Hannah Riley Bowles

Bowles, Hannah Riley, May Al Dabbagh, and Bobbi Thomason. “Anticipated Status Decline for Locals Entering Global Employment Markets”. (2014). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Qualitative research on multi-national work life has begun to illuminate how status hierarchies emerge and are maintained between workers more closely aligned with the dominant global business culture (e.g., Anglo-Americans) and those attempting to assimilate from other cultural backgrounds. In two studies, we compare the psychological experience of global and national job markets for university students from a rapidly globalizing emerging market. We recruited study participants from national universities in the Arab Gulf in which students are trained in English for work in global business markets. Negatively stereotyped as “lazy locals” in the Western-dominated global work culture, we find that male nationals feel more reticent to negotiate for career rewards (viz., compensation) in a global (versus local) business context (Study 1) and that they are more negatively evaluated by their peers for attempting to negotiate for higher pay in a global (vs. local) business context. Replicating U.S. studies, in the local business context we find that female (versus male) nationals feel more reticent to negotiate for higher pay (Study 1) and are more negatively evaluated when they do (Study 2). There were no gender differences in the propensity to negotiate or in the evaluation of negotiators in the global work context. In Study 2, mediation analyses support the proposition that, for male nationals in the global work culture, negotiating for higher compensation violates prescriptions of low-status behavior (viz., communality). Evaluators penalize female negotiators for a lack of communality, but also for perceived immodesty and materialism. We discuss implications for the study of global-local status hierarchies in multi-national employment contexts.

Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Linda Babcock. “How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer”. Psychology of Women Quarterly 37 (2013): , 37, 80-96. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Policy makers, academics, and media reports suggest that women could shrink the gender pay gap by negotiating more effectively for higher compensation. Yet women entering compensation negotiations face a dilemma: They have to weigh the benefits of negotiating against the social consequences of having negotiated. Research shows that women are penalized socially more than men for negotiating for higher pay. To address this dilemma, the authors test strategies to help women improve both their negotiation and social outcomes in compensation negotiations.

In Study 1, communicating concern for organizational relationships improved female negotiators’ social outcomes, and offering a legitimate account for compensation requests improved negotiation outcomes. However, neither strategy—alone or in combination—improved both women’s social and negotiation outcomes.

Study 2 tested two strategies devised to improve female negotiators’ social and negotiation outcomes by explaining why a compensation request is legitimate in relational terms. Results showed that, although adherence to the feminine stereotype is insufficient, using these “relational accounts” can improve women’s social and negotiation outcomes at the same time. Normative implications of conformity to gender stereotypes to reduce gender pay disparities are discussed.

Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Linda Babcock. “A model of when to negotiate: Why women don’t ask”. The Oxford Handbook of Conflict Resolution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. 313-331. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Research suggests that women are more likely than men to pass over opportunities to negotiate for higher compensation. Studies from the laboratory, surveys, and field suggest that men are at least four times more likely than women to negotiate for compensation (Babcock & Laschever, 2003; Small, Gelfand, Babcock, & Gettman, 2007). When they do negotiate, women tend to claim smaller percentage increases than men on their initial salary offers (Brett & Stroh, 1997; Gerhart & Rynes, 1991; Stevens, Bavetta, & Gist, 1993). Aghast by women’s apparent lack of negotiating ability as well as the implications of this “gender negotiation gap” for the gender wage gap, both policy makers and professors have proposed additional training for women to raise their negotiating aspirations and effectiveness.

In this chapter, we argue that this apparent perceived bargaining deficiency on women’s part is actually a rational response to the differences in incentives and expectations that men and women face in compensation negotiations—one that is obscured by focusing solely on the immediate material payoffs from negotiation … We propose a two-period model in which employees make decisions about whether to negotiate for higher compensation in period one. Our purpose in creating a mathematical model is to be very concrete about the different effects that negotiating may have on a person’s utility and then to investigate how optimal decisions are affected by the gendered behavioral norms and expectations. 

Gargani, Ghalia, May Al-Dabbagh, and Hannah Riley Bowles. Rethinking Women Leadership Development Programs in the UAE. 2012. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the increasingly globalized context of the UAE, women’s leadership
development programs have become  high on the agenda of government,
academic and private sector organizations. Accordingly, the UAE
is an interesting location to examine the growth in women’s leadership
development programs and to better understand their evolution, goals and
impacts. These programs vary greatly in levels of impact, some providing
models to follow and continue building upon and others offering a learning
opportunity on what works and what doesn’t in the UAE particularly and
the region more generally. With a roundtable discussion on women’s
leadership development as a backdrop, which brought together experts from
three key sectors (private, public, academic), this policy brief reevaluates
women’s leadership development programs in the UAE. Through a diversity of perspectives, important questions regarding women’s leadership development are posed with the ultimate goal to present key recommendations to policy makers in the UAE about how to improve and strengthen such programs

Bowles, Hannah Riley. “Claiming Authority: How Women Explain their Ascent to Top Business Leadership Positions”. (2012). Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Career stories of 50 female executives from major corporations and high-growth entrepreneurial ventures suggest two alternative accounts of how women legitimize their claims to top leadership positions: navigating and pioneering. In navigating accounts, the women legitimized their claims to top authority positions by following well institutionalized paths of career advancement (e.g., high performance in line jobs) and self-advocating with the gatekeepers of the social hierarchy (e.g., bosses, investors). In pioneering accounts, the women articulated a strategic vision and cultivated a community of support and followership around their strategic ideas and leadership. The career stories suggested that, when the women’s authority claims were not validated, they engaged in narrative identity work to revise their aspirations and legitimization strategies. Sometimes narrative identity work motivated women to shift from one type of account to another, particularly from navigating to pioneering. Based on inductive analyses of these 50 career stories, I propose a process model of how women legitimize their claims to top leadership positions by recursively resetting career accounts as authority claims succeed or fail.

Bowles, Hannah Riley, and Kathleen McGinn. “Chapter 2: Untapped Potential in the Study of Negotiation and Gender Inequality in Organizations”. The Academy of Management Annals. 1st ed. Routledge, 2008. 99-132. Web. Publisher's Version untapped_potential.pdf
Bowles, Hannah Riley, Linda Babcock, and Lei Lai. “Social incentives for gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations: Sometimes it does hurt to ask”. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 103.1 (2007): , 103, 1, 84–103. Web. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Four experiments show that gender differences in the propensity to initiate negotiations may be explained by differential treatment of men and women when they attempt to negotiate. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants evaluated written accounts of candidates who did or did not initiate negotiations for higher compensation. Evaluators penalized female candidates more than male candidates for initiating negotiations. In Experiment 3, participants evaluated videotapes of candidates who accepted compensation offers or initiated negotiations. Male evaluators penalized female candidates more than male candidates for initiating negotiations; female evaluators penalized all candidates for initiating negotiations. Perceptions of niceness and demandingness explained resistance to female negotiators. In Experiment 4, participants adopted the candidate’s perspective and assessed whether to initiate negotiations in same scenario used in Experiment 3. With male evaluators, women were less inclined than men to negotiate, and nervousness explained this effect. There was no gender difference when evaluator was female.