Too Bad for the Women or Does It Have to Be? Gender and Negotiation Research over the Past Twenty-Five Years
One overriding question that scholars have addressed over the past twenty-five years is: are women the same or different from men when it comes to negotiating and what might explain these differences? The inquiry has shifted and has become more nuanced over time, but in its essence the issue of individual difference still dominates much of our thinking and research on the topic. The purpose of this article is to provide a structured overview of this considerable literature on gender and negotiation as it has evolved over the past twenty-five years. In doing this, the article highlights how the social construction of gender has generally changed the discourse from essentialist concepts of differences between men and women to seeing gender as a more complex and shifting dimension of individual identity that is shaped by the contexts in which negotiation occurs. The second purpose of this article is to consider how recent feminist perspectives on gender, which have shifted from viewing gender as a property of individuals to considering the role of institutionalized social practices that sustain gender differences and inequities, can be incorporated into our understanding of gender relations in negotiation theory, practice, and research.
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