Katherine Williams Phillips

Katherine Williams Phillips
Columbia University | CU · Division of Management

PhD in Organizational Behavior

About

77
Publications
134,270
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7,645
Citations
Citations since 2017
15 Research Items
3183 Citations
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (77)
Chapter
In this chapter, we bring together the literature on gender and leadership with the literature on the effects of racial/ethnic diversity in countries, organizations, and teams to identify overlapping themes that suggest a mutually reinforcing relationship between the two. First, we investigate how the effects of racial/ethnic diversity— that is, in...
Chapter
In this chapter, we bring together the literature on the effects of racial/ethnic diversity in countries, organizations, and teams with the literature on gender and leadership. First, we investigate how the effects of racial/ethnic diversity — that is, increases in perceived complexity, sense of threat and perceived need for change, desire for coop...
Article
Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. As such, there has been an increased interest in interventions to reduce bias against, and increase inclusion of, women in STEM. In this paper, we compare and contrast two commonly used strategies: awareness and blindness. We demonstrate that gender-blind...
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We know what a world dominated by men-by male CEOs, management teams, and heads of state-looks like. Consider for a moment what the world might look like if female leaders were the norm.
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Research on gender disparities in negotiation often does not address the intersectional influence of other demographic categories. We tested the hypothesis that race intersects with gender to play a role in constraining assertive behavior in negotiations. In two studies, we examined White non-Latinx and Asian/Asian American women and men’s phrasing...
Article
Both older individuals and women are proscribed from engaging in power-related behaviors, with women proscribed from behaving agentically and older individuals expected to cede desirable resources through “Succession.” However, little is known about whether these overlapping agency prescriptions equally target men and women across the lifespan. In...
Article
The ways in which we discuss gender (embracing vs. downplaying difference) has implications for women’s workplace confidence and behavior, especially in male-dominated environments and positions of power. In five total studies (N = 1453), across a variety of samples, we found that gender-blindness—the belief that gender differences should be downpl...
Article
Williams and O'Reilly (1998) published a seminal review of diversity research that has become a classic resource for researchers and practitioners alike. In the current review, we update the theoretical record by discussing traditional views of, as well as recent developments to, the 3 prominent frameworks used to understand diversity: social categ...
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This study details how gender bias plays out in everyday workplace interactions in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It is based on in-depth interviews with 60 women scientists of color (chiefly professors), and a survey of 557 women scientists (of all races). Different types of gender bias were reported at different rates. Prescri...
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Empirical evidence reveals that diversity-heterogeneity in race, culture, gender, etc.-has material benefits for organizations, communities, and nations. However, because diversity can also incite detrimental forms of conflict and resentment, its benefits are not always realized. Drawing on research from multiple disciplines, this article offers re...
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We examine whether observers hold biases that can negatively affect how racially diverse teams are evaluated, and ultimately treated, relative to racially homogeneous groups. In three experiments, which held the actual content of observed behavior constant across diverse and homogeneous teams, observers were less willing to allocate additional reso...
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The current research integrates perspectives on gendered race and person-position fit to introduce the concept of a gender profile. We propose that both the "gender" of a person's biological sex and the "gender" of a person's race (Asians are perceived as feminine and Blacks as masculine) help comprise an individual's gender profile-the overall fem...
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Racial labels often define how social groups are perceived. The current research utilized both archival and experimental methods to explore the consequences of the “Black” vs. “African-American” racial labels on Whites' evaluations of racial minorities. We argue that the racial label Black evokes a mental representation of a person with lower socio...
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Racial/ethnic diversity within groups, organizations, and countries can have negative externalities if left unmitigated. Inequality and exclusion, downsides of the diversity within societies, have been shown to hinder overall productivity. This study posits and finds that the presence of a female national leader mitigates such effects. Using a mixe...
