Monash University
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Sex differences in managers' explanations for career progress: a test of social role theory

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-06-08, 02:50 authored by Wood, Glenice J., Lindorff, Margaret
This study tested the prediction that there will be sex differences in how middle managers perceive promotion requirements, and that such differences will be influenced by societal expectations of gender appropriateness in which women are expected to display communal (nurturing, interpersonally sensitive) and men agentic (independent, assertive and ambitious) qualities and behaviour. Results from 351 male and 156 female managers indicated that sex does not strongly influence the belief that every manager receives the same opportunities for advancement. However, there were sex differences in the reasons given for unequal career advancement, personal career progress, achievement of the last promotion received, and why a future promotion may not occur. Additionally, although male and female managers have similar aspirations to obtain a senior management position, women are less likely to expect a promotion. The results partially support the predictions of Social-Role theory.


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Working paper series (Monash University. Department of Management).

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