Assimilation of outsiders leads to feelings of inauthenticity—for women, the “men in skirts” phenomenon.t At the same time, some argue that there is little reason to assume that outsiders placed in an organization will be able to withstand pressure to conform.

Convergence. In workplace situations where repeated personal interaction is required, game theory indicates that cooperation is the preferred strategy, particularly where players are able to monitor each otheru or mobility is low,v two conditions that often exist in the workplace. To achieve cooperation among diverse group members, research shows that creating a convergent environment in which group members are seen as individuals rather than group members reduces between-group differences and creates a common in-group identity—everyone rooting for the same team.w Empirical research shows that only the convergence per

  

sCF Epstein (1988). Deceptive Distinctions. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press; MT Mednick (1989). On the politics of psychological constructs: Stop the bandwagon, I want to get off. American Psychologist 44:1118-1123; M Calas and L Smircich (1993). Dangerous liaisons: The feminine-in-management meets globalization. Business Horizons 36(2):71-81; J Flax (1990). Postmodernism and gender relations in feminist theory. In Feminism/Postmodernism, ed. LJ Nicholson, New York: Routledge; J Fletcher (2001). Disappearing Acts: Gender, Power, and Relational Practice at Work. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; RJ Ely and DE Meyerson (2000). Theories of gender in organizations: A new approach to organizational analysis and change. Research in Organizational Behavior 22:105-153; R Barnett and C Rivers (2004). Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs. New York: Basic Books.

  

tJ Martin and D Myerson (1998). Women and power: Conformity, resistance, and disorganized coaction. In Power and Influence in Organizations, eds. RM Kramer and MA Neale. San Francisco: Sage Publications; AM Morrison (1992). New solutions to the same old glass ceiling. Women in Management Review 7(4):15-19; ELJ Edmonson Bell and SM Nkomo (2001). Our Separate Ways: Black and White Women and the Struggle for Personal Identity. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

  

uTR Palfrey and H Rosenthal (1994). Repeated play, cooperation and coordination: An experimental study. Review of Economic Studies 61:545-565.

ticipating in significant decisions. Even more striking, those extremely accomplished scientists reported that their sense of marginalization had grown as their careers advanced. Early in their careers, they, like their junior colleagues of today, had believed “that gender discrimination was ‘solved’ in the previous generation and would not touch them. Gradually, however, their eyes were opened to the realization that the playing field was not level after all.”51

51

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1999). A study on the status of women faculty in science at MIT. MIT Faculty Newsletter 11(4), http://web.mit.edu/fnl/women/women.htm.



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