Many companies today appeal to job seekers' altruism with what has been termed "social impact framing" that emphasizes how their work will benefit society. Using social impact framing may work against prospective employees during salary negotiations, according to a study published in Organization Science. Specifically, job candidates exposed to such messaging feel it would be against company norms to ask for higher pay.
"There's an implicit assumption that money and altruism don't mix," says Insiya Hussain, assistant professor of management at the University of Texas at Austin. "Even if job candidates might not necessarily subscribe to this view, they're assuming that hiring managers will."
Hussain and co-authors Marko Pitesa and Michael Schaerer of Singapore Management University and Stefan Thau of INSEAD found that job candidates who were exposed to social impact framing refrained from negotiating for higher salaries. Job candidates are willing to accept lower wages because they expect their work to be personally meaningful, but "this explanation overlooks a less socially desirable mechanism by which social impact framing leads to lower compensation demands," the authors say.
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