Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2018259
 
 

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The Organizational Implications of a Traditional Marriage: Can a Domestic Traditionalist by Night be an Organizational Egalitarian by Day?


Sreedhari D. Desai


University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

Dolly Chugh


New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior

Arthur Brief


University of Utah

March 12, 2012

UNC Kenan-Flagler Research Paper No. 2013-19

Abstract:     
We provide evidence that marriage structure has important organizational implications. Specifically, heterosexual men married to wives who are not employed (relative to those married to wives employed full time) go to work with attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that disfavor women in the workplace and are more likely to make decisions that prevent the advancement of qualified women. We conducted five studies with a total of 993 married, male participants. We found that employed husbands in traditional marriages, compared to the average married man, tend to (a) view the presence of women in the workplace unfavorably, (b) perceive that organizations with higher numbers of female employees are operating less smoothly, (c) perceive organizations with female leaders as relatively unattractive, (d) deny qualified female employees opportunities for promotion more frequently. Importantly, our final study suggests that the change in attitudes towards women may occur with entry into traditional marriage structure from a state of being single. The consistent pattern of results across multiple studies employing multiple methods (lab, longitudinal, secondary) and samples (U.S., U.K., undergraduates, managers) demonstrates the robustness of the findings and suggests that self-selection into traditional marriage structures does not fully explain the effect. We discuss the theoretical and practical import of our findings and suggest directions for future research.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 68

Keywords: gender, marriage structure, organizational demographics, work and family

JEL Classification: D23, J16, C91

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Date posted: March 11, 2012 ; Last revised: September 18, 2013

Suggested Citation

Desai, Sreedhari D. and Chugh, Dolly and Brief, Arthur, The Organizational Implications of a Traditional Marriage: Can a Domestic Traditionalist by Night be an Organizational Egalitarian by Day? (March 12, 2012). UNC Kenan-Flagler Research Paper No. 2013-19. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2018259 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2018259

Contact Information

Sreedhari D. Desai (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ( email )
Chapel Hill, NC
United States

Dolly Chugh
New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY NY 10012
United States
New York University (NYU) - Department of Management and Organizational Behavior ( email )
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States
Arthur Brief
University of Utah ( email )
1645 E. Campus Center
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
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