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California State University, Long Beach
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Anne Gray, MA

May 1996

Power and Gender: Perceptions of Expert Power and Interpersonal Relations in the Workplace

The purpose of this study was to investigate upper level women’s use of expert power and their interpersonal relations in the workplace. One hundred five upper and lower level males and females participated in the study. The upper level males and females were in senior management. The lower level females were clerical workers, and the lower level males consisted of custodial plant managers and electricians. The participants completed questionnaires that contained an Expert Power scale and the People subscale of the Job Descriptive Index. It was hypothesized that the upper level women would have the highest self-perceived expert power ratings and would be the least satisfied with their coworkers. The study revealed that there were no significant differences among the four groups with respect to their self-perceived expert power ratings. A significant finding was that the upper level individuals were more satisfied with their coworkers than the lower level individuals.