Career, Chapter 5: Where Does the Work Get Done? Dear Habermas Logo and Site Index Link A Jeanne Site

Theory, Policy, Practice of a Career

by Susan R. Takata and Jeanne Curran
Revision of Text from 1993
Copyright on Revised Text: Summer 1999. "Fair Use" encouraged.

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University of Wisconsin, Parkside
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Chapter 5: Where Does the Work Get Done?

"Entering a new firm is like landing on foreign soil. The language, customs, history, and lifestyle are all strange and new. As a newcomer, you will need to listen and learn about the new culture rather than cling to your old one or try to influence the new one before it's ready to accept you." (Lloyd, 1989a)

In a weekly column in the business section of theMilwaukee Journal, Joan Lloyd addresses personnel, communication and training issues. In the above passage, she advises when you're the new kid on the job to learn "the job culture." Here the work of sociologists (and anthropologists) comes in handy. Sociologists spend lots of time studying different culture. In this chapter, culture and social structure are the sociological concepts that give us another view of the "big picture" in order to better understand and assess the job market. We are going to discuss the culture and structure of the workplace -- where the work gets done! Much of culture deals with symbols and language which will be the focus of the first part of this chapter. The second part will examine the organizational structure of the workplace, both the formal and informal structures. Finally, we will discuss student expectations as you enter the world of work.

The Culture and Language of the Workplace

VanderZanden (1993:33) defined culture as "the social heritage of a people - those learned patterns for thinking, feeling, and acting that are transmitted from one generation to the next, including the embodiment of those patterns in material items." In other words, we're talking about the norms (discussed in Chapter 3), values, symbols and language. What are some of the material items that VanderZanden speaks of that are clues to the workplace culture? Maybe someone wearing a Brooks Brothers suit. A woman carrying a leather briefcase. Or someone writing with a gold Cross pen. Language and symbols are a large part of culture.

The way in which we communicate is influenced by the social setting in which it takes place. To a certain extent our choice of vocabulary is guided by these perceptions. We choose grandiloquent phrases to express our emotions in settings which strike us with awe: the church, synagogue, tabernacle, or mosque, the cemetery, the seat of government. We choose phrases of deference when in the presence of those to whom we owe respect: parents, a loved one, those of higher status than ours. And this includes the tone of voice and the demeanor which communicate quite as much as the words themselves. Who has not been admonished, "Don't speak to your mother in that tone of voice?" The armed forces demand that subordinates add "Sir" when addressing superiors, in addition to the traditional salute. Employees usually show deference by addressing those with higher status by title, Mr. Ms. Dr.. We still refer to judges as "your Honor."

Most of our institutions, in their role of promoting social control, not only are situated in formal surroundings, but also dictate the use of formal language. The minister is addressed as "Reverend,"the officer as "Lieutenant," the teacher as "Professor," the elected official as "Congressman," "Senator," etc. Language, an important element of culture, thus plays an important role in complementing the social setting.

In a similar manner we develop expectations for language appropriate to less formal and/or awesome settings. Imagine a business letter that opens with "Thou who art a magnificent customer." Not fair, you say. "Thou who art" is identified with prayer. Yes, but that's the point. Try a business card that reads John Smith, Purveyor of Fine Motor Vehicles. We've seen that lift an eyebrow or two when we're more used to Salesman, X Motor Company. (His name isn't really John Smith, but the card is real. He sells Rolls Royces, Jaguars, etc.).

Did you ever notice how you suddenly become a "Preferred Customer" when the stores have sales. It usually means that your bill isn't overdue on their computer listing. But try asking to purchase an item beyond your credit limit. "Preferred customer" is suddenly subjected to the "hawk-eyed" analysis of the credit manager who promptly decides you're not so preferred, after all. The purple prose of advertising is quickly dropped in favor of the cold hard facts of the credit office. Language does change markedly with social setting.

