Negotiating with Work Friends: Examining Gender Differences in Team Negotiations
Purpose The aim of this paper is to investigate (a) whether a team of females negotiates differently than a team of males, and (b) whether (workplace) friendship moderates the relationship between single-gender team composition and negotiation outcomes. Design/methodology/approach We used two laboratory studies and paired 216 MBA students into single-gender teams of friends and non-friends, and then engaged them in several dyadic multi-issue negotiations. Findings The results show that on average, male teams of non-friends reached significantly better outcomes than female teams of non-friends. However, and interestingly, female teams of friends perform equally to male teams of friends. Research limitations/implications We contribute both to the negotiations and the workplace friendship literature since very little research has examined negotiation among friends at work and in particular team negotiations. In addition, we also contribute to the literature on gender differences in negotiations since existing research has rarely examined the differences between all-male and all-female teams and especially the relationship between same-sex teams and their effects on negotiation outcomes. Practical implications Our research has clear implications to managers with regard to team composition. Specifically, a winning all female team should not be changed! Originality/value We are the first to examine the relationship between workplace friendship, gender and negotiation outcomes. Keywords Team negotiations, workplace friendships, intra-team friendship, gender effects, negotiation performance, multi-issue negotiation.