Article
Mass media, policy dialogue, and scholarly research send mixed messages about the importance of emphasizing gender differences. In three studies we examine the extent to which downplaying vs. emphasizing gender differences affect stereotypes about men and women. Specifically we examine the implications of gender-blind ideologies on competence and l...
Article
While gender and organizational scholars have a robust understanding of the roles women in organizations often hold (e.g. Kanter, 1977), what women do to get ahead, though at a cost (e.g. Rudman & Glick, 1999; 2001), and what women could do (e.g. Bowles & Babcock, 2013), there is also a growing realization among scholars and practitioners that prog...
Article
Being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and harder-working
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It is often surprisingly difficult to make definitive scientific statements about the functional value of group diversity. We suggest that one clear pattern in the group diversity literature is the prevailing convention of interpreting outcomes as the effect of diversity alone. Although work in this arena typically compares diverse groups with homo...
Article
It is often surprisingly difficult to make definitive scientific statements about the functional value of group diversity. We suggest that one clear pattern in the group diversity literature is the prevailing convention of interpreting outcomes as the effect of diversity alone. Although work in this arena typically compares diverse groups with homo...
Article
Using survey data from two distinct samples, we found that reported integration behaviors (e.g., attending company parties, discussing nonwork matters with colleagues) were associated with closer relationships among coworkers but that this effect was qualified by an interaction effect. Racial dissimilarity moderated the relationship between integra...
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National leaders have the ultimate responsibility to balance the needs of a diverse set of constituents in society while using their country’s unique set of resources to grow the economy and gain comparative advantages. Ethnic diversity is known to be an extremely challenging factor to reconcile nationally and is negatively associated with GDP grow...
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A purported downside of social category diversity is decreased relationship focus (i.e., one’s focus on establishing a positive social bond with a coworker). However, we argue that this lack of relationship focus serves as a central mechanism that improves information processing even prior to interaction and ultimately decision-making performance i...
Chapter
Purpose – To motivate diversity researchers to reconsider prior findings that use homogeneity as the standard to which diverse teams are compared. To recognize that homogeneity may be just as (if not more) influential than diversity in shaping group processes. Design/approach – We selectively review the diversity literature and develop a conceptual...
Article
The current paper presents three studies examining whether racial diversity can bias observers’ evaluations of relationship conflict in work teams. Study 1 found that observers perceived more relationship conflict when teams were described as racially diverse rather than racially homogeneous, even though the objective content of the team discussion...
Article
We propose that even-sized small groups often experience lower cohesion than odd-sized small groups. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate this effect within three- to six-person groups of freshman roommates and sibling groups, respectively. Study 3 replicates the basic even/odd effect among three- to five-person groups in a laboratory experiment that examin...
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In two experimental studies of two-party information sharing, we demonstrate that affective state plays a role in the knowledge-transfer process. Study 1 (. N = 108 MBA students) found that affective state has a larger impact on those in need of knowledge ("receivers") than on those in possession of knowledge ("senders"), with elated/happy receiver...
Article
Researchers have often focused on how to ensure that individuals within diverse settings share deep-level perspectives across their various surface-level divides. In this paper we focus on understanding how members of the same social group (i.e., in-group members) manage their differences in opinion (i.e. task conflict). In particular we examine ho...
Article
We examine how the status and speech style of experts impacts how they are perceived and their level of influence. In our experiment we manipulate whether high-status and low-status experts share their expert knowledge using a more or less powerful style of speech, and find that experts are more liked, more influential, and engender more confidence...
Article
People go to extraordinary lengths to gain and defend their status. Those with higher status are listened to more, receive more deference from others, and are perceived as having more power. People with higher status also tend to have better health and longevity. In short, status matters. Despite the importance of status, particularly in the workpl...
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People who are demographically different from one another face a fundamental challenge in developing high-quality relationships in organizations. We build theory about how the status differences that often accompany demographic characteristics can hinder this development through their influence on disclosure of personal information. We theorize abo...
