Crisis in the pipeline: Appointing women to potentially precarious positions

Maclean, Melissa (2015). Crisis in the pipeline: Appointing women to potentially precarious positions Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Maclean, Melissa
Thesis Title Crisis in the pipeline: Appointing women to potentially precarious positions
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Kim Peters
Total pages 109
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
Women are more likely than men to be appointed to risky and precarious leadership positions during times of organisational crisis, a phenomenon referred to as the glass cliff. Currently, glass cliff literature only examines the appointment of women to leadership positions where the precarious nature of the position is made explicit prior to appointment. However, equally important are appointments to leadership positions where there is the potential for an organisational crisis in the future (i.e. a crisis in the pipeline). This study investigated whether the glass cliff phenomenon extended to situations where there was a crisis in the pipeline of an organisation and thus, the precarious nature of the leadership position was more implicit. Four hundred managers from the United States completed an online survey where the organisational context of a fictitious company was manipulated to either allude to a crisis in the pipeline (precarious leadership position) or business-as-usual (non-precarious leadership position). In line with predictions, participants preferentially appointed the female candidate when there was a crisis in the pipeline. Qualitative analysis requiring participants to justify their choice of candidate, revealed sex of candidate was a significant determinant for appointing the female candidate. Common reasons identified for appointing the female candidate included signalling organisational change and opportunity. The study also included an exploratory element to investigate whether sexism or gender bias moderates the glass cliff effect. No moderation model was supported. This research implies that the mechanisms underlying the glass cliff are potentially not malevolent, as previously believed, but instead naively benevolent. As such, the focus of future research should not be to investigate potential causes or moderators of the glass cliff, rather to focus on identifying the resources necessary to make glass cliff positions less precarious.
Keyword Women
Precarious
Pipeline

 
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Created: Thu, 24 Mar 2016, 08:58:31 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology