Although few women occupy top slots in corporate hierarchies, a new study shows that they may be more accomplished in negotiations than their masculine counterparts.
Yael Itzhaki of Tel Aviv University carried out simulations of business negotiations among management students at Ohio State University and in Israel.
“Women are more generous negotiators, better co-operators and are motivated to create win-win situations,” noted Itzhaki. Her PhD study indicated that in certain groupings, women offered better terms than men to reach an agreement. They were good at facilitating interaction between the parties, she says.
The simulations involved negotiating the terms of a joint venture, including the division of shares. The point was to examine how women behave in situations requiring cooperation and competition.
Itzhaki also discovered that men have begun to follow feminine strategies during negotiations.
“Women in mid-management positions are criticised for being too ‘cooperative’ and ‘compassionate’, so they don’t get promoted. Then men come in and use the same tactics women are criticised for.”
Itzhaki emphasises that there should be more women in top management jobs.