Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove: Gender/Professional Identity Integration Promotes Women's Negotiation Performance
129 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2014 Last revised: 10 Oct 2014
Date Written: February 21, 2014
The present research aims to explain within-gender differences in competitive bargaining performance by introducing an individual difference approach to the gender and negotiations literature. We propose that women in male-dominated fields who perceive their gender and professional roles as highly compatible — high on gender/professional identity integration — are more effective in competitive bargaining. In Study 1, business women’s state gender/profession identity integration, but not men’s, was positively associated with economic performance and the absence of social backlash. In Study 2, state identity integration among business women was linked with greater propensity to bargain due to reduced social backlash concerns. In Study 3, women in STEM fields higher on identity integration negotiated better economic outcomes in a face-to-face salary negotiation. In Studies 4 and 5, we examined the casual direction between recall of gender/profession identity compatibility and women’s negotiations performance. Results revealed convergent evidence with the effects observed with state gender/profession identity integration in the quasi-field studies suggesting that gender/professional identity compatibility is a unique psychological force facilitating women’s bargaining performance. We discuss the implications of the findings to social psychology theory and research and women’s professional advancement.
Keywords: negotiations, warmth, dominance, distributive negotiations, gender, identity integration
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation