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Perceived misalignment of professional prototypes reduces subordinates’ endorsement of sexist supervisors

Danbold, Felix; Bendersky, Corinne; (2022) Perceived misalignment of professional prototypes reduces subordinates’ endorsement of sexist supervisors. Journal of Applied Psychology 10.1037/apl0001038. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Despite decades of efforts, many organizations still have sexist supervisors—those in supervisory positions who define their profession by primarily stereotypically masculine features. As a result of their “masculine” professional prototypes, sexist supervisors see their work as a “man’s job” in which women cannot succeed. Research suggests that one problem posed by sexist supervisors is that they may pass their biased views on to subordinates who endorse them as leaders. To make this less likely, we test in two experiments (N = 1,879) a strategy to reduce subordinates’ endorsement of sexist supervisors. We do this by encouraging subordinates to see themselves as low in perceived professional prototype alignment (PPPA)—the extent to which a subordinate perceives their supervisor to share their beliefs about what it means to be a member of their profession—with sexist supervisors. Specifically, encouraging subordinates’ to hold less masculine, more “balanced” professional prototypes, in which they see stereotypically feminine attributes as equally important to the job as stereotypically masculine ones, reduces PPPA with sexist supervisors. Lowering PPPA, in turn, reduces supervisor endorsement, even after accounting for the effects of other established mechanisms of supervisor endorsement. This research sheds new light on the psychology of followership and offers a new way to curb gender bias from the bottom up

Type: Article
Title: Perceived misalignment of professional prototypes reduces subordinates’ endorsement of sexist supervisors
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/apl0001038
Publisher version: https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/apl0001038
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Social Sciences, Psychology, Applied, Management, Psychology, Business & Economics, gender, diversity, leadership, followership, group prototypes, LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS, GROUP PROTOTYPICALITY, FOLLOWERSHIP, GENDER, DISCRIMINATION, CATEGORIZATION, PERSONALITY, SALIENCE
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10155811
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