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Influence and promotability: the importance of female political skill

Brooke A. Shaughnessy (School of Management, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Darren C. Treadway (School of Management, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Jacob A. Breland (College of Business and Economics, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, USA)
Lisa V. Williams (The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Robyn L. Brouer (The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 27 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The current paper seeks to bring the political perspective to gender differences in promotion decisions, a phenomenon with great longevity in research and practice. Specifically, the degree to which gender role‐congruent and counterstereotypical influence behavior is related to liking as moderated by political skill.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of n=136, these hypotheses were tested in retail organizations in the Northeast and Southwest.

Findings

Political skill significantly moderates the relationship between ingratiation and liking, such that use of ingratiation was positively related to liking when women were high in political skill. However, the relationship between assertiveness and liking was unchanged by political skill level and was unrelated to liking. Liking was consistently found to be positively related to promotability ratings.

Research limitations/implications

Questionnaire data collection is used exclusively; however, the subordinate and supervisor data were collected at two different times.

Practical implications

The results are relevant for employees in that they imply a need for them to be cognizant of their behavior as it relates to social role expectations and for supervisors to understand the factors that could contribute to lower ratings.

Social implications

The current results suggest that gender role‐congruent influence behavior is positively related to socially relevant evaluations (i.e. liking); thus, women whose behavior is consistent with social expectations may be more positively evaluated.

Originality/value

This study provides a political explanation for differences in women's promotability and also investigates mechanisms that may be related to reducing promotability disparity.

Keywords

Citation

Shaughnessy, B.A., Treadway, D.C., Breland, J.A., Williams, L.V. and Brouer, R.L. (2011), "Influence and promotability: the importance of female political skill", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 584-603. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683941111164490

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited