Semester of Graduation



Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Research findings from the negotiation literature have revealed significant differences in the negotiation behaviors of men and women, specifically that women do not negotiate as often or as successfully as men do. This difference has been cited as one of many factors contributing to the persistence of the gender wage gap. A possible explanation for the differences is that men and women are treated differently when they negotiate. Thus, there is evidence that women negotiators tend to receive multiple forms of social and economic punishment (i.e., backlash) for engaging in behavior that is inconsistent with stereotype-based expectations of women in the context of salary negotiations, including lower offers, decreased likeability and shareability, and declined requests for pay increases. These findings may partially explain the persistence of the gender and racial wage gaps today while also being indicative of unfair treatment that women receive in the workplace. While previous research has separately explored issues of gender and race in negotiation, few studies have examined the joint influence of these factors on negotiation outcomes. For this study, intersectionality and expectancy violation theory (EVT) served as the basis for the hypothesis that the backlash for initiating salary negotiations is greater for women of color than for white women. The results, however, did not support the hypothesis that gender and race interact in such a way that women of color experience disproportionate backlash. Nevertheless, the research presented here provides a paradigm for the future study of negotiation from the perspective of the joint effects of gender and race in the context of efforts to bridge the gender wage gap, improve negotiation outcomes for women and persons of color, and promote workplace equity.

Committee Chair

Harman, Jason