The Role of Race in Negotiations: Understanding When and Why Racial Minorities are Hindered at the Negotiation Table

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Previous research has demonstrated that racial discrimination exist across a number of organizational settings. Research on race and negotiation is sparse, yet some studies suggest that African Americans receive differential treatment at the negotiation table (Ayers & Siegelman, 1995). The purpose of this research is to examine whether, why, and when there are racial differences in negotiations. In study 1, race and gender of a negotiation partner was manipulated. An individual’s negotiation aspirations were found to mediate the relationship between partner race and negotiation behavior. When negotiating with African Americans, people set higher targets and first offers and this mediated the impact of partner race on demands. In study 2, partner race, gender, and power were manipulated to see if it equalized outcomes for African Americans and Caucasians. While power did have some main effects on negotiators expectations, race and power did not interact to predict negotiator aspirations or outcomes.