Gender and Negotiations: When Does Gender Play a Role in Negotiating?

Citation data:

Seminar Research Paper Series

Publication Year:
2006
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paper description
The fable takes place during the holidays, involving two sisters. One sister is planning to bake a chiffon cake for Christmas dinner; the other, a fruitcake. Both recipes each call for one orange. When the sisters check the pantry, they find only one orange, not the two they need. An argument immediately erupts over who gets the orange. One sister complains that the chiffon cake is wrong for the season. The other retorts the fruitcake may be traditional but nobody likes it. Obvious solutions are out of the question. It being a holiday, they cannot borrow from the very neighbors who will later be their guests, and the stores are closed. The sisters, unwilling to compromise and bake only half a recipe, become more and more entrenched in defending their rights. After a fair amount of bickering, the mother cuts the orange in half. A fair solution? The needs of the sisters remained ambiguous throughout the argument. How would have the solution differed if the sisters were to explain their needs; while one sister needed orange peel, the other needed orange juice. If chiffon cake was intended for solely one sister and the fruitcake was to be donated to another family, would the end result change? Would the sister making the fruitcake, on behalf of others, be more assertive in negotiating for the orange? Would the situation change if this fable was written as an argument between a sister and brother? Some say “yes” (Kolb, 2000)