Article
While putting people into groups amplifies their cognitive capacity, it can either intensify or impair people’s motivational level. Resting on the premise of groups as motivated-information-processors, the current paper proposes that factors that vary a group’s motivation level might hold the key to understanding when and why groups would make bett...
Article
Are groups more rational than individuals? This paper investigates group rationality by examining whether group formations facilitate rational decision making. Study 1 found that, within the context of a 2-person beauty contest game, groups behave more rationally and are more likely to attain full rationality than individuals. Study 2 examines whet...
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The impact of diversity on group functioning is multifaceted. Exploring the impact of having a newcomer join a group, the authors conducted a 2 (social similarity of newcomer to oldtimers; in-group or out-group) x 3 (opinion agreement: newcomer has no opinion ally, one opinion ally, or two opinion allies) interacting group experiment with four-pers...
Article
Contrary to people's intuitive theories about even and odd numbers and groups, this paper argues that odd-sized groups are often more harmonious than even-sized groups. Study 1 found that people view even numbers more favorably than odd numbers and predict that even-sized groups are more peaceful than odd-sized groups. However, Study 2 found that t...
Article
Many organizational efforts to improve co-worker relationships entail inducing employees to bring their “whole selves” into the workplace, which for employees often means disclosing personal experiences at work. Several psychological theories suggest that increased self-disclosure will lead to better relationships in organizational work groups. How...
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In 4 experiments, the authors investigated whether race is perceived to be part of the business leader prototype and, if so, whether it could explain differences in evaluations of White and non-White leaders. The first 2 studies revealed that "being White" is perceived to be an attribute of the business leader prototype, where participants assumed...
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Individuals define themselves, at times, as who they are (e.g., a psychologist) and, at other times, as who they are not (e.g., not an economist). Drawing on social identity, optimal distinctiveness, and balance theories, four studies examined the nature of negational identity relative to affirmational identity. One study explored the conditions th...
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This research explores the impact of dyadic side conversations on group norms within three- and four-person groups. The authors propose a link between dyadic communication and group norms such that the absence of dyadic communication enhances a norm of group unity, whereas its presence enhances a norm of faction-forming. In two studies, we demonstr...
Article
Understanding the impact of diversity on group process and performance has been the focus of much research, yet there are still unanswered questions about how diversity impacts group process and performance. One factor that is clearly a consequence of group composition is affective tone. In this chapter, we discuss the impact of diversity and homog...
Article
This paper examines the influence that social category diversity (i.e., working with an in-group or out-group member) has on individual levels of motivation. The results of two experiments provide evidence that individuals increase their effort more when being outperformed by an out-group instead of an in-group member (Experiment 1), but only when...
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We examined how surface-level diversity (based on race) and deep-level similarities influenced three-person decision-making groups on a hidden-profile task. Surface-level homogeneous groups perceived their information to be less unique and spent less time on the task than surface-level diverse groups. When the groups were given the opportunity to l...
Article
The authors contribute to the ongoing debate about the existence of a female leadership advantage by specifying contextual factors that moderate the likelihood of the emergence of such an advantage. The investigation considered whether the perceived role incongruence between the female gender role and the leader role led to a female leader disadvan...
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Relative to White corporate leaders, African-Americans have typically been under-represented in upperlevel management and this study investigated whether psychological biases contribute to this under representation. In all, 479 participants from different racial backgrounds (African-American, White, Asian, and Hispanic) evaluated a White or African...
Article
We examine the impact of social categorization and disagreement on individuals' affective and cognitive reactions in decision-making settings. A 2 (social similarity: in-group vs. out-group) x 2 (task opinion similarity: agree vs. disagree) between-subjects experiment showed that participants were least relationship focused (e.g., concerned with ge...
Article
Evaluations play an important role in an organization's efforts to increase diversity. In this chapter we discuss two common evaluation biases – out-group discrimination and in-group favoritism – that are particularly relevant for concerns of increasing diversity. We examine the ethical implications of these biases, as well as the reasons individua...
