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A critical-incident interviewing method was used to determine the strategies employed by men and women in organizational situations. Ninety-eight male and female participants provided an example of a frustrating workplace situation in which they were powerless because they were dependent on others and the action they took in response to the situation. Measures of job dependency, taken as a measure of relative power for each job, were also assessed. Chi-square, correlational, and log-linear results indicated that while men and women did not differ in the relative power of the jobs they held, women tended to use an acquiescence strategy to a greater extent than men in coping with their powerlessness. When examined, relative job dependency, however, had a greater effect than gender on the use of this strategy.


Copyright 1986 Administrative Science Quarterly

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Administrative Science Quarterly

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Mainiero, L.A. 1986. "Coping With Powerlessness: The Relationship of Sex and Job Dependency to Empowerment Strategy Usage". Administrative Science Quarterly, 31(4), 633-653.

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