Article

Gender Bias Still Plagues the Workplace: Looking at Derailment Risk and Performance With Self–Other Ratings

Article

Gender Bias Still Plagues the Workplace: Looking at Derailment Risk and Performance With Self–Other Ratings

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Abstract

Whereas overt forms of discrimination against women at work have decreased over time with the passage of formal antidiscrimination laws, implicit biases against women still plague organizations. To understand how implicit biases may appear in the workplace today, we examined how dissimilar outcomes may emerge for men and women leaders when their self-ratings differ from others’ (e.g., subordinates, peers) ratings. Drawing upon role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders and the status incongruity hypothesis, we theorized and found that women who overrated their leadership behaviors received lower performance ratings and higher perceived risk of derailment scores from their supervisors than did women who underrated their leadership behaviors. Men, however, experienced fewer negative consequences (than women) when they overrated. Given these findings, especially in light of discovering that most self–other agreement (SOA) research does not explicitly address gender as a main variable of interest, we question some of the field’s previous findings. We discuss the implications of our results for both practice and research regarding how SOA plays a role in the development of one’s career, highlighting the potential importance of implicit gender biases.

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Thesis
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Because of the overlap between the social roles of women and followers, we predicted that people would show a bias, that is, favor female followers over male followers. To support this hypothesis, we conducted two studies: An explicit test of the bias using a scenario design and an implicit association test (IAT)-based study. Both studies show that the role of an ideal follower is more strongly associated with the female gender role, which seems to be caused partly by a more communal connotation of the follower role. This effect might contribute to the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions as they are perceived to be an ideal fit for followership positions; but it may also push men away from being followers and into leadership positions.
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We attempt to make sense of ongoing gender disparities in the upper ranks of organizations by examining gender bias in leaders’ assessments of managers’ derailment potential. In a large managerial sample (Study 1: N∼12,500), we found that ineffective interpersonal behaviors were slightly less frequent among female managers, but slightly more damaging to women than men when present. Evidence of bias was not found in performance evaluations, but emerged when leaders were asked about derailment potential in the future. We replicated this pattern of effects in a second large managerial sample (Study 2: N∼35,500) and in two experimental studies (Studies 3 and 4) in which gender and interpersonal behaviors were manipulated. In Study 4, we also showed that when supervisors believe that a manager might derail in the future, they tend to withdraw mentoring support and sponsorship, which are especially critical for women's career advancement. Our research highlights the importance of leaders’ perceptions of derailment potential—which differ from evaluations of performance or promotability—both because they appear to be subject to stereotype-based gender bias, and because they have important implications for the mentoring and sponsorship that male and female managers receive. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
Article
Interest in the problem of method biases has a long history in the behavioral sciences. Despite this, a comprehensive summary of the potential sources of method biases and how to control for them does not exist. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which method biases influence behavioral research results, identify potential sources of method biases, discuss the cognitive processes through which method biases influence responses to measures, evaluate the many different procedural and statistical techniques that can be used to control method biases, and provide recommendations for how to select appropriate procedural and statistical remedies for different types of research settings.
Article
The relationships between college student gender, perceived career barriers, and occupational aspirations were examined. Participants were 314 students located in the southeastern United States. Overall, college women reported higher levels of occupational aspirations than college men. While occupational aspirations were not correlated with perceived career barriers for women or men, women reported anticipating more barriers to their career advancement than their male peers. Perceived career barriers and the interaction between gender and perceived career barriers predicted occupational aspirations after controlling for gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and year in school. The relationship between occupational aspirations and the interaction between gender and perceived career barriers in college-age adults enhances our understanding of occupational aspirations.
