Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 113-127

Sex and sycophancy: Communication strategies for ascendance in same-sex and mixed-sex superior-subordinate dyads

  • Lyle SussmanAffiliated withSchool of Business, University of Louisville
  • , Terry A. PickettAffiliated withDepartment of Speech and Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Irene Anchini BerzinskiAffiliated withDepartment of Speech and Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh
  • , Frederick W. PearceAffiliated withDepartment of Speech and Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine communication strategies for ascendance in same-sex and mixed-sex superior-subordinate dyads. The strategies, operationalized in terms of task and social facilitation, were derived from Bales' Interaction Process Analysis categories. Corollary data were collected relative to the subordinate's expected job satisfaction under male versus female supervision. Results indicated that (1) the perceived importance of task versus social facilitative strategies varied both within and across the four types of dyads, and (2) female subordinates expected to be more satisfied working under female supervision than did male subordinates.