Editors’ Note: In her well-known book on The Shadow Negotiation, Kolb focused .. 4 See Deborah M. Kolb & Judith Williams, Breakthrough Bargaining, in a dynamic we have come to call the “shadow negotiation” – the complex and “Breakthrough Bargaining,” by Deborah M. Kolb and Judith Williams, which. Breakthrough Bargaining. RM By Deborah M. Kolb and Judith Williams. Power moves; Process Breakthrough Bargaining. Negotiation.

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Process moves affect how negotiation issues are received by both sides in the process, even though they do not address substantive issues.

Organizations and institutions in which negotiations take place are not gender neutral.

Breakthrough bargaining.

Initially cast as individual differences, the field has moved to an interpretive and fluid conception of gender. This research, conducted by Kathleen McGinn, Hannah Riley Bowles, Linda Babcock and Michele Gelfand, indicates that gender differences are more likely to be observed in distributive as opposed to integrative bargaining, when negotiators represent themselves rather than function as agents, and when situations are ambiguous as opposed to being structured. A double bind test for a woman leader is the question can she be a leader and a woman too?

Another way to conceptualize gender in negotiation is not about individuals, nor the conditions under which gender becomes mobilized; but rather it focuses on gender as an organizing principle of social life. Does Gender Make a Difference?

Conversely, when researchers link bargaining effectiveness to feminine traits, women surpass men in the amount gained from the negotiation.

Deborah Kolb and Judith Williams, whose book The Shadow Negotiation was the starting point for this article, say there are three strategies businesspeople can use to guide these hidden interactions. Schneider and Christopher Honeyman. A feminist view of relationships calls for reframing such traditional concepts as interdependence and bargaining power. Because most of the gender research occurs in the laboratory, the focus has been primarily on individuals in interaction. If she acts decisively and pushes for what she needs—behaviors we might expect from leaders—she may be seen as too pushy.


Breakthrough bargaining.

The micro-processes through which this occurs have been invisible in most of the negotiation literature. Interpretive Perspectives breeakthrough Gender Interpretive perspectives shift the focus away from essentialist characteristics of men and women to the negotiation interaction itself. First, the findings boil down to two points— either women are the same as men or they are different from them i.

Interaction Level and Gender Construction Gender can also become salient because others expect that and act as if gender matters. A gender lens, in contrast, presents an alternative view of interdependence and why it is important in negotiation. Retweet on Twitter Riverdale Mediation Retweeted. In this way, gender is not an individual characteristic, but both a means and an outcome of the ways parties socially construct negotiation.

Consider, for example, the opportunity structure in one organization. Endnotes [1] Deborah M. This research in the organizational field focuses on second generation gender issues. This norm may work well for males, who are likely to be offered developmental opportunities in key strategic positions, but it does not work effectively for women, who often get offered human resource assignments, with questionable benefits to their careers.

Putnam, Through the Looking Glass: Second, it fails to recognize that gender is hierarchically arrayed in society, and so to focus on difference is to accept a false symmetry in which the masculine emerges as the standard and the woman as the other.

Our on-site mediators have 20 minutes and good tools to assess risk—. In a paradoxical way, the common approach to thinking about interdependence hinges on individualistic notions of dependence and independence. Work on stereotyped threat in which negotiators are primed with particular gender stereotypes indicates how these expectations influence outcomes. However, these behaviors when enacted by a woman are likely to be seen breakthrouvh than they are when men employ them.


After many years of indifference, breakthroguh study of gender is now an important area of scholarship in negotiation. Interpretive perspectives shift the focus away from essentialist characteristics of men and women to the negotiation interaction itself.

Individual Level and Gender Roles One way gender gets mobilized in negotiations concerns identity and how salient gender is to an individual negotiator. The challenge is to understand how parties enact negotiation in a particularly gendered way.

To focus on gender difference—whether to bemoan it or celebrate it—treats gender as an essential individual and stable characteristic of men and women.

Gender in Negotiation

Power moves are used when two negotiating parties hold unequal power–for instance, kolv and bosses; new and existing employees; and people of different races, ages, or genders. But if she conforms to feminine expectations and consults widely, she is seen as indecisive.

In another organization, women were routinely offered positions with lesser titles than their male counterparts. From this perspective, a focus on relationships, the skills of empathy, and the ability to manage conflict and competition simultaneously are thought although breakthroug explicitly tested to be advantageous in negotiations.

A second conceptualization, promotive interdependence, stems breakthruogh the integrative bargaining literature. Negotiation and the Gender Divide These organizational factors discipline women, as well as other marginal groups, and make gender issues salient in everyday negotiations.

Power and control in negotiation are important matters but they have generally not been considered from a process perspective.