Article
Recognizing that organizations are inherently political arenas, investigating the relationship between political skill and various individual and organizational outcomes is increasing in the literature because employees need political skill in order to work effectively in such environments. Previous research, however, has not examined whether political skill is an indicator of promotability among different rater sources (i.e., bosses, direct reports, and peers). This study attempted to fill such gaps in previous research by examining whether the magnitude of the relationship between political skill and promotability differed depending upon which rater source was evaluating promotability. Using data from 262 practicing target-managers from around the world, the authors found that target-managers with more political skill had higher promotability ratings from three different coworker perspectives and the magnitude of the relationship was different for bosses and peers vis-à-vis direct reports. Furthermore, peer ratings of task-related leader behavior mediated the relationship between political skill and boss ratings of promotability. Contributions of this study are discussed, as are limitations, future research directions, and practical implications. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Self–other agreement (SOA) discrepancies are commonly interpreted as a lack of self-awareness. The consistent display of such discrepancies could be considered a behavioral manifestation of biased self-perception. In extreme forms, we propose that this bias can be viewed as a form of dark personality. Using archival data from a multisource instrument, we examine the derailment implications of self-enhancement (i.e. overrating) and the opposite tendency, self-diminishment (i.e. underrating), in collectivistic (Taiwan, China, South Korea) and individualistic (United States of America) cultures. In particular, we examine whether individuals whose biased self-perception tendencies violate cultural norms are perceived as more likely to derail. In both culture types, individuals with small SOA discrepancies and high ratings on managerial competence were perceived as less likely to derail. However, the implications of self-enhancement and self-diminishment were culturally contingent. Self-enhancement was not related to derailment in individualistic cultures, but in collectivistic cultures, which endorse the norm of modesty, individuals who overrate (self-enhance) are perceived by their boss as more likely to derail. Substantial underrating (self-diminishment) was also related to higher perceived likelihood of derailment in collectivistic cultures, but in individualistic cultures, some evidence suggests that self-diminishment may be related to decreased perceptions of derailment.
Article
Self-awareness represents an important aspect of leadership. However, past research on leader self-awareness has focused on one component of self-awareness, self versus others' ratings, leaving the second component, the ability to anticipate the views of others, largely neglected. We examined this second component of self-awareness by focusing on women leaders who have been found to under-predict how others rate them. In two studies, we measured how women leaders anticipate the views of their bosses in regard to their leadership. In Study 1, 194 leaders rated their leadership, were rated by their bosses, and then predicted how their bosses rated their leadership. While we found that women under-predict their boss ratings compared with men, we did not find that boss gender or feedback played a role in this under-prediction. In Study 2, 76 female leaders identified (via open-ended questions) possible reasons and consequences of under-prediction for women in organizations. Results from Study 2 reveal the following: (1) the reasons for women's under-prediction include a lack of self-confidence, differences in feedback needs, learned gender roles, and self-sexism; and (2) the perceived consequences of under-prediction are negative for both women and the organization. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
This paper focuses on the workplace consequences of both descriptive gender stereotypes (designating what women and men are like) and prescriptive gender stereotypes (designating what women and men should be like), and their implications for women's career progress. Its central argument is that gender stereotypes give rise to biased judgments and decisions, impeding women's advancement. The paper discusses how descriptive gender stereotypes promote gender bias because of the negative performance expectations that result from the perception that there is a poor fit between what women are like and the attributes believed necessary for successful performance in male gender-typed positions and roles. It also discusses how prescriptive gender stereotypes promote gender bias by creating normative standards for behavior that induce disapproval and social penalties when they are directly violated or when violation is inferred because a woman is successful. Research is presented that tests these ideas, considers specific career consequences likely to result from stereotype-based bias, and identifies conditions that exaggerate or minimize the likelihood of their occurrence.
Article
Based on extensive research that views leadership as a multi-faceted phenomenon, we examined how the relationships between task-oriented and relationship-oriented leader behaviors and career derailment potential vary by observer perspective. We present findings using three different analytical techniques: random coefficient modeling (RCM), relative weight analysis (RWA), and polynomial regression (PR). RCM findings suggest that self-, direct report, peer, and supervisor ratings of leader behaviors differ and are associated with career derailment potential. RWA results indicate that self-ratings matter the least, whereas peer ratings of leader behaviors typically matter the most in predicting career derailment potential. PR analyses indicate that career derailment potential is lowest when self-ratings are lower than other ratings of leader behaviors and/or when self–other ratings converge on higher,rather than lower, ratings of leader behaviors. Implications for leadership and self–other agreement research and professional practice are discussed.
Article
Backlash effects are defined as social and economic reprisals for behaving counterstereotypically (Rudman, L. A. (1998). Self-promotion as a risk factor for women: The costs and benefits of counterstereotypical impression management. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 629–645). The present chapter outlines an impression-management dilemma that women face and describes the literature on backlash effects in organizations. Because women are perceived to be less competent, ambitious, and competitive (i.e., less agentic) than men, they may be overlooked for leadership positions unless they present themselves as atypical women. However, the prescriptive nature of gender stereotypes can result in negative reactions to female agency and authority (i.e., backlash). This dilemma has serious consequences for gender parity, as it undermines women at every stage of their careers. It also has consequences for organizations, as it likely contributes to female managers’ higher rates of job disaffection and turnover, relative to male counterparts. In addition to specifying the consequences of backlash for women and organizations, we consider potential moderators of backlash effects and the role that backlash plays in maintaining cultural stereotypes. Finally, we outline potential avenues for future research.