Degree of Formality

Formality, as we use it here, indicates the prescription of behaviors by rules either written, or enforced by social control, within the organization. Social settings differ in the extent to which they are formally defined. At an academic commencement, there are accepted patterns of behavior (and as a consequence, of language and communication). Most schools hold rehearsals for the obvious purpose of gaining control over the behavioral norms. One is instructed what to do and say, and when. Some settings, such as courts of law, are so formalized that the norms are technically spelled out. The bailiff announces the judge's impending arrival, instructs those present to rise, and to refrain from talking and reading during the proceedings.

In formal and technical settings, language will generally be corrected formally, if the bounds of communication norms are violated. Should you overstep the formal bounds in some way, as by addressing a corporate president as "Janet," you're likely to be told by a supervisor that "Ms. Souper" is the appropriate title. As a matter of fact, you'd probably be told the accepted form of address before you got close enough to talk to her. Organizations generally surround their central representatives with numerous gate-keepers so that norms are rarely open to violation. If your language and tone are inappropriate, a gate-keeper is likely to eject you, for language is one of the key identifiers to which gate-keepers resort. "My Fair Lady" was introduced to the court when she was skilled enough in language and mannerism to slip past the gate-keepers. John Molloy (1981:121) said it quite nicely: "If you can't communicate, you can't command." He (1981:137) later noted: "The great communicators are all listeners . . . The really great communicators are great receivers as well as great senders of messages."

In the world of work, technical jargon is adopted to identify those who belong, and close out those who do not. Granted that one could generally say that same thing in simple English, but then just anyone might join the conversation, and the group could be inundated with outsiders. Through the use of jargon, messages are sent out as to the nature of the group and who may or may not join in. For example, if one passes a clique at a cocktail party where the topic of discussion is "cutting scripts and writing dialogue," the message is fairly clear that you should be knowledgeable about writing and acting if you choose to be accepted into that clique. An engineer is unlikely to be either attracted or accepted.

Another facet of formality is found in the extent to which the social setting is open to outsiders. Goffman (1959) describes the social setting which permits outsiders to observe and/or take part in interactions as "front stage." Generally, "front stage" interaction is characterized by a greater degree of formality. For example, organizational representatives who come into contact with clients and/or the general public are more likely than other employees to observe narrower limits of variations in decorum, dress, and language. The receptionist is less likely to dispense with makeup than the clerk who stays in he back office all day. The sales representative who greets potential clients is less likely to remove coat and tie than the accountant in a back office. Language, too, follows this pattern. In positions that are "front stage," and that occurs along boundaries with the general public or with other organizations, formal terms of address are more likely to be used. Though Susan may know Sally as a personal friend, in the "front stage" environment she is more likely to address Susan as "Ms. Doomore." The use of formal titles creates the verbal equivalent of increasing the distance between participants in the interaction. When organizational members indicate broader distances through such clues as the use of titles, they are offering the outsider valuable clues to the expected norms for interaction.

The use of titles thus serves a kind of indicator of authority. Organizations that have amorphous boundaries and are open to input from outsiders, or that wish to give the appearance of being open to the outsider will depend less on presenting an image of authority (organizations related to the record and movie fields, for example, that depend basically on the discovery and sale of talent). One would thus expect less formality in the forms of address, as well as in dress, and other communication modes. On the other hand, organizations that depend on the sale of technical expertise gained through broad experience are more likely to use authority to back up the image of their product (oil companies, banks, for example) and thus to rely to a greater extent on formality in communication.

Similarly, the greater the dependence on authority, the more likely the whole organizational structure is to be formalized, with specific rules for procedures and communication prescribed and strictly enforced. In more formal organizational structures general usage will be more formal. Few or no slang and colloquialisms will be used. For example, the junior executive, in a highly formal organization might, in the privacy of her office, address her secretary formally: "Ms. Typeright, could you get this letter out this afternoon." On the other hand, in the informal organizational structure, informal speech would be more likely to occur in this back stage area: "Maggie, got time for this today?"

