To Flirt or Not to Flirt?

Sexual Power at the Bargaining Table
Published in Negotiation Journal
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In this research article, published in Harvard’s Negotiation Journal and written with Laura Kray, Connson and her co-author examined negotiators’ beliefs about flirtation and the effects of flirtation on impression formation. Women who flirted in a negotiation were deemed more likable – but were also judged to be less authentic.

ABSTRACT FROM JOURNAL ARTICLE

We begin by exploring the lay belief that women can use flirtation to their advantage in professional contexts and contrast it with trained negotiators’ negative views on flirtation. We then examine the impact of flirtation on negotiators’ impression formation. We explore whether a flirtatious style aids women in the trade‐off they often face between perceived likability and perceived competence. We discover both an upside and a downside to flirting at the bargaining table. Although flirtation appears to be positively related to women’s likability, negotiators who flirted were judged to be less authentic than those who refrained from exercising their sexual power.

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