Study finds black women get better deals | WRAL Tech Wire

DURHAM- During a college seminar on organizational behavior, Angelica Leigh came across several studies that found that when it comes to negotiations, men did better than women and that white negotiators performed better than women. black negotiators.

But Leigh, now an assistant professor of management and organizations at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, said those findings didn’t match her own experiences. “Research has shown that women performed worse in negotiations because of the stereotype that they are kind, community-minded and caring about others,” Leigh said. “But the idea that as a black woman I would walk into a room and people would immediately think I was kind and cooperative didn’t align with my own experiences, or modern portrayals of black women in the media. .”

Leigh and co-author Sreedhari Desai, an associate professor at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, recently published an article titled What’s racing got to do with it? The Interactive Effect of Race and Gender on Bargaining Offers and Outcomes in the journal Organization Science, which challenges existing research on gender and negotiations. They find that black women do better in negotiations than white women or black men, and do much the same as white men.

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To test their theory, Leigh and Desai conducted three separate studies. One study involved negotiating the price of a group purchase of mobile phones, another involved buying items from the Craigslist online marketplace, and the third was a business-to-business negotiation over the selling price of a phone app. portable. In each case, black women fared better than their black and white counterparts.

For example, in the Craigslist experiment, researchers manipulated a potential buyer’s race and gender by varying the name, email address, and photo contained in email responses to job advertisements. items. The body of one of the emails read, “Hi, I’m interested in the patio table you advertised and was wondering if it’s still available? Also, is the price negotiable? If so, why are you willing to sell it to me? Thank you very much, Ebony. On average, black women negotiators got about 4-5% better prices than white women and black men.

In their paper, the researchers argue that their findings can be explained by perceptions of dominance and prestige that are important in negotiation contexts. The authors note that “negotiators who simultaneously obtain higher attributions of dominance and prestige engender greater deference from their bargaining counterparts, leading them to obtain more favorable initial offers and final bargaining agreements. “.

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Dominance refers to an energetic, assertive, and controlling behavior that results in a competitive bent toward victory. Numerous studies have shown that when it comes to perceptions of dominance, white men outperform white women, who are thought to be more cooperative and maybe more naive when it comes to negotiations. In other words, white women are often not viewed as worthy negotiation partners, Leigh said. In contrast, black women are stereotyped as domineering, strong, resilient, and often self-sufficient.

Prestige refers to the belief that one possesses socially desirable knowledge, skills, or expertise. “While the dominant stereotypes of black women and men include high levels of dominance and aggression, black men are also more easily associated with other secondary stereotypes that are often applied to the black racial category, such as being poor , unintelligent or uneducated. Thus, black women are assigned relatively higher levels of prestige than black male negotiators, and this leads to black female negotiators obtaining more favorable offers and negotiation outcomes than black males,” the document asserts.

Leigh said future research should look at barriers that might prevent black women from negotiating and how black men might improve their trading resultsin particular by studying strategies that have already been found to reduce racial prejudice for black male leaders.

Leigh said she expects people to be surprised by the results. Already, other researchers have contacted her for copies of her work.

“A lot of research on race and gender talks about double jeopardy, which is the assumption that belonging to multi-marginal groups leads to even worse outcomes,” Leigh said. “But the double jeopardy hypothesis doesn’t hold for black women in negotiations.”

Editor’s Note: This was originally posted on the Blog Fuqua Insights and is reprinted under an agreement with Duke University.

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