Last Updated 28 Jul 2020

Workers and managers

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Amongst the reasonable explanations for the lack of competition reported is the apparent delineation between the roles of director and support staff. In a series of interviews performed with young women in a cooperative program training to be secretaries, O'Leary (1987) asked concerning their reactions when they found themselves assigned to a woman boss for a week. The criterion they used to evaluate women bosses was particularly different than those they used to evaluate men.

They reported making instantaneous judgments about the women--negative judgments based on feelings of antagonism when the boss resembled them too directly in age, experience (or lack thereof) and appearance. Whilst the woman boss was clearly older, more experienced, or looked the part of boss (i. e. , was professionally groomed and attired), that is when her role was obviously delineated, the secretaries-in-training were more completely disposed and were less expected to report feelings of competition. A substitute explanation for the absence of competition is the lack of any expectation for development ( Kanter, 1977).

This is illustrated by a comment from one secretary: [There is] the feeling that we aren't going anywhere. This job is not as important as a career. It's nothing worth creating a negative relationship over. It's just a job, which is very different from a sense of a profession and a need to climb. These two factors are consistent in the view of one woman who noted, "Most of the roles are much defined. There is not any sense that anyone would be moving up or trying to show up another person in order to look better than anyone else. " Another woman observed that "there is no competition because no one wants my job. "

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The role separation between women was stronger for secretaries and bosses than for secretaries and co-workers. It did not appear to occur to anyone that they might be competitive with their bosses; their bosses held an edge, both in terms of education and experience. "I am not in a position to struggle with my boss for anything," said one secretary. Numerous of the secretaries reported that everyone "works together to get the job done," "to attain the office goals. " Apparently this extends to the basic "office-keeping" tasks such as photocopying, sharpening pencils, and making coffee. These were significant issues to many of the respondents.

They were very aware of the "demeaning" quality of these tasks, and when probable, they were grateful to be spared these responsibilities. For instance, one secretary told the story of being asked to sharpen her boss’s pencils. Subsequent to she politely refused, she ordered her boss an electric pencil sharpener. She reported that this was an isolated incident; both boss and secretary now sharpen their own pencils. In another office, "coffee" was an issue. The division of labor is such that the first one in makes the coffee; while the pot runs out, the person who pours the last cup makes a fresh pot.

Cleaning the coffee pot at the end of the day, etcetera, is done by whoever has "KP" duty, and detrimental assignment that is rotated weekly. the majority of the secretaries viewed this cooperation and community spirit as valuable, though one woman remarked that sometimes they spend so much energy being nice to each other that job tasks do not get done. In her ideal work world "you don't have to be so super-careful concerning feelings if it's pretty clear what the objective is in terms of getting something done.

" Another commented, "Because we're all so personal, at times it's hard to be matter of fact about things. " opposing to what might be expected, this spirit of cooperation was not based on relationship of association as much as a more bounded sense of community. However, the majority participatory workplaces reduce pay and status differentials among employees, mainly between workers and managers, relative to nonparticipatory workplaces. Smaller differentials are linked with participation for three related reasons.

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Workers and managers. (2018, Oct 14). Retrieved from

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