Publication Date



Although it has been suggested that women negotiate over salaries less frequently than men, there is little empirical evidence on this point. Moreover, outside of laboratory settings, there are no investigations of whether, or to what extent, such negotiations actually payoff in higher salary outcomes for either men or women. Using a power and dependence theoretical framework, the present research investigated the salary negotiating behaviors and starting salary outcomes of 205 graduating MBA students. Results did not support the notion that women negotiate less than men. However, women did obtain lower monetary returns to negotiation (4.3% starting salary increment for men versus 2.7% for women). Over the course of a career, the accumulation of such differences may be substantial. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.


Suggested Citation
Gerhart, B., & Rynes, S. (1989). Determinants and consequences of salary negotiations by graduating male and female MBAs (CAHRS Working Paper #89-16). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.