Article
Acriticalexaminationofresearchontherelationshipbetweenstereotypingandworkplace discrimination must meet three requirements.Thefirstrequirementisanunderstanding of the theory that guides this research. The second requirement is anunbiased review of relevant research. The third requirement is comprehension of the ways thatdifferenttypesofresearchareinformative about behavior in organizations. Landy (2008) meets none of these requirements. He misstates the consensual social scientific theory about the relation between stereotyping and discrimination, presents onlya selective portion of the relevant research, and misconstrues the basis for generalizing researchfindingstoorganizations.Asaresult, Landy misrepresents the evidence for stereotype-based workplace discrimination. For brevity, we consider only sex discrimination. Also, consistent with Landy’s emphasis, we address the consequences of stereotypes that describe women and men as opposed to stereotypes that prescribe normatively acceptable behavior for them and thus sanction behavior deviating from gender norms (see Eagly & Karau, 2002; Heilman, 2001).
Article
Agentic female leaders risk social and economic penalties for behaving counter-stereotypically (i.e., backlash; Rudman, 1998), but what motivates prejudice against female leaders? The status incongruity hypothesis (SIH) proposes that agentic women are penalized for status violations because doing so defends the gender hierarchy. Consistent with this view, Study 1 found that women are proscribed from dominant, high status displays (which are reserved for leaders and men); Studies 2–3 revealed that prejudice against agentic fe-male leaders was mediated by a dominance penalty; and in Study 3, participants' gender system-justifying beliefs moderated backlash effects. Study 4 found that backlash was exacerbated when perceivers were primed with a system threat. Study 5 showed that only female leaders who threatened the status quo suf-fered sabotage. In concert, support for the SIH suggests that backlash functions to preserve male dominance by reinforcing a double standard for power and control.
Article
This chapter reviews current models of how young adults make academic choices, and corresponding models of academic performance, with a particular concern for explaining differences across social groups. The review will show that in large part these models propose, and empirical data confirm, that such outcomes are determined by social expectations—and particularly by stereotypes held by one group about another group or by the internalization of culturally defined stereotypical beliefs. We focus particularly on literature showing that individuals make career choices—and particularly those involving college admission and college major—on the basis of their perceptions about their likely success in the domain, the extent to which the domain seems appropriate and interesting to them, as well as the perceived likelihood of being stereotyped by others in the domain. We focus in this review on the factors that may lead women to avoid majors and careers in math and the physical sciences and lead African Americans to avoid (and to be more likely than European Americans to fail at) academic pursuits more generally. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Based on a critical review and integration of the extant literature, a model of self-other rating agreement and its antecedents and consequences is developed. Forty propositions are asserted that link biographical and personality characteristics, cognitive processes, job-relevant experiences, and contextual factors to self-perceptions and the self-rating and other rating processes. Approaches in which self-ratings are assessed relative to other ratings are reviewed, and four categories of self-raters are specified: over-estimators (who rate themselves higher than others do); under-estimators (who rate themselves lower than others do); in-agreement/good raters (who rate themselves favorably and similar to others' ratings); and in-agreement/poor raters (who rate themselves unfavorably and similar to others' ratings). Twenty-four propositions concerning relationships between different categories of self-raters and individual and organizational outcomes are then presented. The propositions and model developed here can be clarified to enhance understanding of self-other rating agreement and its implications for human resource management research and practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Comments on an article by M. D. McHugh et al (see record 1987-00069-001) advocating rules to limit the reporting of sex differences in psychological research. The present author takes issue with the views expressed and concludes that the complete and precise reporting of all sex comparisons should foster accurate scientific understanding of the importance—or unimportance—of sex and gender. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Self-rated leadership behaviour (transformational, transactional, laissez-faire), was obtained for a representative, random sample of 155 U.S. Navy surface fleet officers in parallel to the leadership descriptions for the same dimensions provided by the officers' senior subordinates. In addition, Navy records completed by the officers' superiors provided performance and promotion data that were indexed as appraisals of the officers' success. The self-ratings of leadership behaviour tended to be inflated in comparison to subordinates' ratings, but the more successful officers were less likely to inflate their self-described leadership behaviour. A possible explanation for this effect is that subordinates' descriptions of leadership were significantly related to superiors' ratings of performance and promotion, but self-ratings of leadership were not associated with these measures. Thus, congruence of self and others' ratings was related to successful performance.