Most organizations exhibit less formality in the "back stage" area. Back stage is the term Goffman (1959) uses to designate a social setting to which only group members are admitted. Thus no outsiders are allowed to observe or participate in the interaction. Again, the more formally structured the organization, the more formal all interaction, including that in the backstage area. For example, in the very dignified well established law firm or financial institution one might imagine that some degree of formality would hold at all times, even at the proverbially infamous Christmas party.

Latitude for Individual Variation

In a highly formalized organizational structure, there is little latitude for individuals to adapt the social setting to fit their personal preferences and style. There are likely to be prescriptions for most behavior. The extent to which language and other communication modes are prescribed usually depends on the social distance the organization perceives as necessary to maintain its authority in dealing with clients. For example, a large department store may be highly bureaucratized, with a complex array of rules. Sales clerks may be very limited in their latitude to define their work schedules or procedures, but chances are that little attention will be given to language as long as normal decorum is observed. The average department store depends on merchandise and advertising to maintain its market share, not on the authority and expertise of its personnel.

The state of today's economy has turned us all into creatures like Lewis Carroll's Red Queen -- we have to keep running just to keep up (1960: 210). We live in an era of alarmingly fast-paced social change. What effect does this have on our place in the job market? For most of us, it means we can't afford to dally complacently at the job we start with.

Good raises usually come with promotions. There's nothing deadlier to a paycheck than finding yourself stuck in a dead-end career path with nowhere up to go from here. The result is often cost-of-living pay increases that keep up with the cost-of-living about like a tortoise does with a hare. Promotions will not necessarily keep you satisfied with your job; but the impossibility of promotion can have a depressing effect. This chapter addresses a variety of considerations for keeping career options open, if you so choose.

Identifying Career Paths

Let's assume you plan to run like the Red Queen. (That should be a reasonable assumption since you're reading this book). You'll stand a better chance of running up a rewarding career part, 1) such paths actually exist, and 2) you have a good map to guide you. If you're lucky and creative, you may find several alternative paths up, allowing you to choose the path you like best.

Let's take a look at some of the problems you'll encounter in trying to identify career paths. First, few career paths are defined and described in the available literature. You may find job descriptions. But chances are you won't find an accompanying set of available career paths. As a matter of fact, most successful people claim to have followed atypical career paths, as if, indeed, such an animal as a "typical" career path existed. With the exception of a few highly formalized careers where everyone is expected to follow the same career steps (apprentice-journeyman-master in craft occupations) people discover different routes up on their own.

Some employers include "career counseling" as part of a job review. Unfortunately, this counseling is dependent on the knowledge and interest of your immediate supervisor. This means that most such "career counseling" is sporadic and unreliable -- one supervisor may excel in sending subordinates happily along a path to career goals, another may believe that career success just 'happens' to those who work hard.

This means that your best bet probably lies in assuming responsibility for discovering career paths on your own. How do you go about doing that? Easy. Study the formal and informal structure of the organization. Look for line and staff positions in the formal organizational chart -- that is, the organization as it formally presents its line of authority.

Organizational Structure and the Career Path

What do we mean by organizational structure? What is social structure? According to VanderZanden (1993:44), social structure is "the interweaving of people's interactions and relationships in recurrent and stable patterns." Based on this definition, social structures are fairly reliable, and predictable. We know what's going to happen. Some individuals like Lloyd (1989b) and Aburdene and Naisbitt (1992) believe that the military system of hierarchy in the workplace is being replaced by a more participatory and empowering leadership style. (That's something to look out for). The structure dictates to a large extent who fits where in the official design of the organization. For example, if the formal structure identifies a President, a Vice-President, four Managers, and a production crew of 25, that pretty much dictates career paths in the company. It doesn't sound like the kind of place you should work your way up from Girl Friday to President, especially not if the structure and the people in it have been there for a long while.

