'Passing the Buck': Incongruence between Gender Role and Topic Leads to Avoidance of Negotiation

31 Pages Posted: 20 May 2010

See all articles by Julia Bear

Julia Bear

Carnegie Mellon University


The response to initiation of negotiation is rarely investigated in negotiation research with the assumption that engagement is inevitable. Likewise, though a variety of topics are negotiated in organizations, negotiation research typically examines compensation and monetary issues. 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 gendered nature of negotiation topics and how they influence avoidance of negotiation.

Suggested Citation

Bear, Julia, 'Passing the Buck': Incongruence between Gender Role and Topic Leads to Avoidance of Negotiation. IACM 23rd Annual Conference Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1611835 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1611835

Julia Bear (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

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