The ability to influence others in the workplace is crucial to achieving goals and utilizing resources effectively. Thus, argue the authors in Gender, Negotiation and Human Potential in Organizations, negotiation is an essential part of organizational life, affecting careers and the contributions of different individuals and groups. Despite their increased participation in the labor market and movement into positions previously barred to them, women are still much less likely to negotiate in the workplace, and this inhibits their ability to move forward and achieve success for themselves, for those they represent, and for their organizations. Now, more than ever, when organizational resources are limited, failing to maximize the potential of any human capital is critical. With content grounded in research, but taking a direct, practical approach to negotiation, Professors Terrie Smith and Jean-Luc Grosso consider why women don't negotiate. Historically, women have had less experience in the workforce, and are less familiar and less practiced with the negotiation process; Culturally, men learn from childhood to compete, win and outwit opponents.
Women learn to nurture, to care for others and to take what they are given and be happy. They also tend to shy away from conflict; Personally, women may not negotiate because money is less important to them than other job attributes such as good working conditions, flexible schedules, collegial co-workers, or satisfaction with the work. The authors view, based on their years investigating the impact of things like gender pay differentials on individuals, occupations, organizations, and society, is that women can and must negotiate, amongst other things, their working conditions, in order to maximize their potential. The book offers new ideas about knowledge and preparation and maintaining credibility during negotiation, about making it less stressful and about avoiding the critical mistakes that doom negotiation attempts to failure. This book is timely and relevant to today's business professionals who will realize that making best use of their human capital will benefit not only women, but the organizations and societies in which they participate.
Policy makers, business educators, consultants, coaches, HR professionals, and others seeking to guide women at any stage of their careers will find the book useful as well as researchers and higher level students in business, HR and other disciplines.