In this research case study, the competing hypothesis of socialization, structural and social role theories were derived and used to explore and compare the job attitudes and satisfaction of women and men in a Canadian insurance company subsequent to voluntary implementation of an employment equity programme. Gender comparisons of both managerial and clerical employees on individual facets of satisfaction indicated the most support for social role theory, some support for structural theory and the least support for socialization theory. These findings indicate that managerial women and men tend to derive work satisfaction from similar sources. The variation in facet results cautions against global conclusions about gender and job satisfaction. Unanticipated consequences such as a ‘backlash’ (Faludi, 1991) of managerial men and a ‘glass escalator’ (Williams, 1992) for clerical men were also suggested by the findings in this case. A key implication is the potential benefit to both organizations and managerial women from steps taken to level the structural playing field.
British Journal of Management – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1997
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