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Research by Kellogg Professors Adam Galinsky and Leigh Thompson named ‘Most Influential’

Academy of Management honors their work for uncovering groundbreaking gender effect in negotiations

By Aaron Mays

9/12/2008 - Managing conflict may boil down to how one manages stereotypes.
Professor Adam Galinsky
Professor Leigh Thompson
Kellogg School Professors Adam Galinsky and Leigh Thompson, along with Laura Kray, a former Kellogg post-doctoral student, received the Academy of Management’s honor of “Most Influential Paper, 2000-2003” from the Conflict Management Division in August. Their research, published in 2001 as “Battle of the Sexes: gender stereotype confirmation and reactance in negotiations,” provided insight on how gender biases can explain negotiation differences.

The faculty members, both part of the Kellogg School’s Management and Organizations Department, note that the traits of an effective negotiator overlap with male gender stereotypes. With that in mind, women may feel threatened and be less capable to compete. In previous studies, women demonstrated lower expectations and worse outcomes when implicitly labeled as second-rate negotiators because of their gender. However, the authors discovered that people challenge the stereotype of their group when that stereotype is explicitly mentioned.

In one experiment, gender differences were clearly stated among the group. After reviewing the data from one set of gender-specific tasks, the researchers were surprised to find that women outperformed men. “The stereotype challenges you to do better,” said Galinsky, the Morris and Alice Kaplan Professor of Ethics and Decision in Management. Galinsky and his co-authors were the first to uncover this novel effect.

“The implications of the research causes people to be aware of stereotypes and may call for a model to be present for people to overcome them,” Galinsky added.

Galinsky joined the Kellogg School as an assistant professor in 2002, having earned his doctorate in social psychology from Princeton University. Thompson, who is the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations, earned her doctorate from Northwestern University in 1988 and has been on the Kellogg faculty since 1995. She is director of the Kellogg Team and Group Research Center.

The Academy of Management, founded in 1936, is a leading professional association for researchers exploring the field of management and organizations. The Academy claims a membership of more than 18,500 scholars drawn from more than 100 countries.