University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 26

Abstract 1980-1989

Solomon LJ, Brehony KA, Rothblum ED, Kelly JA. Corporate managers' reactions to assertive social skills exhibited by males and females. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management. 1982 Fal-Win;4(3-sup-4):49-63.

Examined whether managers react differently to identical assertive responses made by females vs males and compared manager reactions to several types of verbal content in assertive responses. The procedure consisted of presenting 67 male and 38 female managers (mean age 43 yrs) with taped vignettes that showed either a male or female model handling work-related conflicts assertively. The models were either directly assertive, assertive but moderating their assertion with an empathic comment to the antagonist in the situation, or assertive but tempering the response with a self-effacing comment. Based on interpersonal-evaluation ratings later completed by the managers, self-effacing assertive models of both sexes were rated unfavorably relative to either directly assertive or empathic-assertive models. Empathic comments preceding an assertive response resulted in more favorable manager reactions on several criteria. Assertive behavior in females was evaluated as positively as in males.

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