AOM Press Releases How Can Women Build High-status Networks?

25 Oct 2022
New research from ESMT Berlin finds that men are more likely to leverage co-location and face-to-face interactions to build high-status connections. Women, by contrast, are more effective at connecting with high-status colleagues via third-party ties.

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These findings come from research by Gianluca Carnabuci, professor of organizational behavior at ESMT Berlin, who—alongside his colleagues Carla Rua-Gomez from Skema Business School and Martin C. Goossen from Old Dominion University—explored the impact of gender when it comes to building high-status networks in the workplace.

Previous research had shown that it is harder for women to gain access to their organization's high-status networks, which is consequential because high-status connections can boost one's performance and career outcomes. What prior research did not tell us, however, is which factors might help women build high-status connections.

To address this question, the researchers collected data on how people formed collaboration ties within the R&D laboratories of the 42 largest pharmaceutical companies over a 25-year period (1985–2010). Through this large-scale data set, they studied who succeeded at entering the collaboration network of the highest-status colleagues in their lab (the lab's "star" scientists), and how they did so.

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Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

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