Different Game, Same Handicap: How Culture Shapes Gender Differences in Negotiation with Vivien Shan Wen of Singapore University of Social Sciences


Monday, November 7, 2022, 3:00pm to 4:15pm


Hosted Online

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Culture and gender have been treated as separate factors influencing negotiation for decades. The majority of gender and negotiation literature is based on the theory of gender roles and stereotypes: women are supposed to be communal or cooperative, thus incongruent with the behaviors to succeed in negotiation, whereas men are stereotyped to be agentic or competitive, thus congruent with the requirement of successful negotiating. These gender stereotypes can create gender inequality in negotiation, which has downstream effects on other important outcomes like status and income. Hence, to contribute to gender equality, scholars and practitioners strive to study how to improve women’s negotiation performance without incurring backlash or mistreatment.  As Dr. Shan’s research suggests, however, these solutions to gender inequality may only work in Western cultures but not other cultures. In this talk, Dr. Shan will share her research findings about how people categorize masculine/feminine negotiating varies across cultures and how culture shapes gender stereotyping and gender differences in negotiations.

This seminar is organized by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) and co-sponsored by the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, which is an inter-university consortium among Harvard, MIT and Tufts, dedicated to connecting rigorous research and scholarship with deep understanding of practice.

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Dr. Wen Shan (Vivien) is a lecturer at S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore. Her main research interest includes how culture shapes various patterns of inequalities in negotiations and organizations and the relevant solutions, as well as using big data analytics and AI technologies in human resource management research. She has published 30 papers in prestigious journals, book chapters, and international conferences, such as Journal of Organizational Behavior, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, Handbook of Gender and Negotiation, Proceedings of Academy of Management, and Proceedings of IEEE/ACM conferences. She is also the recipient of multiple international awards, like IACM-AC4 (Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity, Columbia University) Scholar Award, IACM-DRRC (The Dispute Resolution Research Center, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University) Scholar Award, etc. Prior to a career in academia, Dr. Shan worked as a senior management consultant for technology startups. She holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Applied Psychology from Beijing Normal University, China.