The Paradox of Meritocracy in Organizations

Emilio J. Castilla, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Stephen Benard, Indiana University published “The Paradox of Meritocracy in Organizations,” in the December 2010 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly. This article won the 2010 Academy of Management’s Best Paper Award in Organizational Behavior.

“In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the ‘paradox of meritocracy.'”

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