A Social Information Processing Perspective on the Influence of Supervisors and Followers on Women’s and Men's Adaptability to Change

Keren Turgeman-Lupo, Rinat Hilo-Merkovich, Michal Biron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Research on gender differences in adaptability to changing work conditions has revealed equivocal evidence. We provide a new perspective to this stream by proposing a model, grounded in theory of social information processing, that takes into account individuals’ responses to important others in their environment–namely, supervisors (for non-managerial employees) or subordinates (for managers). The model suggests that the performance of each category of important others can have differential impact on women’s and men's work outcomes amid changes. We use two-wave data collected from employees and managers who transitioned to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find no differences in adaptability across genders when important others are perceived to be effective. Among employees, when supervisors are perceived to perform poorly, changes at work relate to lower performance among men than among women. Among managers, when followers are perceived to perform poorly, changes at work relate to lower performance among women than among men. We offer recommendations to help men and women sustain performance over the course of a change. MAD statement Investigating inconsistent evidence on gender differences in adaptability to changing work conditions, we suggest that the performance of important others (supervisors, followers) have differential impact on women’s and men's work outcomes amid changes. Data from employees and managers who transitioned to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic reveal no differences in adaptability between men and women, when they perceive important others to function effectively during the situation. Among employees, when supervisors are perceived to perform poorly, changes at work relate to lower performance among men than among women. Among managers, when followers are perceived to perform poorly, changes at work relate to lower performance among women than among men.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Change Management
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Gender
  • important others
  • social information processing
  • work change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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