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Relational Accounts: An Answer for Women to the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma

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Listed:
  • Bowles, Hannah Riley

    (Harvard U)

  • Babcock, Linda

    (Carnegie Mellon U)

Abstract

Women face a compensation negotiation dilemma in which they have to weigh the economic benefits of asking for higher pay with the social risks of defying prescriptive sex stereotypes (Bowles, Babcock, & Lai, 2007). In four experiments, we show that enhancing the legitimacy of women's compensation requests does not eliminate the social risk of asking, and that eliminating the social risk of asking is not sufficient to legitimize their requests. We identify strategies for overcoming the compensation negotiation dilemma using "relational accounts" that simultaneously explain why the negotiating behavior is appropriate under the circumstances and affirm concern for organizational relationships.

Suggested Citation

  • Bowles, Hannah Riley & Babcock, Linda, 2008. "Relational Accounts: An Answer for Women to the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma," Working Paper Series rwp08-066, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp08-066
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    File URL: https://research.hks.harvard.edu/publications/workingpapers/citation.aspx?PubId=5998&type=WPN
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. O'Connor, Kathleen M. & Arnold, Josh A., 2001. "Distributive Spirals: Negotiation Impasses and the Moderating Role of Disputant Self-Efficacy," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 148-176, January.
    2. David Blackaby & Alison L Booth & Jeff Frank, 2005. "Outside Offers And The Gender Pay Gap: Empirical Evidence From the UK Academic Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 81-107, February.
    3. David Blackaby & Alison L Booth & Jeff Frank, 2005. "Outside Offers And The Gender Pay Gap: Empirical Evidence From the UK Academic Labour Market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 81-107, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Tinsley, Catherine H. & O'Connor, Kathleen M. & Sullivan, Brandon A., 2002. "Tough guys finish last: the perils of a distributive reputation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 621-642, July.
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