Getting together to get ahead: The impact of social structure on women's networking

Mette D. Hersby, Michelle K. Ryan, Jolanda Jetten

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

40 Citaten (Scopus)


This paper examines the impact of socio-structural variables (i.e. perceptions of permeability, stability and legitimacy of intergroup relations) on the extent to which professional women perceive a women's network as a collective strategy for status enhancement. A survey among network members (n=166) suggests that the extent to which women support and consider a network to benefit women as a collective is dependent on perceptions of whether individual mobility is possible (permeability of group boundaries) and beliefs that organizational conditions will improve for women in the future (stability of conditions for women). Specifically, the network is less likely to be perceived as a collective vehicle for change when individual advancement is possible (because intergroup boundaries are perceived as permeable) and status improvement in the future is unlikely. However, regardless of beliefs about the future, when female participants perceive that many barriers to individual advancement exist (due to the impermeability of intergroup boundaries), the network is considered in more collective terms presumably because the only way to challenge the status quo is through a collective effort. The practical implications for organizations that wish to or have established a women's network are discussed.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)415-430
Aantal pagina's16
TijdschriftBritish Journal of Management
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - dec.-2009
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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