TitleUnderstanding women's self-promotion detriments
NameMoss-Racusin, Corinne Alison (author), Rudman, Laurie A (chair), Sanchez, Diana T (internal member), Wilder, David (internal member), Heilman, Madeline E (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Sex role in the work environment ,
Sex differences (Psychology)
DescriptionAlthough self-promotion is necessary for career success, women experience backlash (i.e., social and economic penalties) for this behavior because it violates female gender stereotypes (Rudman, 1998). Moreover, women who fear backlash have difficulty with self-promotion, relative to men (Moss-Racusin & Rudman, 2010). The goal of this dissertation was to test the author’s backlash avoidance model (BAM), with the expectation that women’s beliefs that self-promotion violates female gender stereotypes lead them to fear backlash for this behavior, which in turn undermines their self-promotion abilities. Moreover, it was expected that the relationship between fear of backlash and self-promotion success would be at least partially mediated by self-regulatory focus (Crowe & Higgins, 1997) and perceived entitlement (Babcock & Laschever, 2003). To examine these ideas, Study 1 (N = 300) compared male and female participants’ performance on an essay-writing self-promotion task. As expected, women reported higher levels of fear of backlash and lower levels of self-promotion success than men. Gender differences were also observed for the mediator variables, such that women experienced less promotion focus and entitlement and more prevention focus than men. Additionally, results of structural equation modeling (SEM) supported a modified BAM, whereby gender was found to predict fear of backlash (replacing the perceived gender stereotypicality of self-promotion). As expected, fear of backlash then interrupted women’s self-promotion success, via reduced promotion focus and entitlement, and enhanced prevention focus. Study 2 examined the consequences of this process by testing self-promoting women’s propensity to enact backlash against other female self-promoters. Female participants (N = 115) self-promoted during a videotaped mock job interview before making judgments of other self-promoters. Results were not supportive of predictions that women who self-promoted well would not penalize another self-promoting woman. Moreover, in contrast to extensive previous research (see Rudman & Phelan, 2008, for a summary), there was no evidence of backlash against female self-promoting targets (both among participants who completed the self-promotion task and those in a control condition who simply rated the self-promoting targets). Possible explanations for these null results, as well as implications of the BAM for women’s professional advancement, are discussed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Corinne Alison Moss-Racusin
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.