The Formal Structure -- Line and Staff

The formal organizational structure provides a hierarchical framework in which the relative status of job categories is established, and in which the chain of decision-making power can be traced. Most work organizations actually have an organizational chart, locating at least the principal decision-making roles in the organization as a whole (or in large organizations, within the work unit in question). This structure is termed formal because it is governed by clearly spelled out rules on the matter of succession to authority. (Some of this actually comes from Weber (1947) in his discussions of modern bureaucracies).These lines of authority are at a conscious level of awareness, and should be readily accessible to all who should need such information through organizational charts and/or handbooks. For example, it is formally established that the department manager reports to the vice president of production who reports to the president who reports to the chief executive officer who reports to the chairman of the board. The formal structure is an important tool for passing the buck. It says right on the dotted line that Fallguy is ultimately responsible for decisions in that ballpark. Because of this convenient mechanism, managers insist upon formal organizational charts and then spend half their workday covering their position. Not unlike guarding your bases with two outs.

The formal structure is divided into line and staff. A line position is one that gets to share in the passing of the buck, (i.e., line carries decision-making power. Applicants and/or contenders from within for line positions must therefore speak the language of authority provided, of course, that the new management cohort isn't anti-authority and into egalitarianism).

A staff position is one that provides support services. Harragan (1977:162) states: "Staff jobs serve as ornaments on the pyramid." Whole departments, like personnel, may support the main functions of the organization, say production. Or small support units may provide information and services for line positions. (Clerical services, budgetary analysis, research on strategy, etc.)

Figure 5-1 illustrates an abridged organizational chart for a small corporation. (Large corporations often go to separate charts for each division unless they have monumental wall space; try to imagine how complex this could get for a multi-national corporation). The chart illustrates one of the distinguishing factors between career paths -- whether the job falls technically under line or staff.

Figure 5-1: Formal Structure -- Line and Staff


President-----------------------------------------------------------Executive Secretary

Vice-President of Finance----Vice-President of Operations

--------------------------------------------------------------------------Administrative Asst

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Accounting Staff

---------------------------------------------------------------------------Research Analysts

---------------------------------------------------------------------------R & D Staff

Assistant VP of Finance---Assistant VP of Operations

Engineers, physicists, mathematicians, teachers, production workers, sales people, etc.

Figure 5-1 shows that two Vice Presidents report to the President, and that each Assistant Vice President reports to the Vice President of his/her division. According to this organizational chart, an Assistant Vice President would not report directly to the President. If, however, the new Assistant Vice President of Finance is the President's son-in-law, you might just find that on an informal level he reports to her quite frequently. That's the informal structure! Figure 5-1 also shows that staff members report to line officers. The accounting staff might, for example, present budgets and portfolio analyses to the finance officers, so that the officers can make the appropriate financial decisions. The accounting staff might also assist the operations officers in developing budgets and adjusting budgets to meet special contingencies. Research analysts might gather information on topics required by any of the line officers -- new product information, new program planning, marketing information, demographic trends, etc.

The R and D staff (Research and Development) is responsible for innovative brainstorming and developing new programs, new products, solutions to obstacles in the way of the organization's progress. In some organizations, the R and D staff report to no one; it may, in fact, be separated from the rest of the organization by a brick wall (Burnes and Stalker, 1961), with only a precious few of the line officers willing to interact with the "creative types." Usually the degree to which the R and D staff is integrated with the rest of the organization is indicative of the degree of actual innovation involved. The greater the innovation, the less integration (Morton, 1971). If you are interested in the R and D function, this is an important factor to consider in choosing an organization to work for.

The last entry under line in Figure 5-1 indicates the technical people responsible for getting on with the business of the organization -- the engineers, physicists, mathematicians, teachers, artists, assembly line workers -- essentially the whole production staff. In a large organization, there may be many different production divisions, encompassing a wide variety of administrative, technical, and support skills.

It should be noted that the line positions in Figure 5-1 are in fact hierarchial, with the more senior officers presumably receiving higher salaries and having greater authority and responsibility with each increasing step along the organizational pyramid. Promotions generally occur one step at a time; and socially approved career progress involves climbing the career ladder up the organizational pyramid. Since there is limited room at the top, competition becomes more intensive the higher you climb.

