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.
Using a sample of n=136, these hypotheses were tested in retail organizations in the Northeast and Southwest.
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.
Questionnaire data collection is used exclusively; however, the subordinate and supervisor data were collected at two different times.
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.
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.
This study provides a political explanation for differences in women's promotability and also investigates mechanisms that may be related to reducing promotability disparity.
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
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