Female Lawyers as Pragmatic Problem Solvers: Negotiation and Gender Roles in Greek Legal Practice
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
January 1, 2008
THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF REPRESENTATIVE NEGOTIATION, Trevor Farrow, Colleen Hanycz, Fred Zemans, eds., pp. 198-210, Emond Montgomery Publications, Toronto, 2008
The role of gender in negotiation has been extensively explored and documented in a now rich body of literature. A main strand of empirical evidence suggests that women, largely due to their gender socialization, tend to be weaker negotiators relative to men and consequently, less effective in pursuing their economic, social or family interests in diverse bargaining settings. We will present findings from a Greek setting that paint a different picture, in which gender does not have a strong impact on the negotiating process when the negotiating parties are members of a competitive profession. We used two different classrooms (one comprised of Greek attorneys-at-law and another comprised of Greek business students) as laboratory settings and distributed self-assessment questionnaires to test for negotiator style and gender-specific negotiation behavior. Our findings suggest that differences which may be attributed to gender are less pronounced for Greek legal practitioners. Stronger determinants of successful outcomes in negotiations were negotiators' individual characteristics (competitive negotiating style, persuasion, social and emotional intelligence) and the conformity of Greek lawyers of both sexes to the competitive group norms of their profession. All successful negotiators fit the profile of ¿pragmatic problem-solver¿ - and most of these negotiators were female lawyers. We discuss these findings in the context of a larger social setting, especially by reference to the changing hierarchies and shifts in power in a legal profession increasingly populated by women.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: gender and negotiation, negotiation and law, Greek legal profession, gender stereotypes in male-female negotiations, personality traits in negotiation, group norms in negotiation
JEL Classification: D74, J16, J44
Date posted: March 8, 2007 ; Last revised: October 16, 2008
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