There is not such neat hierarchial progression in staff positions and lower level production positions. Although there may be limited hierarchial progression within staff divisions, there are many staff positions which defy categorical placements in such pyramids. The mad scientist who has invented a dozen new products in the company line is not likely to fit neatly into a position managing other mad scientists. (Mad scientists have a strong tendency to ignore management, anyway). The secretary to an Assistant Vice President may be promoted to secretary to a Vice President, gaining some salary and status, but gaining little or no additional authority or responsibility in terms of her own tasks and her relationship to other employees (except in gatekeeping to the Vice President's office -- she may successfully keep her old boss out if she wants to -- the informal structure).

Line Responsibilities -- Decision Making

Figure 5-1 also illustrates the kinds of jobs you're likely to find in line as opposed to staff. In Figure 5-1, the Assistant Vice President of Finance is in a line position, even though he's an Assistant. He is given decision-making responsibility; and he is in turn accountable to the Vice President of Finance for decisions he makes. He must accept responsibility if anything goes wrong. On the other side of Figure 5-1, the research analysts, who may have more education and more technical knowledge, are not given decision-making responsibility. They advise the line officers.

The line officers take responsibility for their own decisions, while the research analysts generate information upon which the line officers base their decisions. The research analysts take responsibility for the quality of the information, not for the use to which the line officer puts the information. The line officers take the responsibility, and the credit for the consequences of their decisions. If disaster ensues it's the line officer who is called to account. Conversely, if the company makes a mint on that decision, the line officer gets the credit, the raise and the promotion to Vice President, while the research analysts get a pat on the back and a publication in a scholarly journal ("psychic income" according to California's former governor Jerry Brown).

Staff Responsibilities -- Advice and Support

The staff function is to advise and to provide support services -- secretarial, research, accounting, personnel, etc.). Staff people type your letter, bring you coffee, interpret your computer printouts, screen your job applicants, and balance the corporate checkbook. Line people decide what to say in the letters, what to put in the coffee, what to do with the computer printout, whom to hire and what to spend the corporate money on.

The language patterns these two sectors, line and staff, are really quite different. We choose from our field research a moderate-sized realty firm to illustrate the point. Let's compare the two positions: 1) a real estate agent - function: to sell real estate; 2) trainee - function: to provide useful market information to the agents. The real estate agent has decision-making power - line position; the trainee has no decision-making power - a staff position. The subject of a memo: selling points for commercial property. The message: value of property will increase faster than inflation. Now let's look at the copy of a letter the real estate agent turned in for approval the first week after her promotion from trainee:

"If you invest in commercial property, you may increase your earnings faster than through stock and savings investments. If property values continue to climb as they have recently, the rate of return on property will exceed the inflation rate."

This language is appropriate to support staff describing alternatives for line officers. That's what the agent had been doing as a trainee. But that's no way to sell real estate, especially not in a flyer designed to ferret out potential buyers. The language of the line position is one of firm decision. There may be many alternatives, but once you've weighed them and come to a decision, confident unequivocal statements maintain the image of authority backed by expertise. Thus, we would remove the "if's" and "may's". The realtor, who had been trained in research, was used to the language of the careful investigator: "one plausible explanation . . ." But that is staff language. For her flyer we suggested: "Property values continue to climb. Return on commercial property way ahead of inflation." The statements are true and they reflect confidence and compelling authority. Of course, that's hardly the way to word a research report designed to give a line officer strategic information. Therefore, the formal structure has generated language styles as well as jargon to fit its special needs.

Exercise 5-1: Staff Language versus Line Language

Listed below are three examples of staff summaries. Translate each example into line statements. We've translated the first one, listed suggestions for the second, and left the third for you to translate.

1. Translate the following product development report from Research and Development language to language appropriate for an advertising campaign for the product.

