Abstract: research on gender and negotiation and mainly focus

Abstract:

Negotiation
is a way with the help of which people deal with the differences and challenges
they encounter among them. There will be many situations where we try to solve
the problems using negotiation such as friends negotiate to decide where to
have lunch, nations negotiate between the border,
companies negotiate about buying or selling products. Each member has a natural style which influences
negotiation with others and adopts the
preferred style to situation and participants. The main factors that influence
negotiation style are personality, culture, and
gender.

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Introduction:

The
paper presents analysis building on past research on gender and negotiation and
mainly focus on investigating the gender differences among professionals in
Serbia. It contributes to the literature on negotiation in several ways. In the
first step, we combine the theoretical constructs from the literature on
negotiation and gender in general and examine the various gender differences
and stereotypes. Second, we try to understand the gender differences in Serbian
setting.

            Gender refers to the cultural and
psychological markers of the sexes features that help in distinguishing men and
women in some culture or society. Holt and Ellis defined gender roles as
expectations about what is appropriate behavior
for each sex. Men are masculine in nature and are characterized as competitive,
assertive, analytical, dominant and individualistic whereas Women are feminine and are depicted as sympathetic,
affectionate, understanding and sensitive to needs of others. According to
Judith Briles, early childhood plays tell a lot about person’s future business
style, especially in negotiations. While men see business as a team sport and
play aggressively, women perceive business a series of personal meetings.
According to Wyatt, women negotiate for what is fair and men play to win which
is the major reason why women achieve better results in cooperative
negotiations and men are better in competitive negotiations. We think of
openness, information sharing, asking open-ended questions, listening and
creating empathy in cooperative behavior
leading to mutual understanding whereas
competitive behavior includes threats,
demands, withholding information leading to less effective communication.

            During the last several decades
there have been many pieces of research on gender in negotiations and the
studies have shown two significant distinctions between male and female
negotiators. First, on average, men behave more competitively than a woman and secondly, on average men have better
results than women. Some studies also state that women are likely to be less
competitive and have worse outcomes compared to men. There is a general
perception that women are more cooperative while men are more aggressive and
competitive. Results of the study carried
out by Brahnam (2005), indicate that women are more inclined to use a collaborative
conflict resolution style and men tend to avoid conflict. According to Lewicki,
there are five cognitive and behavioral
processes that indicate gender differences in negotiation:

·       
Men and women think of negotiations in
different ways – Women concentrate on relationships while men concentrate on
tasks

·       
Men and women communicate differently –
Women tend to disclose more personal information and emotions while men tend to
discuss positions

·       
Men and women are regarded differently in
negotiations – Women are often treated worse than men

·       
There are different effects of similar
tactics when used by men and women – women who use exchange tactics are less
successful than men

·       
Gender stereotypes influence negotiator
performance – If people are aware of some gender stereotypes, they act in a way
to support those stereotypes.

Synopsis:

In
the research carried out by Kray, 2002, reminding negotiators of these features
before a mixed-gender negotiation led women to outperform their male
adversaries. Females approached negotiations more assertively and with higher
expectations of their ability to succeed, which are critical factors that help
negotiator to reach a better outcome.
Very often women fail to initiate negotiations while men ask for things they
want and start negotiations as women either silently accept what they are
offered or complain, but rarely ask for more.

Based
on the literature review, the author
investigated five specific hypotheses by choosing 200 members (104 men and 96
women) from the sampling strategy capturing perceptions from different groups
of managers and employees from private and public sector, national and
international organizations.

Men
focus on winning more than women: Only 1 percent more men than women consider
winning the most important thing in negotiation. Out of the sample, 32% of men
and 27% of women gave more importance to winning and 40% men and 49% women gave
less importance.

Women
focus more on the relationship than men:
This is partially confirmed by the survey
that there is a little difference among the respondents focusing mutual
relationship. Out of the sample, 12.5%
men and 14.58% women focused more on a relationship
whereas 16.35% Men and 18.75% women rated
relationship less focussed.

Women
negotiators use more cooperative strategies than men: Men focus on winning more
than women, but on another hand, they
also focus on problem-solving than women.
Both genders equally rated conflict avoidance. Out of the sample, 31.25% women
and 13.46% men rated for conflict avoidance and 24.04% men and 15.62% women
rated it least important. Results show that men are more assertive than women
in negotiation

Women
negotiators are more open and sincere in disclosing information: Literature
review shows that women are focused on personal relationships and will be more
open and truthful in disclosing information. But the above assumption is wrong
where out of the sample, men around 33.65% and speak truth more often than
women around 26.04%.

Women
are more sensitive to the age and gender of the opponent:  Out of the sample, it was found that women
are more sensitive to the age (52% women vs 44.23% men) and gender (31.24%
women vs 22.11% men).

Conclusion:

In
the Literature, there are contradictory
opinions on the impact of gender on
negotiation style and strategies. Inexperience,
men, and women behave differently in
negotiations and think of it in different ways, communicate differently and
have similar tactics that may have different effects based on the gender that
uses them. With the above information, we can come to a conclusion that male
negotiators in Serbia are more assertive than
their counterparts. Men focus more on problem-solving
and winning whereas women on conflict
avoidance. Contrary to the expectations, women than man care only about their
interests and men are sincerer in negotiation. 

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