You Want How Much?! Perceptions of Extreme First Offers and The Men and Women Who Make Them
Presenter: Margaret Lee, Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership, Haas School of Business
2121 Berkeley Way, Room 1104
Much research has robustly shown that individuals benefit from making a first offer in negotiations and has advocated high offers for sellers and low offers for buyers. However, little research has considered how extreme (unreasonably high for sellers and unreasonably low for buyers) offers, as well as the negotiators who make them, are perceived. Experiment 1 found that, compared to moderate offers, extreme offers are seen as less reasonable, more aggressive, and more offensive, and that those who make extreme (vs. moderate) offers are seen as less skilled at negotiating and less warm. Two further experiments tested how extreme (vs. moderate) offers would affect counteroffers and found that whereas women benefited from making extreme vs. moderate offers, men did not experience any anchoring advantage. Based on prior findings on gender stereotypes in negotiation, specifically that women lack negotiation skills and men are more skilled negotiators, we hypothesized that shifting standards for negotiation skills may underlie this phenomenon. Women are held to lower standards in negotiation ability, and as a result, when women make extreme offers (which are a sign of negotiator incompetence), they are judged as less unskilled whereas similarly extreme offers from a man are judged as particularly incompetent and are dismissed.