Ensuring Minority Achievement in Corporations

The Importance of Structural Theory and Structural Change
  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Part of the Plenum Studies in Work and Industry book series (SSWI)


In 1977, I proposed a theory to account for the differential success of some groups (e.g., white males) compared to others (e.g., women and minorities) in the management and upper professional ranks of corporations (Kanter 1977a). This theory shifted the focus of attention away from individual characteristics of the members of the group and toward aspects of organizational position. It shifted the “credit” or the “blame” for job achievement away from personality or learned propensity and toward the position or structural location as a determinant of work behavior and occupational achievement. Therefore, action steps to change structures, not individuals, are the natural extension of the theory.


Structural Theory Affirmative Action Structural Barrier Progressive Company Corporate Structure 
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Copyright information

© Rosabeth Moss Kanter 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Business SchoolBostonUSA

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