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Negotiating with work friends: examining gender differences in team negotiations

Uta Herbst (Department of Marketing, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany)
Hilla Dotan (Coller School of Management, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
Sina Stöhr (Department of Marketing, Universitat Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 2 May 2017




This study aims to investigate whether a team of females negotiates differently than a team of males, and whether (workplace) friendship moderates the relationship between single-gender team composition and negotiation outcomes.


The authors used two laboratory studies and paired 216 MBA students into single-gender teams of friends and non-friends, and then engaged them in several dyadic multi-issue negotiations.


The results show that on average, male teams of non-friends reached significantly better outcomes than female teams of non-friends. However, and interestingly, female teams of friends perform equally to male teams of friends.

Research limitations/implications

The authors contribute both to the negotiations and the workplace friendship literature because very little research has examined negotiation among friends at work and in particular team negotiations. In addition, the authors also contribute to the literature on gender differences in negotiations because existing research has rarely examined the differences between all-male and all-female teams and especially the relationship between same-sex teams and their effects on negotiation outcomes.

Practical implications

This research has clear implications to managers with regard to team composition. Specifically, a winning all-female team should not be changed!


This is the first study to examine the relationship between workplace friendship, gender and negotiation outcomes.



Herbst, U., Dotan, H. and Stöhr, S. (2017), "Negotiating with work friends: examining gender differences in team negotiations", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 558-566.



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