Staff Summary: Destructive testing demonstrated that the mystery product is twice as durable as the competition product. Under controlled laboratory conditions simulating actual use, the new material used in the mystery product matched the performance of the old material used by the competition. Cost-price studies indicated that with the use of the new material the mystery product will reduce production costs by half, thus enabling us to price the mystery product well below the competition.

Translation to advertising copy:


2. Translate the following strategic planning summary into language conducive to choosing and implementing one of the suggested alternatives.

Staff Summary: There are several alternatives open on this issue. While we could choose A, in my opinion, it is a bit risky. B, on the other hand, seems like an important way to go. But I think that C combines the best elements of both A and B without the drawbacks of either. Perhaps C is the better direction.

HINT: Consider in your translation that the words and phrases "in my opinion," "seems like," "I think" and "perhaps," are all qualifiers -- these are staff phrases for presentation information to decision-makers. You can start the translation to decision-making language by eliminating the qualifiers.






3. Translate the following marketing research summary into line language appropriate for selling the marketing campaign to Zero Company.

Staff Summary: When presented with a list of competing products the consumers surveyed tended to express a preference for the mystery product from Zero Company. Among those who had tried both the mystery product and others, the preference for the mystery product was even stronger. These results tend to support the hypothesis that giving customers a chance to try the mystery product through distribution of free samples might be an effective way to increase sales for the mystery product.






Career Path Differentials Between Line and Staff

As you look for career paths, remember that line jobs have fewer closed paths than staff jobs. Most staff functions have much shorter career paths with fewer alternatives than line. For example, look at the personnel function. Personnel is one of the major support services for an organization. In an organization which recruits college graduates, you might start out with an entry level job as an interviewer, then move to a job as campus recruiter, then to supervisor of personnel at one location, then to director of personnel for the entire organization. And that may be the end of one career path for a personnel specialist. The director of personnel is unlikely to be promoted to a position in, say, operations. This means the director is going to stay in his job. And stay, and stay, and stay, and . . . That means that the supervisors of personnel at the various locations have nowhere up to go in this organization. That makes it harder to move from campus recruiter to supervisor of personnel -- there won't be many openings.

On the other hand, an entry level job in operations, say quality control inspector, might lead to five or six jobs at the next level of operations, and each of these might lead to three or four jobs at the next level, and so on. After all, the whole organization revolves around operations, while personnel is just one peripheral function. If the personnel department is large, it too, will have several alternatives at the lower levels; but support service departments will usually have more limited options than the entire array of opportunities in operations. This will also vary by the size of the organization. Larger organizations will tend to offer a wider array of opportunities for both.

Line/Staff Barriers in Career Paths

In the course of our field research, we have found that some organizations permit line people to move into staff positions for a year or so, then move back into line. This is seen as a means of giving line officers a broad view of the organization's operations. Large banking corporations seem to have adopted this policy. A personnel officer in one large bank commented that line officers often move into personnel for a few years to gain broader experience. However, staff people rarely move into line from personnel or any other staff function, if they regard themselves primarily as staff. Thus, there seems to be a pattern through which people choose to identify initially with either line or staff. Thereafter, the options are more flexible throughout the career path for line people.

The Complex Effects of Limited Room at the Top

There's another area in which career paths may be limited. This is in the administrative and managerial levels. Here the limitations are different in nature. The problem is that there are short career paths with few steps to climb -- it's that there are so many applicants for every spot that the severity of competition may limit this career path. Remember the old saying: "Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians?" Managerial careers are lucrative and glamorous (depending, of course, on your philosophical persuasion). But all social grouping, including work organizations, exhibit stratification at least to some extent. According to Richard T. Hall (1975:320-321), the number of managers in a firm will vary across industries. Some will have many chiefs, some will have few, but all are pyramid shaped. The higher you go, the fewer positions there are at the next level of promotion. Thus, we can confidently predict that despite the fact that many may aspire to the top level management positions, few will in fact make it all the way to the "top."

