Gender and Negotiation: An exploration of women's workplace experiences. A Belgian case study

Miek Dilworth

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

    Abstract

    The aim of this research is to explore, with our interview participants, their subjective experiences of negotiation in the workplace. We place particular emphasis on their ‘gendered’ experiences. The primary data thus explores a deeper understanding of the experiences of women working in Belgium. We draw on our participant’s interpretations of these experiences, and relate them to the manner in which society is constructed in the gendered sense. This aim is achieved by combining an in depth investigation of the available literature and the fieldwork conducted for this study. The literature reviewed provides a broad understanding of the historical development of the construction of gender, and women’s position in society. We furthermore explore literature with particular reference to the workplace and workplace related terminology. Consequently, this literature review provides a solid foundation and creates a platform from which the research process can be launched. While exploring the available literature, it is apparent that most research conducted in this field is quantitative in nature. However our aim is to gain understanding of experiences, hence qualitative methods are more appropriate. The information gathered allows us to understand “the nuances and details of complex social phenomena from the respondents’ point of view” (Ellsberg & Heise 2005: 55). Therefore the findings of this research are the result of the analysis of primary data gathered through in-depth interviews (n=15). The analysis of our respondents comments suggest that; 1) they sense a lack of control in their negotiations which extends beyond the workplace into the private sphere. This has led our respondents to believe that scenarios are less negotiable than they may actually be 2) our respondents were very reluctant to negotiate higher salaries, better conditions etc. When they do negotiate, they tend to adopt low risk strategies because they are not clear on what they deserve or they are not prepared to risk losing what they currently have.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Culleton, Jonathan, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • Workplace, Women

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