In the company of women: gender inequality and the logic of bureaucracy in start-up firms
Baron, James N. and Hannan, Michael T. and Hsu, Greta and Koçak, Özgecan (2007) In the company of women: gender inequality and the logic of bureaucracy in start-up firms. Work and occupations, 34 (1). pp. 35-66. ISSN 0730-8884
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0730888406296945
Perspectives on inequality differ greatly regarding whether the logic of bureaucracy undermines sex-based ascription in work organizations by reducing subjectivity in personnel decisions, or instead merely serves to obscure or "scientize" inequality. Past research has tended to operationalize bureaucratization in terms of the adoption of formal procedures and structures; the authors argue instead that disagreements about whether bureaucracy promotes or ameliorates inequality and segregation have less to do with the contours of bureaucracy than with the underlying logic of bureaucratic organization. Accordingly, the authors assess the link between bureaucratic organization and labor-market ascription by characterizing the logics underlying organizational employment systems. Using data on young high-technology companies in California’s Silicon Valley, they find evidence that bureaucratization improves employment prospects for women in core scientific-technical roles within these enterprises. They further explore path dependence in organizational logics and find that such logics, when adopted, have powerful enduring effects on labor-force composition.
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