One social control mechanism many organizations use for defining the problems caused by abundant aspirations confront scarce opportunity is a proliferation of titles. There are, however, some disadvantages to this solution. When there's not much room at the top, so that most people in the organization have nowhere to go, there may be dissatisfaction expressed by employees. After all, they're doing as well as their peers, anyway. But relative deprivation theory indicates that their level of satisfaction will depend to a large extent on the reference group they use for comparison. If people who work in similar jobs in other organizations have a greater number of opportunities to move up the organizational ladder, and if the employees compare themselves to their peers in those other organizations, then they are more likely to express dissatisfaction with their own career options. It is at this point that the organization may begin to proliferate managerial titles.

Actual decision-making responsibility and delegation of authority are far more difficult to redistribute than titles. Hence, the authentic status accompanying the new titles must remain questionable until the formal structure of the organization is effectively reestablished. In the interim, since new Vice Presidents will carry the same title as former Vice Presidents, the authentic status of all Vice Presidents is brought into question. One organizational response to this dilemma is to promote the former Vice President to Executive Vice President, thus adding whole managerial levels to the organizational pyramid.

Still, complex problems remain. Now that there are numerous opportunities at the newly opened managerial levels, many people are able to move up the newly available career paths. But relative deprivation theory indicates that if employees compare themselves to their peers in this same organization, seeing more and more of them promoted, they are likely to express more dissatisfaction if they themselves are not promoted. As long as no one has a chance at moving up, the Red Queen's solution to survival is tolerable. But when some people do get ahead, running to stay in the same place can lead to dissatisfaction. And when dissatisfaction becomes disruptive, the organization will be faced with a new proliferation of career spots.

To the extent that the organization is growing this escalation of management levels may be functional. But when the organization's market share and output remain stable within the limits of normal economic growth, the cycle described above can lead to a top heavy organization where administrative and managerial costs can undermine its profits. Careful executive planning is therefore requisite to permit a viable growth in career opportunities. After all, if the company bankrupts itself through poor management planning, all career paths disintegrate spontaneously.\par }{\plain \f1 \tab It is imperative to note the centrality of this issue to the affirmative action concerns of the past two decades. Minorities, who have been historically barred from traditional career paths, must seek a proliferation of career opportunities if they are not to be seen as taking jobs which would have "rightfully" gone to a white male who had stood his turn in the career line. Where openings are limited white males could find themselves now in the position of being barred from promotion (a situation highlighted by recent court cases). And yet if proliferation of openings does not carry genuine redistribution of decision-making power and status, the minority member finds himself with an illusionary prize at best. Thus, strong affirmative action programs should be tied into the very core of executive planning.

Estimating Career Path Opportunities

At highly skilled, professional, or managerial levels of job classifications career paths are often longer and the salaries higher, and the salary range broader, even at the lowest levels of the career path. Within a specific large organization you would be likely to find this effect even more pronounced.

Rule 1 on Career Paths: The broadest range of career paths will be available in the organization's main functions.

Corollary to Rule 1: Since line positions tend to encompass an organization's main functions and to be more generalist than technical, career paths are longer, with fewer dead-ends, in line than staff.

Effects of Social Trends on Career Paths Through Formal Structures

Career paths are strongly affected by subtle changes in an organization's main functions. A close look at changing patterns in the modern urban university is to teach and to provide knowledge through research. However, with the advent of large numbers of students and the monolithic structure produced by research funding, new process functions have emerged: the processing of students for purposes of accreditation as graduates and the constant regeneration and processing of research funding. As these process functions have increased with increasing student enrollment and increasing pressures for outside funding, whole new career paths have opened up.

Once, administrators and program directors on university campuses were primarily faculty members, often serving only temporarily in those roles, to return later to teaching and research. Today, administrators and program directors often follow career paths once primarily filled by faculty. (Faculty may still move into these paths, but the tasks connected to the new job usually have a greater emphasis on the processing function and correspondingly greater requirement for skills in that area.) As the emphasis on process functions gained momentum through the decade of the 80's, it will be interesting to watch the effects on university career paths. In the 1990's, universities are experiencing very lean times characterized by program and departmental closings, few hired, early retirement incentives, and major budgetary cutbacks across the board.

