Sample Business Case Study on Gender and Negotiation

Gender and Negotiation

This case study revolves around the issues of women’s rights that have been granted, but is not practically implemented. According to O’Neill (2003), women still experience a major compensation gap at the workplace that is unjustifiable to explain in relation to commitment, level of education and experience. As provided in the case study, company ABC has a huge compensation gap between its male and female employees. For example, 75% of its 20, 000 employees are men, whilst out of the 5, 000 sales department workers 60% are men. Further, there is a huge gap in the administrative labor force with 40% of the 1, 000 administrators being men. As such, the statistics indicate that women’s compensation at the organization is about 25% less than the corresponding gender across all departments within the organization. Consequently, this huge compensation gap ought to be addressed to promote a culture of gender equality at the organization. On the other hand, formulating strategies and issues required to solve this problem at the company will be based on the reading of two articles. The basis of this research will be gender in negotiation to evaluate the role of negotiation as a tool to reduce the gender gap in compensation as is evident in the company. In order to achieve the objective, several questions will be answered.

The inside information demonstrates that the management is against “across the board” changes, but is willing to lend an ear to a differentiated proposal per department. The existing culture is a major factor that identifies the manner in which men and women argue ion a negotiation. In this particular case, men are comfortable with a corporate culture that promotes a compensation gender gap within the departments. In a situation that the management is against any organization change during the negotiation, the strategy is to be more objective and factual in the proposal per department. According to Bowles & Babcock (2013), men tend to appreciate facts in a gender negotiation than women. As such, I will present the huge compensation gap in the departments as a strategy to compel the management to act. For example, demonstrating that only 25% of women are employees in the company will attract the attention of the management. To support my claim, I will demonstrate the role played by women in each individual. For example, extracting important information from the sales department will be important to demonstrate to the management that women are significantly important to the organization and there is need to reduce the compensation gap.

To achieve the objective of articulating the gender issues comprehensively at the organization, preparation for the negotiation is fundamental. Therefore, with my responsibility as part of the negotiation, I will have to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the compensation gap issue within the organization. After gathering important information, it is important that such data be presented in a coherent manner. As such, I will prepare well to ensure that I can present the issues in a proper manner that is consistent with the negotiation challenges. For example, I will learn how to listen to what the management has to offer before presenting the information. Consequently, to ensure that I present myself properly, I will identify the strength of my position in the negation (Fletcher, 2002). This will be followed by drafting a benchmark that I will use to present my position regarding the issue. Further, before engaging the negotiation I will identify the ideal outcome of the process. Similarly, I will formulate a compromise position that is reasonable for the negotiation incase the ideal outcome is difficult to obtain.

Adopting a specific negotiation approach is very important to ensure that the ideal outcome of the negotiation is obtained. Women have a tendency of valuing human relationships during the negotiation process (Bowles & McGinn, 2008). As such, this position gives women a better position to understand other peoples view in the gender based negotiation. Therefore, this can be a major weakness in achieving the predetermined outcome of the negotiation because of accepting a least threshold offer. In this regard, I will adopt an overly aggression approach so that the minimum concession can be obtained. This approach is justified because men can prove to “play hardball” in the gender negotiation to, maintain their position (Kray et al., 2004). Thus, this approach will ensure that at least my identified compromise position is achieved through the process.

In the negotiation, my interest will be to change the existing culture that promotes a huge compensation gap at ABC Company. Women have the same level of commitment and education that is required for promotion and recruitment to a certain position and departments in the organization. Therefore, my interest after the negotiation is to ensure that more women are recruited into the departments based on their education, skill, and strategic commitment to their job responsibility. The position I will hold during the process is that bother men and women can perform and achieve the same results based on their experience, education, and dedication. Here, my argument is based on the position that women can be productive to the organization if they are given a chance.

My initial proposal will be based on three major departments within the company. In the case of the general labor force department, I will propose to increase the number of women from 25% to 45% of the total employee population. In the second sales department, the initial proposal is to reduce the compensation gap from 40% to 55%. This is because women are more effective than men in the sales department are, and this would be more profitable to the organization. In the administrative department, I will propose an initial increase from the current 20% to 40%. However, this forms the compromised proposal positions that I will present to the management.

There are various reasons that may hinder a gender-based negotiation from achieving its objective. For example, language is classified as a major factor that determines the success of negotiation between men and women (van Wanrooy, 2009). Consequently, women use discourse as a strategy to maintain connections during the negotiation rather than sharing the prerequisite information. However, in such case, the negotiation can fail to achieve its ultimate objective and be postponed to a later date. In this particular case, the management can reject my initial proposal and provide an option for another negotiation. This is the most likely outcome because the inside information at the company demonstrates that the management is reluctant to effect any changes. Therefore, in the next round of negotiation I will bring the same initial proposal with more factual evidence to back my position. Maintaining an initial position is strategic to ensure that the compromised position that I identified is not reduced (Ely & Padavic, 2007). Similarly, this will reduce the effects of an overly emphatic approach that men would devise to win the negotiation through a reduced initial position. On the other hand, a strike will not be in my plans for the next round of discussions because this serves as the last resort after all avenues in the negotiation have been exploited and exhausted.










Bowles, H. R. & Babcock, L. (2013). How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation     Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer. Psychology of Women Quarterly,       37(1), 80-96.

Bowles, H. R., & McGinn, K. L. (2008). Gender in Job Negotiations: A Two-Level Game. Negotiation Journal, 24(4), 393-410.

Ely, R. & Padavic, I. (2007). A feminist analysis of organizational research on sex differences.

            Academy of Management Review, 32, 1121-1143.

Fletcher, J.K. (2002). The greatly exaggerated demise of heroic leadership: Gender, power, and

            the myth of the female advantage. Victoria, Australia: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd

Kray, L. J., Reb, J., Galinsky, A. & Thompson, L. (2004). Stereotype reactance at the

Bargaining table: The effect of stereotype activation and power on claiming and creating

            Value. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(1), 399–411.

O’Neill, J. (2003). Value, Justice, and the Wilderness Ideal: In Becoming Human: New    Perspectives on the Inhuman Condition. New York: Praeger.

Van Wanrooy, B. (2009). Women at Work in Australia: Bargaining a Better Position? Australian       Bulletin of Labour.  35(4), 611-628.