Article
This paper provides a comparative analysis of behavioral observations made on 152 service providers in a business advisory and professional services firm from 5 distinctly different ratings sources (self, direct reports, peers, supervisor, and clients). Results focused on differences in ratings level and degree of congruence with self-assessments by observer type. The data suggested that service providers and their clients may have a different perceptual frame of reference than do internal observers (e.g., direct reports, peers, and supervisors). Moreover, congruence in self-others' ratings was found to be a significant predictor of performance assessments from the same observer source. Implications of these results for the use of multirater appraisal systems are discussed.
Article
This article focuses on how membership in a self/rater agreement group (underraters, accurate raters, overraters) is related to self-ratings and others' ratings of self-awareness and leadership effectiveness. It also examines gender differences in the likelihood of self/rater agreement and in perceived self-awareness. Finally, the article examines agreement group and gender differences in terms of two components of self-awareness: knowledge of self and willingness to improve. Contrary to common belief, our research shows that women are not more likely to underrate their own skills on measures of leadership competency, and that gender differences do exist, both in rated self-awareness and in one of its subcomponents, knowledge of self. In addition, this research found underraters were rated highest in self-awareness by direct reports and highest in terms of overall leadership effectiveness. Managers who tend to overrate themselves compared to others' ratings were perceived as lowest of the three groups in both self-awareness and effectiveness. © 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Article
This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on self–other rating agreement (SOA) related to leadership in the workplace, focusing primarily on research published between 1997 (the year of Atwater & Yammarino's seminal paper on SOA) and the present. Much of the current interest in SOA derives from its purported relationships with self-awareness and leader effectiveness. The literature, however, has used a variety of metrics to assess SOA, resulting in discrepancies between findings across studies. As multi-rater (360-degree; multisource) feedback instruments continue to be widely used as a measure of leadership in organizations, it is important that we more clearly understand the relationships between SOA and its predictors and outcomes. To this end, in this article, we review (a) models of agreement, (b) factors affecting self-ratings and the congruence between self–others' ratings, (c) factors affecting others' ratings, (d) correlates of agreement, and (e) measurement issues and data analytic techniques. We conclude with discussions of practitioner issues and directions for future research.
Article
This article examines the adequacy of the “rules of thumb” conventional cutoff criteria and several new alternatives for various fit indexes used to evaluate model fit in practice. Using a 2‐index presentation strategy, which includes using the maximum likelihood (ML)‐based standardized root mean squared residual (SRMR) and supplementing it with either Tucker‐Lewis Index (TLI), Bollen's (1989) Fit Index (BL89), Relative Noncentrality Index (RNI), Comparative Fit Index (CFI), Gamma Hat, McDonald's Centrality Index (Mc), or root mean squared error of approximation (RMSEA), various combinations of cutoff values from selected ranges of cutoff criteria for the ML‐based SRMR and a given supplemental fit index were used to calculate rejection rates for various types of true‐population and misspecified models; that is, models with misspecified factor covariance(s) and models with misspecified factor loading(s). The results suggest that, for the ML method, a cutoff value close to .95 for TLI, BL89, CFI, RNI, and Gamma Hat; a cutoff value close to .90 for Mc; a cutoff value close to .08 for SRMR; and a cutoff value close to .06 for RMSEA are needed before we can conclude that there is a relatively good fit between the hypothesized model and the observed data. Furthermore, the 2‐index presentation strategy is required to reject reasonable proportions of various types of true‐population and misspecified models. Finally, using the proposed cutoff criteria, the ML‐based TLI, Mc, and RMSEA tend to overreject true‐population models at small sample size and thus are less preferable when sample size is small.
Article
This study investigates some relationships between the leader behavior of industrial supervisors and the behavior of their group members. It represents an extension of earlier studies carried out at the International Harvester Company, while the authors were with the Ohio State University Leadership Studies.
Article
A current controversy in the self-other rating and 360-degree feedback literature is the extent to which self-other agreement (and lack of agreement) has an impact on individual and organizational outcomes. Using a large sample and a multi-source data set, the current study addressed some methodological limitations of prior research. Results from polynomial regression analyses demonstrated that both self- and other ratings are related to performance outcomes. This procedure revealed the underlying three-dimensional relationship between self-ratings, other ratings, and effectiveness. Findings indicate that the relationship between self-ratings, other ratings and outcomes are somewhat more complex than previous conceptualizations in this area. Simultaneous consideration of both self- and other ratings in terms of the direction and magnitude of self- and other ratings is important for explaining effectiveness outcomes.
