Build Gender Inclusive Workplaces

Mar 01, 2018

Women Leading Research: Kathryn M. Bartol

 SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Retaining talent in the fast-changing field of information technology often means understanding the work outcomes that are important to employees, says Kathryn M. Bartol, the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith Professor of Leadership and Innovation and chair of the Management & Organization Department.

Bartol and co-authors from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Arkansas and Melbourne Business School, in recent research, introduced three work outcomes — extrinsic (e.g., pay, promotion), social (e.g., friendly co-workers, work-life balance) and intrinsic (e.g., creative work, skill development) — as ways to determine how well new IT employees fit in their new jobs, both from a person-to-organization standpoint and a person-to-job standpoint. They then examined how gender might affect the relationships between valuations of different work outcomes and fit perceptions.

They found that the effect of extrinsic outcomes on the person-to-organization fit varied by gender, with men more likely to cite extrinsic outcomes as relevant. They found that the effects of social outcomes on both person-to-organization fit and person-to-job fit were moderated by gender, as women were more likely to cite social outcomes as important in determining how well the job fit.

And, finally, they found that intrinsic outcomes influenced perceptions of person-to-job fit for both men and women.

Bartol, who is also co-director of the Smith School’s Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change, and her co-authors conducted three empirical studies of more than 1,300 entry-level workers and 700 more-senior workers.

They found that social outcomes tended to be more important in determining person-to-job fit as workers gain experience, suggesting that companies can benefit from placing more emphasis on creating more opportunities for social interaction for incoming IT workers so they can begin building social connections in the workplace. Because millennials tend to be highly attuned to socialization via Web 2.0 tools, such as social media, organizations may use those tools as a means to boost morale and facilitate easy interpersonal interactions between coworkers.

Given the findings that women more strongly valued social outcomes, IT managers may be able to take particular steps to attract and retain more women. One approach may be to offer flextime, telework and childcare resources that will help women with work-life balance and care for their families. At the same time, mentoring programs, collaborative work arrangements and social work outings or activities can help encourage positive relationships with their coworkers, the researchers say.

In general, IT entry-level workers arrive to the workplace trained in the latest concepts, techniques and tools. But they know they will require constant training and retraining to keep up with the industry.

Experienced workers, meanwhile, bring value to organizations seeking employees with diverse experiences, developed leadership skills and knowledge from competitors. For both groups, providing creative work and continuing opportunities for development is critical to appeal to the intrinsic outcomes that are also important to both men and women in IT.

Read more: Person-organization and person-job fit perceptions of new IT employees: Work outcomes and gender differences is featured in Management Information Systems Quarterly.

Kathryn M. Bartol is the Robert H. Smith professor of Leadership and Innovation, and the chair of the Management and Organization Department at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is also co-chair of the Smith School’s Center for Leadership, Innovation and Change. 

Research interests: Leadership, teams, knowledge sharing, creativity, and gender in the workplace. She has received major funding from the National Science Foundation, most recently for studying effective leadership in virtual teams. 

Selected accomplishments: Bartol is a past Dean of the Fellows of the Academy of Management, as well as a past President of the Academy of Management. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and the American Psychological Society. She won a Sage Scholar Award from the Academy of Management and is a three-time winner of the Krowe Award for Teaching Excellence from the Smith School.

About this series: The Smith School faculty is celebrating Women’s History Month 2018 in partnership with ADVANCE, an initiative to transform the University of Maryland by investing in a culture of inclusive excellence. Daily faculty spotlights support activities from the school’s Office of Diversity Initiatives, starting with the seventh annual Women Leading Women forum on March 1, 2018.

Other fearless ideas from:  Rajshree Agarwal  |  Ritu Agarwal  |  T. Leigh Anenson  |  Kathryn M. Bartol  |  Christine Beckman  |  Margrét Bjarnadóttir  |  M. Cecilia Bustamante  |  Jessica M. Clark  |  Rellie Derfler-Rozin  |  Waverly Ding  |  Wedad J. Elmaghraby  |  Rosellina Ferraro  |  Rebecca Hann  | Amna Kirmani  |  Hanna Lee  |  Hui Liao  |  Jennifer Carson Marr  |  Wendy W. Moe  |  Courtney Paulson  |  Louiqa Raschid  |  Rebecca Ratner  |  Debra L. Shapiro  |  M. Susan Taylor  |  Niratcha (Grace) Tungtisanont  |  Vijaya Venkataramani  |  Janet Wagner  |  Yajin Wang  |  Yajun Wang  |  Liu Yang  |  Jie Zhang  |  Lingling Zhang



More In


A Survivalist’s Guide to Future-Proofing a Business

Surviving extreme life situations requires dealing with the most pressing life-or-death needs first, then building on incremental success at critical intervals and battling unforeseen challenges to make it through. Business leaders can apply the same strategies to guide their organizations through the pandemic and survive for the long term, says Maryland Smith’s Oliver Schlake.

Dec 03, 2020
Four Things We Miss When Working Remotely

Companies can be as productive remotely as they are in the office. But they need to strategize how to replicate the four things that teams miss most.

Nov 12, 2020
How To Job Hunt Now

With a pandemic and a struggling economy, it’s not the easiest time to be job-hunting. These tips may help.

Nov 09, 2020
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742