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Women Negotiators Most Successful when Arguing for Others

“Advice to Women Negotiators: It Shouldn’t Be About You”
Sept. 27, 2011

A study by Emily Amanatullah, (right) assistant professor of management, and Michael Morris of Columbia Business School, proved that women are as capable of negotiating as men. But they are aware of their reputation as less competent negotiators and fear social backlash for being more assertive.

A series of experiments, in which women negotiated with a computer for their own salary, and then negotiated for the salary of a third party, helped Amanatullah and Morris come up with these conclusions:

  • When negotiating their own salaries, women did a lousy job. In fact, in just the first round of negotiations, they conceded nearly 20 percent of the total value of salary.
  • Women want the same salaries as men. When asked how much money they hoped to get out of the negotiations, men and women came up with about the same dollar amounts. They also wanted the same amounts when they were acting on behalf of a colleague as they did when they were negotiating for themselves. So, the researchers conclude, lower financial aspirations are not a factor in determining why women may do worse in negotiations.
  • Women are able to negotiate just as well as men. When women are negotiating on behalf of someone else, they do just as well as men, and just as well as men negotiating for someone else.

The researchers suggest that for women to be better negotiators, they should look at a salary as something they are doing for their family, and when negotiating for a bigger budget, they could contend they are just trying to do right by their team.

Read more about the study in the full article on the BNet website.


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