Gender stereotypes, self-esteem, and negotiation performance

C. Lu
Elizabeth Layne Paddock, Singapore Management University
Jochen Matthias Reb, Singapore Management University


Whether gender differences exist at the negotiation table is a timeless question. To address this question, we identify five major theoretical perspectives attempting to account for gender differences at the bargaining table. We distinguish these theoretical perspectives on the basis of the origin of gender differences and the research questions they address. A common thread that runs through each perspective is the gender stereotype, which presumes masculine skills are more valuable at the bargaining table than feminine skills. We then consider the empirical support for this basic assumption as approached by each theoretical perspective. Our review includes the two dominant bargaining paradigms identified by Nash (1950) – cooperative and non-cooperative (e.g. prisoner’s dilemmas) negotiations – and non-interactive and group-level tasks. We then look forward by identifying a research agenda on this timely question for the new millennium.