All risk and no reward: How benevolent and hostile sexism undermine women's development through feedback seeking
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For nearly three decades, researchers have investigated a myriad of proactive behaviors in organizations, including feedback seeking. In general, feedback seeking and other forms of proactive behavior are believed to be beneficial for both the employee and organization, however, scholars have recently begun to recognize that proactive behavior may also have a dark side. Presuming that employees who seek feedback will be rewarded with valuable information about their performance at work and that employees will seek feedback when its benefits outweigh its costs, most researchers have focused on the antecedents of feedback seeking. This research suggests that employees who seek feedback risk being perceived unfavorably by others, but this assumption has only been investigated indirectly. In addition, researchers have rarely considered factors which may increase the image risk that some employees face. Specifically, because of gender stereotypes, feedback seeking may be riskier for women than for men, especially when women seek feedback from targets who hold sexist beliefs. Lastly, the feedback seeking literature rests upon the assumption that seekers will receive feedback that is informative and helpful. Studies assessing the relationship between feedback and performance improvement have yielded mix results, indicating that not all feedback may be of equal value. Research on sexism and gender stereotypes suggests that women who seek feedback may receive feedback that is less beneficial than the feedback men receive. Thus, in this dissertation, I seek to further our understanding of potential downsides of proactive behavior through an investigation of the actual costs and benefits of feedback seeking.
- OU - Dissertations