behavior 103, 182.

[20] Eagly and Karau (n 15).

[21] Stuhlmacher and Linnabery (n 6) 224.

[22] Hannah Riley and Kathleen L. McGinn, When does gender matter in negotiation? (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2002).

[23] Jeffrey Z. Rubin and Bert R. Brown, The social psychology of bargaining and negotiation (Elsevier, 2013).

[24] James A. Wall Jr and Michael W. Blum, 'Negotiations' (1991) 17(2) Journal of Management 273, 303.

[25] Bowles and McGinn (n 1).

[26] Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Ask for it: How women can use negotiation to get what they really want (Bantam, 2008).

[27] Fiona Greig, 'Propensity to negotiate and career advancement: Evidence from an investment bank that women are on a “slow elevator” ' (2008) 24(4) Negotiation Journal 495, 508.

[28] Linda Babcock et al., ‘Gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations’ (2006) Social Psychology and Economics 239, 262.

[29] Amy E. Walters, Alice F. Stuhlmacher and Lia L. Meyer, 'Gender and negotiator competitiveness: A meta-analysis' (1998) 76(1) Organizational behavior and human decision processes 1, 29.

[30] Gordana Dobrijević, 'The effect of gender on negotiation behaviour' (2014) 11(1) The European Journal of Applied Economics, 44.

[31] Laura J. Kray, 'Leading through negotiation: Harnessing the power of gender stereotypes' (2007) 50(1) California Management Review 159, 163.

[32] Dobrijević (n 30) 45.

[33] Walters, Stuhlmacher and Meyer (n 29).

[34] Edward W. Miles, 'Gender differences in distributive negotiation: When in the negotiation process do the differences occur?' (2010) 40(7) European Journal of Social Psychology 1200, 1211.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Kray (n 31).

[38] Emily T. Amanatullah and Michael W. Morris, 'Negotiating gender roles: Gender differences in assertive negotiating are mediated by women’s fear of backlash and attenuated when negotiating on behalf of others' (2010) 98(2) Journal of personality and social psychology 256, 267.

[39] Deborah Kolb and Judith Williams, Everyday negotiation: Navigating the hidden agendas in bargaining (John Wiley & Sons, 2006).

[40] Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Ask for it: How women can use negotiation to get what they really want (Bantam, 2008), 256-258.

[41] Asha Rao and Stuart M. Schmidt, 'A behavioral perspective on negotiating international alliance' (1998) 29(4) Journal of International Business Studies 665, 694.

[42] Dobrijević (n 30) 47.

[43] Charles B. Craver, 'The Impact of Gender on Negotiation Performance' (2013) 13 Cardozo J. Conflict Resol. 339, 346-347.

[44] Lee E. Miller, and Jessica Miller, A Woman's Guide to Successful Negotiating (McGraw Hill Professional, 2010).

[45] Eckel, De Oliveira and Grossman (n 2) 441.

[46] Dobrijević (n 30) 50.

[47] Laura Kray, and Linda Babcock, 'Gender in negotiations: A motivated social cognitive analysis' (2006) 11 Negotiation theory and research 203, 205.

[48] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 654.

[49] Ibid 653.

[50] Dobrijević (n 30) 51.

[51] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 657.

[52] Eckel, De Oliveira and Grossman (n 2) 442.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Keith G. Allred, 'Distinguishing best and strategic practices: A framework for managing the dilemma between claiming and creating value' (2000) 16(4) Negotiation Journal 387, 394-395.

[55] Kathleen M. O'Connor and Peter J. Carnevale, 'A nasty but effective negotiation strategy: Misrepresentation of a common-value issue' (1997) 23(5) Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 504, 515.

[56] Sheryl D. Brahnam et al, 'A gender‐based categorization for conflict resolution' (2005) 24(3) Journal of management development 197, 208.

[57] Lewicki, Saunders and Saunders (n 16).

[58] Dobrijević (n 30) 45.

[59] Kray (n 31).

[60] Dobrijević (n 30) 50.

[61] Leonard Karakowsky and Diane L. Miller, 'Negotiator style and influence in multi‐party negotiations: Exploring the role of gender' (2006) 27(1) Leadership & Organization Development Journal 50, 65.

