How do interviewers respond to applicants’ initiation of salary negotiation? An exploratory study on the role of gender and personality

Publication Date03 August 2015
AuthorGerui (Grace) Kang,Lin Xiu,Alan C. Roline
SubjectHR & organizational behaviour,Global HRM
How do interviewers respond to
applicantsinitiation of salary
negotiation? An exploratory
study on the role of gender
and personality
Gerui (Grace) Kang
Department of Accounting, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud,
Minnesota, USA
Lin Xiu
Department of Management Studies,
University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, USA, and
Alan C. Roline
Department of Accounting,
University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, USA
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine whether women encounter more social resistance
than men do when they attempt to negotiate for higher compensation, and whether the gender and
personality of the interviewer moderates that resistance.
Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted an experiment to explore how gender and
personality jointly influence interviewersdecision making in job negotiations.
Findings The authors found that: first, female interviewees who initiate negotiations in a job
interview are penalized by both male and female interviewers; second, more agreeable interviewers are
nicerthan less agreeable ones to interviewees who ask for more pay, even after controlling for the
interviewersgender; and third, more extraverted interviewers are tougherthan less extraverted
interviewers toward interviewees who initiate salary negotiation. These phenomena are more
pronounced when interviewees are male as opposed to female.
Research limitations/implications Some limitations need to be brought to the readers attention.
First, the participants of this study are undergraduate students. While most of them have job interview
experience as an interviewee, few have any experience as an interviewer. In order to minimize this
effect, we used human resources management students who previously had a course on hiring and
selection in this experiment. Second, the order of the interviewees evaluated by participants, acting as
interviewers, could cause an order effect.
Practical implications This study contributes to the gender, personality, and negotiations
literature, and fills the gapon the joint effect of gender, personality, and hiring decision
making. Gender discrimination during job interviews suggests that business needs to address
discrimination and d iversity issues earl ier. It may be wise for man agement to consider
the potential bias of an interviewers gender and personality on their hiring decisions before the
organization makes a final decision on which interviewee should be hired and how much salary should
be offered.
Originality/value To the best of the knowledge of the authors, no prior studies have explored the
joint effect of gender and personality on negotiation behavior in a job interview setting from an
interviewers perspective.
Keywords Gender, Personality traits, Interviewee and interviewer, Joint effect, Salary negotiation
Paper type Research paper
Evidence-based HRM: a Global
Forum for Empirical Scholarship
Vol. 3 No. 2, 2015
pp. 145-158
©Emerald Group Publis hing Limited
DOI 10.1108/EBHRM-11-2013-0034
Received 20 November 2013
Accepted 21 May 2014
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
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