Article
The use of multi-source feedback has proliferated in the United States in recent years; however, its usefulness in other countries is unknown. Using a large sample of American managers (n=3793), this study first replicated earlier studies demonstrating that simultaneous consideration of self and other ratings of leadership skills is important for managerial performance ratings. In addition, the impact of self–other agreement on performance was investigated among 2732 managers in five European countries (U.K., Germany, France, Denmark, Italy). Results indicated that the effect of self and other ratings in the prediction of performance differs between the U.S. and the European countries in that the simultaneous inclusion of both self and other ratings is generally less useful in those countries than in the U.S. Further, the effect of self–other agreement varies among the European countries. Implications for multi-source feedback interventions as well as multi-national personnel management are discussed.
Article
Antecedents to self–observer rating discrepancies in multisource instruments have been established at the individual and organizational level. However, research examining cultural antecedents is limited, which is particularly relevant as multisource instruments gain popularity around the world. We investigated multisource ratings of 860 Asian managers from the regions of Southern Asia (n=261) and Confucian Asia (n=599) and analyzed cultural differences in self–observer rating discrepancies. Multivariate regression procedures revealed that the self–observer rating discrepancy was wider for managers from Southern Asia as compared with Confucian Asia. The reason for the discrepancy was driven by managers' self-ratings being different across cultures than by observer ratings from managers' bosses, direct reports, or peers; the predictor is related to self-ratings not observer ratings, producing differential self–observer ratings due to self-ratings. We discuss cultural differences in self- and observer ratings within Asia and provide implications for the practice of multisource assessments.
Article
Personality and demographic attributes for a set of 1221 focal managers were examined as correlates of leadership effectiveness evaluations that were obtained via a 360° feedback program. Polynomial regression was used to study the congruence of self-ratings provided by focal managers relative to the different evaluative perspectives (i.e., immediate superior, peer, and subordinate). Analyses supported the prediction that focal manager's sex and age would be associated with the ratings provided by themselves and others. Plus, the tendency to overestimate one's own leader effectiveness relative to evaluations provided by others was found to be greater for males and older managers. Focal managers who expressed greater social sensitivity were evaluated more favorably by subordinates and peers, although not by superiors. Ratings of leader effectiveness from immediate superiors were, instead, more readily predicted by judgments of the performance of the focal manager's organizational unit relative to comparable units. Results of polynomial regression analysis, however, indicated that self–other agreement was related to the focal's sex, social sensitivity, and social dominance. Implications for understanding obstacles to openness to change are discussed.
Article
Summary This paper investigates the human capital profile of new appointees to corporate boards, exploring gender differences in education, profile and career experiences. Findings from a study of UK boards reveal that women are significantly more likely to bring international diversity to their boards and to possess an MBA degree. New male directors are significantly more likely to have corporate board experience, including CEO/COO roles, while new female appointees are significantly more likely to have experience as directors on boards of smaller firms. Our evidence contradicts the view reported by some chairmen that women lack adequate human capital for boardroom positions.
Article
An appropriate means of subordinate managers’ performance evaluation in an organisation is crucial for identifying their strength and weaknesses for maintaining job commitment, and improving performance on on-going basis [Church, A., 1995. First-rate multirater feedback. Training and Development 49, 42–43; Church, A., Bracken, D., 1997. Advancing the state of the art of 360-degree feedback. Group and Organisation Management 22, 149–161; Atwater, L., Yammarino, F., 1997. Self-other rating agreement: a review and model. Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management. 15, 121–174]. The debate, on whether there is difference between subordinates’ self-ratings of their performance, and superiors’ ratings of it is better, continues. This is because the extant literature is inconclusive. This study contributes towards resolution of the debate at least for the hotel industry in Australia.The study examined (a) if there is a difference between the superiors’ ratings, and subordinates’ self-ratings, of subordinates’ performance, and (b) if subordinates’ gender would explain the difference (if any) found under (a) in the hotel industry. In total, a usable response of 66 general managers (the superiors) and 66 rooms and 66 food and beverage managers (the subordinates) from 66 hotels and resorts were received. The results of the study revealed significant differences between (i) the general managers’ (GMs’) ratings of their department managers’ (DMs’) performance and (ii) the DMs’ self-ratings of their performance. Most interestingly, the results revealed that the DMs’ (subordinates’) gender explains the difference between (i) and (ii) above, therefore makes a contribution in resolving the debate within the hotel industry.