[62] Lewicki, Saunders and Saunders (n 16).

[63] Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, 'Just negotiation' (2010) Wash. UL Rev. 88, 381.

[64] Mark Snyder, Elizabeth Decker Tanke, and Ellen Berscheid, 'Social perception and interpersonal behavior: On the self-fulfilling nature of social stereotypes' (1977) 35(9) Journal of Personality and social Psychology 656, 666.

[65] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 653.

[66] Russell Korobkin and Joseph Doherty, 'Who Wins in Settlement Negotiations?' (2009) 11(1) American law and economics review 162, 208.

[67] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 673.

[68] Charles B. Craver and David W. Barnes, 'Gender, risk taking, and negotiation performance' (1998) 5 Mich. J. Gender & L. 299, 299.

[69] Craver (n 43) 340.

[70] Ibid 357.

[71] Ibid 354.

[72] Ibid 357.

[73] Ibid 358.

[74] Ibid 357.

[75] See Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins [1989] USSC 85; (1989) 490 U.S. 228, 228.

[76] Dobrijević (n 30) 51.

[77] Lewicki, Saunders and Saunders (n 16).

[78] Babcock et al. (n 28).

[79] Carol Watson and L. Richard Hoffman, 'Managers as negotiators: A test of power versus gender as predictors of feelings, behavior, and outcomes, (1996) 7(1) The Leadership Quarterly 63, 85.

[80] Laura J. Kray and Michele J. Gelfand, 'Relief versus regret: The effect of gender and negotiating norm ambiguity on reactions to having one's first offer accepted' (2009) 27(3) Social Cognition 418, 436.

[81] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 670.

[82] Eckel, De Oliveira and Grossman (n 2) 442.

[83] Sophie H. Arnold and Katherine McAuliffe, 'Children Show a Gender Gap in Negotiation' (2021) 32(2) Psychological Science 153, 158.

[84] Ibid.

[85] Ibid.

[86] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 653.

[87] Ibid 670.

[88] Ibid 653.

[89] Dobrijević (n 30) 46.

[90] Eckel, De Oliveira and Grossman (n 2) 442.

[91] Sara Laschever and Linda Babcock, Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide (Princeton University Press, 2003) 301-308.

[92] See Cynthia K. Stevens, Anna G. Bavetta, and Marilyn E. Gist, 'Gender differences in the acquisition of salary negotiation skills: The role of goals, self-efficacy, and perceived control' (1993) 78(5) Journal of applied psychology 723, 735; Wesley C. King Jr and Thomas D. Hinson, 'The influence of sex and equity sensitivity on relationship preferences, assessment of opponent, and outcomes in a negotiation experiment' (1994) 20(3) Journal of management 605, 624.

[93] See Melvin J. Kimmel et al., 'Effects of trust, aspiration, and gender on negotiation tactics' (1980) 38(1) Journal of personality and social psychology 9, 22; Dean G. Pruitt et al., 'Gender effects in negotiation: Constituent surveilance and contentious behavior' (1986) 22(3) Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 264, 275.

[94] Barry Gerhart and Sara Rynes, 'Determinants and consequences of salary negotiations by male and female MBA graduates' (1991) 76(2) Journal of Applied Psychology 256, 262.

[95] Dobrijević (n 30) 50.

[96] Philip Festus Ukata and Edith Luke WIMA Nmehielle, 'Ways of Promoting Organisational Integrative Bargaining in Nigeria and Developed Countries' (2020) 5(2) Journal of Public Administration and Social Welfare Research.

[97] Dobrijević (n 30) 45.

[98] Kray (n 31).

[99] Stuhlmacher and Walters (n 3) 653.

[100] Robin L. Pinkley, Margaret A. Neale and Rebecca J. Bennett, 'The impact of alternatives to settlement in dyadic negotiation' (1994) 57(1) Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 97, 116.

[101] Babcock et al. (n 28).

[102] A bad BATNA is also known as the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement (“WATNA”).

[103] Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (1981).

[104] McKenzie Stauffer, 'Utah has second-worst gender pay gap in America, study finds', KUTV (Web Page, 20 October 2021) <>.

[105] Dobrijević (n 30) 51.

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