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

See all articles by Shira Mor

Shira Mor

Tel-Aviv University

Pranjal Mehta

University of Oregon

Ilona Fridman

Columbia University

Michael Morris

Columbia Business School - Management

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

Mor, Shira and Mehta, Pranjal and Fridman, Ilona and Morris, Michael W., Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove: Gender/Professional Identity Integration Promotes Women's Negotiation Performance (February 21, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Shira Mor (Contact Author)

Tel-Aviv University ( email )

Naftali Building

Pranjal Mehta

University of Oregon ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States


Ilona Fridman

Columbia University ( email )

116th St & Broadway
New york, NY 10027

Michael W. Morris

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-2296 (Phone)


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