Social rules for managing attempted interpersonal domination in the workplace; influence of status and gender
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The present study utilized a social rules approach to investigate the relative influence of gender and status on managers' self-evaluations of their effectiveness in handling a dominating subordinate. In the first study 84 White middle-class participants identified the prescriptive and proscriptive rules for socially appropriate responding to a stimulus situation involving a pushy subordinate. Four rule sets were identified for female and male managers and subordinates, respectively. Rule-sets shared a number of common rules and showed some variation according to gender roles. In the second study, 91 White middle-class participants rated the individual rules for importance and also rated their personal and managerial effectiveness when responding to the stimulus situation using gender- and status-consistent and gender- and status-inconsistent response strategies. Both men and women rated the female gender and status-consistent strategy as most effective, and rated the status-inconsistent strategy as less effective than a gender-inconsistent response. Results were interpreted as providing more support for a situational gender-related theory of workplace behavior, rather than a traditional gender role perspective.