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Getting Past No: Gender and the Propensity to Persist in Negotiation


  • Bowles, Hannah Riley

    (Harvard U)

  • Flynn, Francis J.

    (Stanford U)


Gender stereotypes suggest that men will persist more in negotiation than women, particularly in mixed-gender pairs. In contrast, a gender-in-context perspective suggests that women will vary their persistence behavior more than men and become more rather than less persistent in mixed-gender pairs in order to resist male dominance in negotiation. Results of three studies support the gender-in-context perspective, showing that women vary the degree and quality of their persistence behavior more than men depending on their counterpart’s gender. Women became more persistent with male than female negotiating counterparts (Studies 1-3). Consistent with the proposition that women persist more with men than women out of resistance to stereotypical male dominance in negotiation, women relied on characteristically low-status forms of influence (more indirect than direct) when persisting with men but not women (Study 3) and women’s extra persistence with male counterparts helped them reduce the gender gap in negotiation performance (Study 3).

Suggested Citation

  • Bowles, Hannah Riley & Flynn, Francis J., 2007. "Getting Past No: Gender and the Propensity to Persist in Negotiation," Working Paper Series rwp07-063, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp07-063

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barry, Bruce & Oliver, Richard L., 1996. "Affect in Dyadic Negotiation: A Model and Propositions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 127-143, August.
    2. Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda & McGinn, Kathleen L., 2005. "Constraints and Triggers: Situational Mechanics of Gender in Negotiation," Working Paper Series rwp05-051, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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