Cum grano salis, with a Grain of Salt: Gender Differences in the Involvement of Superiors in Problem Formulation

Renate Kratochvil, Claudio Biscaro, Esther Tippmann, Phillip Nell, Andrew Parker

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


In this research, we examine female and male problem solvers seeking out superiors in problem formulation. Problem formulation is a critical activity: On the one hand, it unveils what causes a problem, such as loss of customers, and lays the groundwork for the development of an innovative and creative solution. On the other hand, digging into understanding problems rather than finding solutions can reflect negatively on an employee. We take a social role perspective to investigate who female and male problem solvers involve. We use data from 439 dyads that 113 problem solvers formed to solve non-routine problems. Using regression analysis, we reveal that (lower tenured) female problem solvers have a higher likelihood of involving superiors than males do. In addition, we are currently running two experiments to confirm our findings. These results extend the current understanding of why superiors are not always sought out, why social expectations play a role in the activity of problem formulation, and how female and male problem solvers approach problem solving differently.
Antal sider32
StatusUdgivet - 2021
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedDRUID21 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Danmark
Varighed: 18 okt. 202120 okt. 2021
Konferencens nummer: 42


KonferenceDRUID21 Conference
LokationCopenhagen Business School


  • Expectations
  • Gender
  • Problem formulation
  • Social role
  • Solutions
  • Superiors
  • Tenure