Monday, August 28, 2000

Discipline from women not accepted well

        The study Gender Discipline in the Workplace: Wait Until Your Father Gets Home analyzed 163 workers from all walks of life for reactions after discipline was imposed.

        The study looked at the emotions of workers in a variety of fields to learn how they felt after discipline in the workplace was imposed. Personal interviews and follow-up surveys were the methods used to gather information by undergraduate students.

        Discipline had to be delivered by a boss, supervisor or superior rather than a co-worker. Students were trained in how to conduct interviews, which lasted about 20 minutes. Student grades were determined, in part, by how well their taped interviews followed the study's protocol.

        Results suggested:

        • Situations involving women delivering discipline are perceived by recipients to be less effective overall.

        • Recipients of punishment from women were less likely to accept responsibility for their behavior and were more likely to think the manager did not know how to deliver the discipline.

        • Male recipients had a more negative reaction to discipline when the discipliner was female than when the discipliner was male.

        • Women were less likely to believe punishment was fair than were men, and discipline incidents for female recipients were far more likely to be effective when the discipline was delivered by a man than a woman.

        • Women may be more willing to accept discipline from a man because men are not expected to be compassionate and considerate.

        • One secretary told an author of the study that it was more difficult for her to work for a woman because it was difficult to accept the status difference with a female boss and easier to accept the status difference when the supervisor was male.

        • Recipients were not reacting more negatively because discipline delivered by women was more severe.

        • While recipients were no less likely to change their behavior when discipline came from a woman, they were less likely to accept responsibility, more likely to think the discipline was unfair and more likely to think the event was mishandled.


Female managers get less respect
Stereotypes can work against women
- Discipline from women not accepted well
Ethical standards becoming muddled
Teamwork key to setting, meeting goals
Promotions & new on the job