HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Co-Director of the Woman & Public Policy Program
Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management

Abstract

Women face a compensation negotiation dilemma in which they have to weigh the economic benefits of asking for higher pay with the social risks of defying prescriptive sex stereotypes (Bowles, Babcock, & Lai, 2007). In four experiments, we show that enhancing the legitimacy of women's compensation requests does not eliminate the social risk of asking, and that eliminating the social risk of asking is not sufficient to legitimize their requests. We identify strategies for overcoming the compensation negotiation dilemma using "relational accounts" that simultaneously explain why the negotiating behavior is appropriate under the circumstances and affirm concern for organizational relationships.

Citation

Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Linda Babcock. "Relational Accounts: A Strategy for Women Negotiating for Higher Compensation." Paper presented at Academy of Management Annual Meeting, August 2009.