Purpose – The main aim of this study is to analyze the perception of influence tactics used by male and female representatives in order to gain the commitment of their constituencies when accounting for the outcomes reached in a collective bargaining round. Design/methodology/approach – An experimental design was used to manipulate agreement – favorable vs unfavorable – using collective bargaining scenarios, and measurements were made of subjects’ perceptions of the use of hard and soft influence tactics and constituency commitment. Participants stated which influence tactics they would use to inform their constituents about a positive or negative agreement, and the level of commitment they would expect from their constituency. Findings – Results show that hard tactics are perceived as being more effective than soft tactics for enhancing constituency commitment to unfavorable results. Women perceive that they use more soft tactics than men to announce unfavorable agreements, while men perceive that they use more soft tactics than women to announce favorable agreements between parties. Overall, the perception of influence exercised over the constituency is strongly affected by gender, along the lines that men tend to explain and justify their successes and not their failures, while women tend to justify their failures and not their successes. Research limitations/implications – As the evidence in this study came from self-report measures, future studies should corroborate findings by observing representative behavior. Practical implications – The findings have important implications for training programs of representatives in collective bargaining, particularly in the exercise of influence at the second negotiation round. Originality/value – The paper demonstrates that gender is an important moderator in representative-constituency negotiation.
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