Floor to ceiling

Kevin Lewis

January 03, 2013

Presumed Fair: Ironic Effects of Organizational Diversity Structures

Cheryl Kaiser et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

This research tests the hypothesis that the presence (vs. absence) of organizational diversity structures causes high-status group members (Whites, men) to perceive organizations with diversity structures as procedurally fairer environments for underrepresented groups (racial minorities, women), even when it is clear that underrepresented groups have been unfairly disadvantaged within these organizations. Furthermore, this illusory sense of fairness derived from the mere presence of diversity structures causes high-status group members to legitimize the status quo by becoming less sensitive to discrimination targeted at underrepresented groups and reacting more harshly toward underrepresented group members who claim discrimination. Six experiments support these hypotheses in designs using 4 types of diversity structures (diversity policies, diversity training, diversity awards, idiosyncratically generated diversity structures from participants' own organizations) among 2 high-status groups in tests involving several types of discrimination (discriminatory promotion practices, adverse impact in hiring, wage discrimination). Implications of these experiments for organizational diversity and employment discrimination law are discussed.


The Incentive Effects of Affirmative Action in a Real-Effort Tournament

Caterina Calsamiglia, Jörg Franke & Pedro Rey-Biel
Journal of Public Economics, forthcoming

Affirmative action policies bias tournament rules in order to provide equal opportunities to a group of competitors who have a disadvantage they cannot be held responsible for. Its implementation affects the underlying incentive structure which might induce lower performance by participants, and additionally result in a selected pool of tournament winners that is less efficient. In this paper, we study the empirical validity of such concerns in a case where the disadvantage affects capacities to compete. We conducted real-effort tournaments between pairs of children from two similar schools who systematically differed in how much training they received ex-ante on the task at hand. Contrary to the expressed concerns, our results show that the implementation of affirmative action did not result in a significant performance loss for either advantaged or disadvantaged subjects; instead it rather enhanced the performance for a large group of participants. Moreover, affirmative action resulted in a more equitable tournament winner pool where half of the selected tournament winners came from the originally disadvantaged group. Hence, the negative selection effects due to the biased tournament rules were (at least partially) offset by performance enhancing incentive effects.


Evaluations of White American versus Black American discrimination claimants' political views and prejudicial attitudes

Alison Blodorn & Laurie O'Brien
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Although White Americans experience less frequent and less severe forms of discrimination than ethnic minorities (Schmitt & Branscombe, 2002), White Americans may actually be more likely to claim discrimination compared to ethnic minorities (Goldman, 2001). The present research investigated evaluations of White and Black American discrimination claimants' political views and prejudicial attitudes. Across two studies, a White American target was evaluated as more politically conservative when claiming discrimination compared to a control condition. In contrast, a Black American target was evaluated as more politically liberal when claiming discrimination compared to a control condition. Both the White and Black American target were evaluated as more prejudiced against the outgroup when claiming discrimination, however the increase in prejudice evaluations was more pronounced for the White American target. The present research suggests that lay people make distinct inferences about the political views and prejudicial attitudes of White versus Black American discrimination claimants.


Exploring the Asymmetrical Effects of Gender Tokenism on Supervisor-Subordinate Relationships

Katherine Ryan et al.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, December 2012, Pages E56-E102

Drawing from social identity theory, this research examines scarce gender representation as a contextual condition that inhibits same-gender supervisors' support. Survey results in Study 1 found that when women were proportionally underrepresented, they reported feeling less supported by female supervisors than male supervisors. Study 2 showed that women who perceived they were gender tokens in their organization were less likely to support an outstanding female subordinate than an identical male. Study 3 experimentally tested social mobility as a mechanism for the effects of tokenism on same-gender supervisor support. Results suggest that social mobility and group composition jointly affect ratings of same-gender targets. Perceptions of gender-based social mobility appear to be one mechanism through which tokenism influences same-gender relations at work.


