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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004 Dec;30(12):1585-98.

When what you know is not enough: expertise and gender dynamics in task groups.

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  • 1Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Medicine, Ithica, New York, USA. mct24@cornell.edu

Abstract

This study investigates how the contribution, identification, and consideration of expertise within groups are affected by gender differences. The authors examined the effects of member expertise and gender on others' perceptions of expertise, actual and own perceptions of influence, and group performance on a decision-making task. The authors' findings are consistent with social role theory and expectation states theory. Women were less influential when they possessed expertise, and having expertise decreased how expert others perceived them to be. Conversely, having expertise was relatively positive for men. These differences were reflected in group performance, as groups with a female expert underperformed groups with a male expert. Thus, contrary to common expectations, possessing expertise did not ameliorate the gender effects often seen in workgroups. The findings are discussed in light of their implications for organizational workgroups in which contribution of expertise is critical to group performance.

PMID:
15536241
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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