Effects of Income Level and Gender on Competitiveness

Mishra, P (2018) Effects of Income Level and Gender on Competitiveness. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018 (1). ISSN 0065-0668

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We propose and test a model explaining why gender differences in labor market outcomes (the “gender gap”) are amplified at higher income levels (the “glass ceiling” pattern). We integrate the social role theory of gender differences with social psychological research on socioeconomic status to propose that men’s greater competitiveness relative to women’s is particularly pronounced at higher income levels. Because men’s greater competitiveness is one factor contributing to the gender gap, our theoretical integration explains why the gender gap is amplified at higher income levels. By combining data from a large field study (study1) with a survey study with employed professionals (study 2) we show that although men are always willing to compete more than women, this gender difference is larger among higher- income people than among lower-income people. Moreover, we also examined whether generic zero-sum construal of success is affected by people’s income level and gender and found that while there’s is no gender difference among lower-income people such that they all viewed the world as highly competitive, there was a significant gender gap among higher-income people in their zero- sum construal of the world. Theoretical and organizational implications of these results are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Organizational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2023 16:25
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 16:25
URI: https://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/1882

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