From bias to exclusion: A multilevel emergent theory of gender segregation in organizations

Richard Martell, Cynthia Emrich & James Robison-Cox
Research in Organizational Behavior, 2012, Pages 137-162

This article presents a multilevel emergent theory of organizational segregation linking gender bias in performance assessment (a micro-level phenomenon) to gender segregation in organizations (a macro-level phenomenon). Based on an integration of multilevel research, emergence and signaling theory, we propose the following: (a) gender segregation in organizations is an emergent phenomenon that arises from the collective behavior of individuals who express only a small bias in favor of males, in concert with the signals governing promotion decisions and organizational mobility; (b) the emergence of a gender-segregated organization is often unintentional and the bottom-up and top-down processes that produce segregation are difficult to see; and (c) agent-based modeling is especially well-suited for illuminating the dynamics of bias that produce gender-segregated organizations. This multilevel emergent-based theory contributes to the research literature on organizational stratification by: (a) revealing the manner in which micro-level and macro-level forces conspire, oftentimes unwittingly, to produce gender-segregated organizations; (b) providing new and very different directions for future research on gender segregation that rely on agent-based modeling; and, most importantly, (c) moving a 30-year debate over the "real-world" impact of gender bias that continues to occupy the field of human resource management and, most recently, Supreme Court justices on to more fertile ground.


Public Sector Transformation, Racial Inequality and Downward Occupational Mobility

George Wilson, Vincent Roscigno & Matt Huffman
Social Forces, forthcoming

New "governance" reforms entailing shifts toward privatization have permeated the public sector over the last decade, possibly affecting workplace-based attainments. We examine the consequences of this reform for African American men, who during the civil rights era reached relative parity with whites. We analyze race-based inequities on one socioeconomic outcome - downward occupational mobility - among professionals, managers and executives. Results from a Panel Study of Income Dynamics sample indicate that the "new government business model," characterized by increased employer discretion has disproportionately disadvantaged African Americans. Narrower racial gaps in the incidence, determinants and timing of downward mobility found in the public sector, relative to the private sector, during the pre-reform period (1985-90) eroded during the reform period (2002-07) because of widening racial gaps in the public sector.


Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market: Theory and Empirics

Kevin Lang & Jee-Yeon Lehmann
Journal of Economic Literature, December 2012, Pages 959-1006

We review theories of race discrimination in the labor market. Taste-based models can generate wage and unemployment duration differentials when combined with either random or directed search even when strong prejudice is not widespread, but no existing model explains the unemployment rate differential. Models of statistical discrimination based on differential observability of productivity across races can explain the pattern and magnitudes of wage differentials but do not address employment and unemployment. At their current state of development, models of statistical discrimination based on rational stereotypes have little empirical content. It is plausible that models combining elements of the search models with statistical discrimination could fit the data. We suggest possible avenues to be pursued and comment briefly on the implication of existing theory for public policy.


The Dimensions of Occupational Gender Segregation in Industrial Countries

Jennifer Jarman, Robert Blackburn & Girts Racko
Sociology, December 2012, Pages 1003-1019

It is well known that women and men tend to work in different occupations, and generally held that this disadvantages women. In order to understand how far this occupational segregation entails gender inequality it is necessary to examine the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the segregation. The horizontal dimension measures difference without inequality while the vertical dimension measures the extent of the occupational inequality. Two measures of vertical inequality are used: pay and social stratification (CAMSIS). Measurements over a number of industrially developed countries show the expected male advantage with regard to pay. However, contrary to popular beliefs, women are consistently advantaged in terms of stratification. Also, it is found that the position of women is more favourable where the overall segregation is higher - the lower the male advantage on pay and the greater the female advantage on stratification.


The Possible Role of Resource Requirements and Academic Career-Choice Risk on Gender Differences in Publication Rate and Impact

Jordi Duch et al.
PLoS ONE, December 2012

Many studies demonstrate that there is still a significant gender bias, especially at higher career levels, in many areas including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We investigated field-dependent, gender-specific effects of the selective pressures individuals experience as they pursue a career in academia within seven STEM disciplines. We built a unique database that comprises 437,787 publications authored by 4,292 faculty members at top United States research universities. Our analyses reveal that gender differences in publication rate and impact are discipline-specific. Our results also support two hypotheses. First, the widely-reported lower publication rates of female faculty are correlated with the amount of research resources typically needed in the discipline considered, and thus may be explained by the lower level of institutional support historically received by females. Second, in disciplines where pursuing an academic position incurs greater career risk, female faculty tend to have a greater fraction of higher impact publications than males. Our findings have significant, field-specific, policy implications for achieving diversity at the faculty level within the STEM disciplines.


