Gender & Negotiation: What if the question(s) were wrong?

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

Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2019

available at

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.


One thought on “Gender & Negotiation: What if the question(s) were wrong?”

  1. I was not surprised to learn that women have an advatage in social intuition. I learned during my undergraduate studeies that in the pre-teen to teenage years women’s social interactions are critically important (why parents should facilitate it with phone privileges or going out). During this time, women are learning to read social cues because it is a survival technique going back to ancient times. Women learn from other women how to take care of their families and must communicate, women have to read nonverbal expressions to figurou out the needs of their infants and to determine if a man is angry meaning we are in immediate danger. I agree that it is possible some men have this skill especially those raised by a single mother or who have many women in their lives who have grown up sensitive to social cues. I think future studies might show that this social intuition skill for women particularly, because we have been trianied in this skill since at least pre-teen years, have an advatage in getting the other party to respond how we would want them to. If most women by the time of their teenage years have nearly mastered recongizing emotion then the next step is to master how to trigger emotion in others based on our own understanding of how most people respond in emitonal situations. This is why clicks and drama in early years is common among women as they experiment with this skill. This can help in negotiation by figuring out how to ease the other side into an outcome that you want.

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