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Review Of Article "Asymmetric Reactions To Work Group Sex Diversity Among Men And Women" Written By Jennifer A. Chatman And Charles A. O'reilly

1476 words - 6 pages

Introduction:The article explores how work group sex composition influences men and women and how this affects firm - performance. Past researches indicated that demographic similarities yielded improved financial performance (Byrne, 1971) yet the recent findings estimate that women expressed a greater likelihood of gender diversity than men. This paper is the first to explain why variations in work group sex composition might affect men and women differently while previous research findings may only seem to fit similarity-attraction predictions based on limited samples.Theory/Hypotheses:The theories of Status expectations and Similarity-attraction underpin the study's hypotheses. Kanter's ...view middle of the document...

Causality shows presence/absence of gender diversity in groups as the dependent variable measured against the independent variables. They use a cross-sectional, longitudinal design, few dummy variables and time-lagged some variables, such as respondent's age, to avoid reverse causality and retain internal validity. A positivist epistemological approach is followed as deductive procedures check the relationship between variables as done in natural sciences. They use theory to form hypotheses, submitting these to empirical inspection (Bryman and Bell, 2007). However the nature of these variables is dependent on several factors controlling the individual make-up of firms therefore the suitability of this strategy is questionable. An objectivist ontological position is illustrated in the use of standardized procedures that quantify and establish correlations between the numerically controlled variables. The assumption that these "approaches produce reliable results" is questionable yet step-by-step outlining of the use of mean measures showing correlations between variables in a representative sample "renders external validity to the study" (Jackson & Ruderman, 1995). The Similarity-attraction theory proved to be inadequate as their sample revealed that sex composition affected men and women differently.Results:The hypothesis that factors like Work group cooperation, Positive affect and Normative commitment to the organization drew out different results in each category has been proven to a certain limit. Due to this defeat in the above calculations, the researchers used the Allmendinger and Hackman's (1995) phenomenon to re-categorize the groups and reran the analyses. They found that the two tests indicated that members may be insensitive to the difference in already mixed groups of nearly equal versus exactly equal distributions of men and women, but highly sensitive to the difference between being homogeneous in one sex versus having a single member of the other sex. They also highlight that homogeneity was substantially different from all other combinations.The research is commendable as it uses several measures of performance unlike in earlier studies made by Pichevin & Hurtwig, (1996) or Tsui et al., (1992) who evaluated that sex is a more salient social category among women than men. The study builds up on Similarity-attraction theory and Status expectations theory, identifying multiple factors conducive to gender diversity and revealing why firms differ in their structural choices. However, other theories for instance the relational demography research is consistent with this interpretation and has shown that sex diversity may enhance group effectiveness (Martins, Milliken, Wiesenfeld, & Salgado, 1999). The researchers added that these unexpected results may be due to the particular organization culture.Limitations:There are limitations to the study. The researchers make use of a firm whose organizational culture is very typical...

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