Physical Attractiveness Bias in Employee Termination

Melissa Commisso & Lisa Finkelstein
Journal of Applied Social Psychology, December 2012, Pages 2968-2987

We examined the impact of attractiveness on employment termination decisions. After viewing a file that contained a poor performance review and a badge with a photograph of an extremely attractive, moderately attractive, or unattractive employee, 178 participants were asked if they would terminate the employee, rated how much they liked the employee, and made a judgment of attribution of her poor performance. Participants were willing to terminate the unattractive woman more frequently than the moderate or extremely attractive women. The participants also liked the unattractive woman less than the others. When asked to rate causes of poor performance, no differences were found based directly on attractiveness, but attributions mediated the relationship between liking ratings and termination decisions.


The Effect of Gender on Awards in Employment Arbitration Cases: The Experience in the Securities Industry

David Lipsky, Ryan Lamare & Abhishek Gupta
Industrial Relations, January 2013, Pages 314-342

In this article we analyze the outcomes of nearly 3200 awards issued in employment disputes settled by arbitration in the securities industry over the period 1986-2008. The large amount of litigation in the securities industry alleging discrimination by securities firms against the women they employ led us to hypothesize that women would do less well than men in these arbitration cases. Regression analysis reveals that the gender of the complainant and the complainant's attorney (but not the gender of the respondent's attorney or the arbitrator) had significant effects on the size of the awards. Regardless of the definition of the dependent variable, female complainants did less well than male complainants in these employment arbitration cases. In most estimates, the gender of the attorney representing the complainant also affected the size of the award: male attorneys obtained larger awards than female attorneys. We conclude that these gender differentials are more likely to be the consequence of employment conditions in the securities industry rather than biases in the arbitration process.


Media Coverage of Minority Congresswomen and Voter Evaluations: Evidence from an Online Experimental Study

Sarah Allen Gershon
Political Research Quarterly, forthcoming

Scholars of gender and race politics have long drawn links between the media's less than favorable treatment of women and minorities, and these candidates' struggles to curry favor with voters. However, few have examined minority women's coverage. This multimethodological study examines the nature and implications of the media's treatment of Anglo, Latina, and African American congresswomen. The results indicate significant differences in the content of these women's media coverage and its influence on voters' attitudes. The implications of these findings for Anglo and minority women campaigning for and holding elective office are discussed.


Sacrificial Lambs, Women Candidates, and District Competitiveness in Canada

Melanee Thomas & Marc André Bodet
Electoral Studies, forthcoming

Women's continued political underrepresentation suggests that women candidates might be more likely than men to be ‘sacrificial lambs' - that is, more likely than men to serve as party standard bearers in districts where their party has little chance to win. Using data from the 2004-2011 Canadian federal elections, we find support for the sacrificial lamb hypothesis when district competitiveness is measured dynamically, rather than statically. Our dynamic measurement of district competitiveness further shows that women incumbents' seats are not as safe as are men's. We conclude these two factors help explain why women remain underrepresented in Canadian federal politics.


Do Electoral Laws Affect Women's Representation?

Andrew Roberts, Jason Seawright & Jennifer Cyr
Comparative Political Studies, forthcoming

Numerous studies have found that proportional electoral rules significantly increase women's representation in national parliaments relative to majoritarian and mixed rules. These studies, however, suffer from serious methodological problems including the endogeneity of electoral laws, poor measures of cultural variables, and neglect of time trends. This article attempts to produce more accurate estimates of the effect of electoral rules on women's representation by using within-country comparisons of electoral rule changes and bicameral systems as well as matching methods. The main finding is that the effect of electoral laws is not as strong as in previous studies and varies across cases. The policy implication is that changes in electoral laws may not provide a quick and consistent fix to the problem of low women's representation.


Race, Gender, and Government Contracting: Different Explanations or New Prospects for Theory?

Sergio Fernandez, Deanna Malatesta & Craig Smith
Public Administration Review, forthcoming

The U.S. Congress created the Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) programs to promote fairness in government contracting. In this article, the authors examine whether increases in racial and gender representation in federal agencies correlate with the proportion of contract dollars awarded to women- and minority-owned firms. Using the theory of representative bureaucracy as a starting point, they find evidence that increases in passive minority representation result in a larger proportion of contract dollars awarded to minority-owned firms, which comports with previous empirical research. There is no evidence, however, that female representation leads directly or indirectly to substantive benefits for women-owned small businesses. Given that the findings for women do not support representative bureaucracy, the authors provide potential alternative explanations. Specifically, they consider gender bias, social identity, and the "queen bee" phenomenon as possible explanations for why women are less inclined to advocate for other women.


Minority Football Coaches' Diminished Careers: Why is the "Pipeline" Clogged?

Barry Bozeman & Daniel Fay
Social Science Quarterly, forthcoming

Objectives: Research on minority representation and career trajectories in higher education represents a substantial body of evidence in the field; however, the empirical evidence fails to address a crucial area: intercollegiate athletics. This study aims to address the gap in the empirical work and study the career trajectories and representation of African-Americans and Latinos in NCAA FBS football coaching positions.

Methods: A pipeline argument is often utilized to explain the underrepresentation of minorities in certain careers and industries. This pipeline argument is erroneous in this instance because of the number of minority players in college football that make up the "future coach career pool." We develop a position hierarchy in which previous assistant coaching positions are seen as stepping stones to an ultimate head coaching position.

Results: We find that white and minorities coaches have different career trajectories and position hierarchies that ultimately lead to the underrepresentation of minorities at the head coaching ranks.

Conclusions: Evidence suggests sharp differences in the likelihood of certain player positions and, in turn (and likely related), certain coaching positions to achieving head coach. The career utility hierarchy developed here seems to have some validity and, most important for present purposes, shows some considerable difference in the career stepping stones of, respectively, whites and minorities.


"If a Woman Came In...She Would Have Been Eaten Up Alive": Analyzing Gendered Political Processes in the Search for an Athletic Director

Vicki Schull, Sally Shaw & Lisa Kihl
Gender & Society, forthcoming

The purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand and critique the gendered political processes in the search for an athletic director following a merger between men's and women's intercollegiate athletic departments in a U.S. university. Semi-structured interviews were used to ask 55 athletic department stakeholders their perceptions of the search process and associated politics. Findings indicated gendered political activities occurred along gender-affiliated departmental lines. Political strategies contributed to gendered processes favoring certain masculinities and male candidates in the search for an athletic director. While gender equity was an important consideration in the search process, because of the controversial nature of the merger and the politics expressed, the belief that hiring a man was essential to the merger's success was widely accepted by many stakeholder groups. The findings are positioned in the critical management and sport literature. This research contributes to our understanding of the complexity of gender relations and provides insight into the gendered political processes that inform leadership searches.


Is Self-Sufficiency for Women's Collegiate Athletics a Hoop Dream? Willingness to Pay for Men's and Women's Basketball Tickets

Francisco Rosas & Peter Orazem
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Universities spend almost $2 billion subsidizing their collegiate sports programs. Even the most popular women's sport, basketball, fails to break even. An application of Becker's theory of customer discrimination is used to calculate the relative preference for men's basketball for both men and women. Median willingness to pay for men's basketball relative to women's basketball is 180% greater for men and 37% greater for women. Pricing each sport at its revenue maximizing price, revenues from women's basketball are only 43% of that for men, even at a school with historically strong demand for women's sports.


Government Respect for Gendered Rights: The Effect of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Women's Rights Outcomes, 1981-2004

Wade Cole
International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming

Using two-stage least-squares regression models, I analyze the effect of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) on rated levels of respect for women's rights. The results show that CEDAW has a strong positive effect on women's political rights, no effect on economic rights, and a partially negative effect on social rights. Detailed analyses of political outcomes reveal that CEDAW membership was associated with an increase in the share of women in national parliaments but had no effect on the likelihood that governments adopted legislative quotas guaranteeing female representation in parliament. CEDAW was also more effective for some kinds of countries than others. Post-ratification improvements were particularly strong in democratic countries and countries with extensive linkages to women-focused international organizations, but CEDAW proved ineffective in Muslim polities and societies. The paper evaluates the implications of these findings and proposes new avenues for research.


We're all in this together...except for you: The effects of workload, performance feedback, and racial distance on helping behavior in teams

María del Carmen Triana et al.
Journal of Organizational Behavior, forthcoming

We draw from social categorization theory and the actor-observer hypothesis to extend previous research regarding receiving high levels of help from team members. Specifically, we explore how a team member's performance feedback on how they handled a disproportionately heavy share of the team's workload and how their racial distance from the rest of their teammates affect the amount of helping that person receives from their teammates. Results from a laboratory study in which 79 teams worked on a computerized, decision-making task demonstrated a three-way interaction between workload, performance feedback, and the racial distance between the feedback recipient and the rest of their teammates. Racially distant negative feedback recipients who had a disproportionately heavy share of their team's workload received less help from teammates than their racially similar counterparts.

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