Business and Management INK

How the Myth of Meritocracy has Perpetuated Gender Inequality in Academia

April 27, 2016 941

16475971566_45a46cd589_zDespite claims to award university appointments based on meritocracy alone, gender inequality continues to impact the number of women in leadership positions at universities. In theory, meritocracy should be a fair policy to follow when considering candidates for a leadership position. However, the recent Journal of Management article, “Meritocracies or Masculinities? The Differential Allocation of Named Professorships by Gender in the Academy” from authors Len J. Treviño, Luis R. Gomez-Mejia, David B. Balkin, and Franklin G. Mixon Jr., suggests that meritocracy is part of the problem that allows the glass ceiling to persist in academia. The abstract for the article:

This study analyzes differential appointments by gender to the rank of named professorship based on a sample of 511 management professors. This sample JOM 41(3)_Covers.inddrepresents approximately 90% of our original survey sample of faculty at Tier 1 American research universities, with 10 or more years of experience since receiving their PhD, and whose contact information we could obtain online. Contrary to the tenets of the meritocratic evaluation model, we find that, after controlling for research performance and other factors, women are less likely to be awarded named professorships, particularly when the endowed chair is awarded to an internal candidate. Furthermore, we find that women derive lower returns from their scholarly achievements when it comes to appointments to endowed chairs. Our study suggests that a masculine-gendered environment dominates management departments, leading to shifting standards when it comes to the highest senior appointments in academe.

An excerpt from the article explains why the authors chose to focus on management professors in particular:

We focus on management professors for several reasons. First, doing so allows us to control for differences across academic fields in citation rates, frequency of publications, labor markets, endowed chair opportunities, and available resources. Second, the Academy of Management, the major academic association in the field, has over 19,000 members, and it represents a key faculty constituency within colleges of business. Third, presumably business students (particularly at the graduate level) are preparing themselves for leadership positions in corporate America and/or the pursuit of an academic career and endowed faculty serve as an exemplar to them. Last, at a more philosophical level, most of the research and teaching dealing with diversity, discrimination, and equal employment opportunity legislation within business schools occurs in management departments, suggesting that faculty therein should be more sensitive and informed about issues concerning gender inequality.

You can read “Meritocracies or Masculinities? The Differential Allocation of Named Professorships by Gender in the Academy” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know about the latest research from Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Event image attributed to Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan (CC)

 

Business and Management INK puts the spotlight on research published in our more than 100 management and business journals. We feature an inside view of the research that’s being published in top-tier SAGE journals by the authors themselves.

View all posts by Business & Management INK

Related Articles

From Collision to Collaboration: Bridging University and Industry Relationships
Business and Management INK
May 17, 2024

From Collision to Collaboration: Bridging University and Industry Relationships

Read Now
Motivation of Young Project Professionals: Their Needs for Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Purpose
Business and Management INK
May 14, 2024

Motivation of Young Project Professionals: Their Needs for Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness, and Purpose

Read Now
A Complexity Framework for Project Management Strategies
Business and Management INK
May 10, 2024

A Complexity Framework for Project Management Strategies

Read Now
Bringing Theories into Conversation to Strategize for a Better World
Business and Management INK
May 8, 2024

Bringing Theories into Conversation to Strategize for a Better World

Read Now
Exploring Discrimination Faced by Asian Nationals in the U.S. Labor Market

Exploring Discrimination Faced by Asian Nationals in the U.S. Labor Market

Amit Kramer, Kwon Hee Han, Yun Kyoung Kim, and Yun Kyoung Kim reflect on the hypotheses and observations that led to their article, “Inefficiencies and bias in first job placement: the case of professional Asian nationals in the United States.”

Read Now
Interorganizational Design for Collaborative Governance in Co-Owned Major Projects: An Engaged Scholarship Approach

Interorganizational Design for Collaborative Governance in Co-Owned Major Projects: An Engaged Scholarship Approach

Large projects co-owned by several organizations with separate, perhaps competing, interests and values are characterized by complexity and are not served well […]

Read Now
Uncharted Waters: Researching Bereavement in the Workplace

Uncharted Waters: Researching Bereavement in the Workplace

To me, one of the most surprising things about bereavement is its complexity and that it can last far longer than expected. This is challenging to navigate at work where, unless it was a coworker’s death, no one else’s world has changed.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments