A simulation of workplace conflict examined the effects of a manager′s pregnancy on male and female subordinates. Study participants ‐ 40 women and 41 men from an MBA programme – each took part in two ten‐minute long, interactive role plays with two women managers (research confederates), one apparently pregnant and the other not. The participants′ impressions of the manager were tapped using an author‐developed questionnaire and brief interviews. Interactive data were analysed to determine the nature of the expression of emotion and ideas. The results show that participants had more negative impressions of and lower satisfaction with the pregnant manager than with the manager who was not pregnant, and initiated more social conversation with the former than with the latter. Interview data suggest that participants had expected the pregnant manager to be passive, nice and giving, and were surprised by her authoritative behaviour. Implications for pregnant managers are discussed.
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