Article
Diversity researchers have distinguished between surface-level (e.g., social categories) and deep-level (e.g., attitudes, opinions, information, and values) diversity, but have not fully explored the complexities of their simultaneous existence in groups. We examined how the relationship between surface-level and deep-level diversity impacts the em...
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As workers strive to manage multiple roles such as work and family, research has begun to focus on how people manage the boundary between work and nonwork roles. This paper contributes to emerging work on boundary theory by examining the extent to which individuals desire to integrate or segment their work and nonwork lives. This desire is conceptu...
Article
This study investigates how the contribution, identification, and consideration of expertise within groups are affected by gender differences. The authors examined the effects of member expertise and gender on others' perceptions of expertise, actual and own perceptions of influence, and group performance on a decision-making task. The authors' fin...
Article
The article discusses a study that looks at negational social identities--group memberships defined by what they do not represent rather than by what they do represent. The article states that balance theory, put forth by F. Heider, provides a theoretical ground for explaining negational identification, and that optimal distinctiveness theory (ODT)...
Article
The impact of congruence between social and knowledge ties on performance in diverse groups was examined. Congruence occurs when group members who are socially tied share the same information and a stranger has any unique information. Incongruence occurs when group members who are socially tied possess different information, and one of them shares...
Article
The social identity literature has traditionally examined affirmational identities, that is, groups defined by what they are (e.g., "we are management scholars"), but has largely overlooked negational identities, that is, groups defined by what they are not (e.g., "we are not Republicans") as a source of social identification. There are two notable...
Article
The role of congruence and incongruence in diverse decision-making groups is examined by manipulating opinion agreement within and between members of different social categories. Congruence occurs when ingroup members agree with one another and outgroup members disagree, whereas incongruence occurs when an ingroup member disagrees with a majority c...
Article
In this chapter we discuss the role of teams in dynamic organizations and the particular challenges that they face in a dynamic environment. We focus on the constant membership and task changes that teams must accommodate in dynamic organizations. We further discuss how these changes might obscure information about who has expertise in the group. W...
Article
Organizations often reach beyond the boundary of the firm into the non-work lives of their employees in efforts to integrate them into the organization and increase their satisfaction and commitment. Our study challenges the assumption that integrating employees into the organization necessarily increases their job satisfaction and commitment to th...
Article
Diversity and teamwork are two themes that characterize the writing about the future of organizations. We explore the effects of age, tenure, sex, and race/ethnicity on teamwork. Results show that the more different an individual is from the group, the less teamwork. Further, there are important differences in sex and race/ethnicity in this pattern...
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A problem in joint ventures between U.S. and Asian firms is that cultural differences impede the smooth resolution of conflicts between managers. In a survey of young managers in the U.S., China, Philippines, and India we find support for two hypotheses about cultural differences in conflict style and the cultural values that account for these diff...
Chapter
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It is now accepted wisdom that a major challenge facing managers in the next century will be an increasingly diverse workforce. But what conclusions can be drawn from the research on demography and diversity about meeting this challenge? Is there, as some researchers suggest, a "value in diversity", or, as suggested by others, does diversity make g...
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Reviews the demographic diversity on group conflict and innovation and points out some of the complexities involved in unpacking the effects of diversity in tenure, age, sex, and race–ethnicity on the work force. A study is presented that tested the relations between work group diversity, group conflict and both creativity and implementation. 189 m...
Article
This study examines the role of group composition and information distribution on group process and decision making. Three-person groups performed a decision task that involved solving a murder mystery (Stasser & Stewart, 1992). Groups were composed of (a) three individuals familiar to each other, (b) two familiar individuals and a stranger, or (c)...

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Project
Manuscript currently under review at Organization Science (with Negin Toosi, Zhaleh Semnani-Azad, Katherine Phillips and Emily Amanatullah)