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MIXED SIGNALS AT THE INTERSECTION: THE EFFECT OF ORGANIZATIONAL COMPOSITION ON RATINGS OF BLACK WOMEN'S MANAGEMENT SUITABILITY

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
Historically, Black women's workplace experiences have been understudied, partially due to an implicit assumption that their experiences are subsumed by research on Black men and/or White women. This oversight is even more evident in the field of management. However, considerable attention has been given to the debate about whether Black women are at a double advantage (i.e., as supposed affirmative action "two-for-one bargains") or at a double disadvantage due to their double marginalizing characteristics. Empirical research in the area has found support for each side, furthering the debate, but also advancing an overly simplistic explanation for a set of experiences that is certainly much more complicated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the conditions under which Black women, when seeking managerial employment, are at a double advantage or disadvantage, using Critical Race Feminism, Cox's Interactional Model of Cultural Diversity (IMCD; 1994), and theories of social categorization as the theoretical foundation. A 2 (sex) x 2 (race) x 2 (demographic composition of the workplace) between-subjects design was used to test the hypotheses that the Black female applicant would have a double disadvantage in a more demographically balanced organization and double advantage in an organization that is more White and male. Participants (N = 361) reviewed information about an organization (where demographic composition was manipulated) and three available management positions. They also reviewed a fictional professional networking profile of a job applicant where race and sex were manipulated through photos, and job qualifications and experience were held constant. Based on all of the information, they rated the applicant on his/her suitability for the jobs. Results of planned contrasts and ANOVAs showed partial support for the hypotheses. In the balanced organization, the Black female applicant was rated lower in suitability for entry-level management than the Black male and White female applicants. Likewise, she was rated higher than the Black male and White female applicants in the less diverse organization, when evaluated for upper-level management. Thus, the study clarifies the theories of double advantage and double disadvantage by identifying organizational composition as a moderator of the relationship between applicant race/sex and employment outcomes (i.e., management suitability ratings). The implications of these findings are discussed.
Title: MIXED SIGNALS AT THE INTERSECTION: THE EFFECT OF ORGANIZATIONAL COMPOSITION ON RATINGS OF BLACK WOMEN'S MANAGEMENT SUITABILITY.
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Name(s): Bowens, Laticia, Author
Fritzsche, Ph.D., Barbara, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Historically, Black women's workplace experiences have been understudied, partially due to an implicit assumption that their experiences are subsumed by research on Black men and/or White women. This oversight is even more evident in the field of management. However, considerable attention has been given to the debate about whether Black women are at a double advantage (i.e., as supposed affirmative action "two-for-one bargains") or at a double disadvantage due to their double marginalizing characteristics. Empirical research in the area has found support for each side, furthering the debate, but also advancing an overly simplistic explanation for a set of experiences that is certainly much more complicated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the conditions under which Black women, when seeking managerial employment, are at a double advantage or disadvantage, using Critical Race Feminism, Cox's Interactional Model of Cultural Diversity (IMCD; 1994), and theories of social categorization as the theoretical foundation. A 2 (sex) x 2 (race) x 2 (demographic composition of the workplace) between-subjects design was used to test the hypotheses that the Black female applicant would have a double disadvantage in a more demographically balanced organization and double advantage in an organization that is more White and male. Participants (N = 361) reviewed information about an organization (where demographic composition was manipulated) and three available management positions. They also reviewed a fictional professional networking profile of a job applicant where race and sex were manipulated through photos, and job qualifications and experience were held constant. Based on all of the information, they rated the applicant on his/her suitability for the jobs. Results of planned contrasts and ANOVAs showed partial support for the hypotheses. In the balanced organization, the Black female applicant was rated lower in suitability for entry-level management than the Black male and White female applicants. Likewise, she was rated higher than the Black male and White female applicants in the less diverse organization, when evaluated for upper-level management. Thus, the study clarifies the theories of double advantage and double disadvantage by identifying organizational composition as a moderator of the relationship between applicant race/sex and employment outcomes (i.e., management suitability ratings). The implications of these findings are discussed.
Identifier: CFE0003761 (IID), ucf:48761 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-05-01
Ph.D.
Sciences, Department of Psychology
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Double advantage
double disadvantage
Black women
African American women
Critical Race Feminism
intersectionality
Interactional Model of Cultural Diversity
categorization
stereotypes
diversity
workplace
management
hiring
employment
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0003761
Restrictions on Access: campus 2016-04-01
Host Institution: UCF

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