Female Athletes Do Ask! An Exploratory Study of Gender Differences in the Propensity to Initiate Negotiation among Athletes

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Sharon R. Guthrie California State University, Long Beach

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T. Michelle Magyar California State University, Long Beach

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Stephanie Eggert California State University, Long Beach

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Craig Kain California State University, Long Beach

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Researchers have extensively documented gender differences in negotiation perceptions and performance which, in turn, may contribute to the persistence of salary and workplace inequity between women and men. The purpose of this study was to determine if these differences existed among a sample of 228 athletes (women n = 151 and men n = 77) who had competed in sport at high school, competitive club, college, or through professional levels for 15 years. More specifically, gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiation were investigated in order to determine whether the three factors associated with the Babcock, Gelfand, Small, and Stayn (2006) Propensity to Initiate Negotiation Model (i.e., recognition of opportunity, sense of entitlement, and apprehension) explained and mediated such differences. Propensity to initiate negotiation (PIN) was operationally defined as self-reported responses to a series of hypothetical negotiation scenarios, as well as recent and anticipated future negotiation experiences. Females reported significantly more negotiation apprehension than males; they did not differ, however, in their recognition of opportunities and sense of entitlement associated with negotiation. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Sharon R. Guthrie California State University, Long Beach 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840 Email: casteln@aol.com Phone: (562) 985-7487 Fax: (562) 958-8067

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