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Title:Standing out and fitting in: Culture, gender, and socialization in growing organizations
Author(s):Arrow, Holly
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McGrath, Joseph E.
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Psychology, Social
Business Administration, Management
Psychology, Industrial
Abstract:The emergence and transmission of organizational culture in small growing organizations founded by teams was examined using data from a laboratory study of 40 simulated organizations and a field study of 4 actual organizations. The dimension of culture examined was the nature of human relations (Schein, 1992), which was measured using instruments based on Fiske's (1991) theory of elementary relational forms. Results indicate that the sex composition of the founding team affected both preferred and perceived norms for social interaction in the groups. In the laboratory, simulated organizations founded by women emphasized communal sharing and equality matching principles more, and authority ranking principles less, than did organizations founded by men, but the differences were small.
The two naturally occurring organizations founded by all-female teams seemed to develop more consistent, unified cultures than the two organizations founded by mixed-sex teams, and both female-founded organizations strongly resisted attempts to change the culture. Disagreement about relational norms contributed to the break-up of one mixed-sex founding team, and to the firing of an early hire in the other organization founded by a mixed-sex team.
In the laboratory, females in groups founded by women reached consensus about relational norms more quickly than did males in groups founded by men. Female newcomers also perceived the relational culture of their new organizations more accurately than male newcomers did, when accuracy was measured as agreement with established group members. Female newcomers in previously all-male groups judged themselves to be fitting in to their new groups better than male newcomers joining previously all-female groups. When newcomers arrived alone, they initially agreed more closely with the founders about relational culture than did newcomers arriving in a cohort. This tendency was strongest for newcomers who both arrived alone and were the only representative of their gender in the organization. The pattern of results is explained by a multicultural analysis of diversity in groups.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Arrow, Holly
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9712192
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9712192

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