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Gender and leadership in organizations: Promotions, demotions and angry workers

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  • Priyanka Chakraborty

    () (Allegheny College, Department of Economics)

  • Danila Serra

    () (Texas A&M University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

Managerial decisions, such as promotions and demotions, please some employees and upset others. We examine whether having to communicate such decisions to employees, and knowing that employees may react badly, have a differential impact on men's and women's self-selection into leadership roles and their performance if they become leaders. In a novel laboratory experiment that simulates corporate decision-making, we find that women are significantly less likely to self-select into a managerial position when employees can send them angry messages. Once in the manager role, there is some evidence of gender differences in decision-making, but no difference in final outcomes, i.e., overall profits. Male and female managers use different language to motivate their employees, yet differences in communication styles emerge only when workers can send angry messages to managers. Finally, low-rank employees send more angry messages to female managers, and are more likely to question their decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Priyanka Chakraborty & Danila Serra, 2021. "Gender and leadership in organizations: Promotions, demotions and angry workers," Working Papers 20210104-001, Texas A&M University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:txm:wpaper:20210104-001
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    File URL: https://pvsessions.tamu.edu/RePEc/serra_leadership.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Aliza N. Husain & David A. Matsa & Amalia R. Miller, 2018. "Do Male Workers Prefer Male Leaders? An Analysis of Principals' Effects on Teacher Retention," NBER Working Papers 25263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yuki Takahashi, 2020. "Do competent women receive unfavorable treatment?," Papers 2012.04591, arXiv.org.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender Differences; Leadership; Backlash; Experiment.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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