Sex Roles

, Volume 68, Issue 3–4, pp 216–222 | Cite as

Organizations, Managers, and Wage Inequality

  • Matt L. HuffmanEmail author
Feminist Forum Commentary


Lips (2012) has offered a useful critique of the human capital approach to understanding the wage gap. In this essay, rather than offering ways to fix human capital theory, I direct readers away from supply-side accounts of wage determination, by reviewing theory and U.S.-based research on the organizational bases of wage inequality and other forms of workplace stratification. Specifically, I concentrate on one growing line of empirical investigation – the effect of women in powerful organizational positions – arguing that evidence of women managers being agents of change is growing, but additional research and data collection efforts are needed. I conclude by arguing that further research on workplace stratification should focus on the pivotal role of managers.


Human capital theory Wage inequality Managers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and The Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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