Skip to main content
Negotiating The Gender Divide: Lessons From The Negotiation And Organizational Behavior Literatures
Journal of Management (2012)
  • Carol T Kulik
  • Mara Olekalns, Melbourne Business School
Employment relationships are increasingly personalized, with more employment conditions open to negotiation. Although the intended goal of this personalization is a better and more satisfying employment relationship, personalization may systematically disadvantage members of some demographic groups. This disadvantage is evident for women, who routinely negotiate less desirable employment terms than men. This gender-based gap in outcomes is frequently attributed to differences in the ways that men and women negotiate. We review the negotiation research demonstrating that women are systematically disadvantaged in negotiations and the organizational behavior research examining the backlash experienced by agentic women. We use the Stereotype Content Model (SCM) and Expectancy Violation Theory (EVT) to explain why traditional “best practice” negotiation behaviors benefit male negotiators but backfire for female negotiators. Gender counter-normative behaviors create negative expectancy violations for women, generating cognitive and emotional backlash and negatively affecting women’s economic and social outcomes. We use this integration to explain how individuals and their organizations can successfully negotiate employment terms that benefit both the female employee and her employer. Our SCM-EVT integration suggests two distinct avenues for enhancing women’s economic and social outcomes. The first strategy set ensures that agentic negotiation behaviors stay below a negotiation partner’s threshold for perceiving negative violations; the second strategy set ensures that behaviors signaling warmth and likeability exceed a partner’s threshold for perceiving positive violations. In addition to identifying individual-level tactics within each strategy set, our integration suggests organizational policies and practices that can minimize negative violations or maximize positive ones.
  • negotiation,
  • gender,
  • diversity,
  • careers
Publication Date
Citation Information
Carol T Kulik and Mara Olekalns. "Negotiating The Gender Divide: Lessons From The Negotiation And Organizational Behavior Literatures" Journal of Management Vol. 38 (2012)
Available at: