The Effect of Physical Height on Workplace Success and Income: Preliminary Test of a Theoretical Model

Department of Management, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611, USA.
Journal of Applied Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.31). 07/2004; 89(3):428-41. DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.89.3.428
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this article, the authors propose a theoretical model of the relationship between physical height and career success. We then test several linkages in the model based on a meta-analysis of the literature, with results indicating that physical height is significantly related to measures of social esteem (rho =.41), leader emergence (rho =.24), and performance (rho =.18). Height was somewhat more strongly related to success for men (rho =.29) than for women (rho =.21), although this difference was not significant. Finally, given that almost no research has examined the relationship between individuals' physical height and their incomes, we present four large-sample studies (total N = 8,590) showing that height is positively related to income (beta =.26) after controlling for sex, age, and weight. Overall, this article presents the most comprehensive analysis of the relationship of height to workplace success to date, and the results suggest that tall individuals have advantages in several important aspects of their careers and organizational lives.

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Available from: Daniel M. Cable, Jun 05, 2014
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    • "This legitimacy, however, may not always be beneficial in terms of leading performance if leader's demographic features are in question solely. Features such as gender (Eagly et al. 1995; Thompson 2000) and height or age (Judge and Cable 2004; Stogdill 1974) are not always related to leadership effectiveness. An interesting event is that some scholars have tried to step out the legitimacy issue entirely while considering leader emergence. "
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    DESCRIPTION: According to the literature, science of management has started to become a jungle since 1960s. With the addition of many post-modern concepts, this jungle has turned into a much complex structure. A striking point is that a similar complexity is witnessed about a related subject – leadership. A focal point of this current study is leadership within the contingency approach, precisely the issue of preferring leadership in ever-changing situations. There are many different leadership approaches and some emphasize situational changes, and all these may be related with the other focal point of this study: Motivation to lead (MTL) – i.e., the person’s willingness to claim and continue the role of leadership. The current study strives to uncover whether this willingness affects leadership preference in different situations. The results show that MTL can not fully affect leadership preference, albeit there is a partial effect.
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    • "Physically shorter or height dissatisfied individuals report less appearance self-esteem, physical self-worth, and general appearance satisfaction (Chen et al., 2006; Jackson & Chen, 2008a, 2008b; Tiggemann, Martins, & Churchett, 2008), as well as lower levels of general self-esteem (Chen et al., 2006; Judge & Cable, 2004; Swami et al., 2008) and subjective well-being (Carrieri & De Paola, 2012). Because diet and exercise may not affect height to the extent that they can influence body weight and shape, dissatisfaction with stature even drives some to undergo expensive, potentially crippling, leg-lengthening operations to increase height (Campens, Mousny, & Docquier, 2010; Watts, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: This research evaluated information-processing biases related to height dissatisfaction among young Chinese men. In Study 1, 32 highly stature dissatisfied (HSD) men and 36 less stature dissatisfied (LSD) men performed a dot probe task featuring height-related words and neutral words. HSD men were significantly slower than LSD men were in responding to probes that followed short stature words, but the groups did not differ in response speeds to probes that followed tall stature or neutral words. In Study 2, 33 HSD men and 34 LSD men completed an implicit learning task followed by a word recognition task. HSD men recognized significantly more short stature words from the initial task, but recognition accuracy for other word types did not differ between groups. Together, these findings suggest that HSD men are more inclined than LSD men to selectively avoid cues that reflect shortness in stature and to selectively recognize such cues later.
    Body Image 09/2014; 11(4):562-569. DOI:10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.08.011 · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    • "Non-economic attributes, such as beauty and height, are widely rewarded in the labor market (Hamermesh and Biddle, 2004; Berggren et al., 2010; Guéguen, 2012). Several empirical studies document that taller individuals both receive higher wages and have better employment prospects (e.g., Sargent and Blanchflower, 1994; Schultz, 2002; Judge et al., 2004; Persico et al., 2004; Heineck, 2005; Case and Paxson, 2008; Hübler, 2009; Lundborg et al., 2009; Kortt and Leigh, 2010). Because these estimates cover a wide range of different institutional settings, there is a need to understand the underpinnings of the height premium. 1 Previous studies have used cross-sectional information on earnings, and they have not been able to account for unobserved ability effects in the height premium, which we can accomplish in this paper using twin data. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper uses twin data matched to register-based individual information on earnings and employment to examine the effect of height on life-time labor market outcomes. The use of twin data allows us to remove otherwise unobserved ability and other differences. The twin pair difference estimates from instrumental variables estimation for genetically identical twins reveal a significant height-wage premium for women but not for men. This result implies that cognitive ability explains the effect of height on life-time earnings for men. Additional findings using capital income as the outcome variable suggest that discrimination against short persons may play a role for women. JEL classification: I10, J23, J31 Keywords: Height; Weight; BMI; Height premium; Earnings; Employment
    Labour Economics 02/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.labeco.2013.06.003 · 0.92 Impact Factor
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