That’s essentially the provocative, and ultimately persuasive, message from Andrea Schneider’s latest article:
What’s Sex Got to Do With it: Questioning Research on Gender & Negotiation
Central to her thesis is the (in my view correct) observation that most research on negotiation and gender has focused on that which is easiest to study – – one specific, narrow set of negotiation behaviors and outcomes, principally those involving distributive tactics in simple one-shot negotiations. She writes,
What this means is that while women are not recognized for the skills at which they might be inherently better, it also means that we are failing men by not highlighting opportunities for growth and improvement.
Building on her own research about the importance of social intuition, empathy, flexibility, ethicality, and assertiveness as contributors to negotiation success, Andrea makes a compelling argument that researchers have done a disservice to focus only on one of these skills, and even then, only in one particular way.