A similar pattern exists in the public education system in which the process function has led to ever increasing administrative staffs in recent years. As these paths have become formalized they have become increasingly removed from the teaching function, and formalized through special administrative credentials. This has led to widespread dissatisfaction on the part of teachers who find themselves with no place up from here to go, if it is the teaching function which attracted them to the career. In this instance there is a loss of flexibility and opportunity in the interface with the process function.

Another occupation in which social trends have affected strongly the development of career paths is that of banking. For many years the accepted route up began with the job of teller. Then it became economically necessary to find space in the work force for increasing numbers of women. One of the positions which opened up to women was that of bank teller. But, mysteriously (meaning of course that no one was conscious enough of the process to verbalize it), the position of bank teller no longer served as a route up the banking career path. One highly visible result was that males no longer worked as bank tellers, except for minimal training periods on their way to management. You see, social movements build momentum over many long years -- sometimes even centuries. In this instance, society implicitly recognized this need to provide a means for some women to earn a livelihood. But the concept of their pursuing a career had not yet begun to germinate. Today, women have come to the point of demanding careers, and society has begun to admit (in some sectors) of the legitimacy of that claim. One result is that sex segregation in specific jobs (such as that of bank teller) is now seen as discriminatory -- not only to males who lost that option of employment, but to all bank tellers who are seen as outside the more general career paths in banking. Today, both men and women enjoy the privilege of using that position as a step on the banking career path, if they so choose.

But society is still complex; and social change is still slow in coming. Although the banking industry was one of the first to offer meaningful advances to women into managerial ranks, it now finds itself an industry which attracts a higher proportion of women than men, precisely because of the opportunities it offers. Slowly the industry is working to attract males, and restore the balance. The reason? Even today, it is recognized that any industry which becomes heavily female is likely to lose status and economic standing. Old stereotypes die slowly.

One conclusion we might draw, at least tentatively, from this is that opportunities along career paths might be more open and flexible to males in female dominated organizations; and more open and flexible to females in male dominated organizations (barring the existence of open discrimination in either case).

Effects of Industry and Corporate Growth on Career Paths In a growing corporation, concern with career paths may be minimized since continual expansion with new personnel and new job categories will offer many new career paths, especially at lower levels. However, in stagnant periods, with little or no new hiring, there are fewer promotions, providing fewer openings along all career paths.

Rule 2 on Career Paths: At times of low or no growth, career paths will be more stagnant, with fewer alternatives and fewer promotional opportunities for occupants.

Effects of Technological Development on Career Paths When the technology in an existing industry changes, careers and jobs based on the old technology shut down and new career paths open up. Two good examples of this are the mechanization of agriculture and computerization of almost everything. When agribusiness uses machines to harvest tomatoes, thousands of tomato pickers lose their jobs. Permanently. At the same time a few people who can drive those machines and a few more who can build and service those machines, get new jobs. You've probably figured out by now that the tomato pickers do not get these jobs.

For some time after the birth of computers, this technological change created more jobs than it destroyed. Recently, that trend has been reversed, and jobs are disappearing into the computer. Port (1980, 62-63) notes:"New technology is making it possible to replace increasingly skilled workers. The latest computer-controlled robots are considerably more versatile than their simple-minded predecessors of just two years ago. And a new generation of robots that "see" and "feel" and even "think" is emerging from the laboratories. Some automation experts say that such smart robots could displace 65% to 75% or more of today's factory work force." For example, the hospital laboratory full of technicians will eventually be replaced by robotics and computers. Initially, a lot of drudgery was taken over by the computer, and along with it, the jobs of people who did the drudgery for a living. At the same time new, equally routine, jobs were created as accounting clerks were replaced by keypunch operators. Better jobs and careers also opened up like magic -- computer programmers, systems analysts, information analysts, etc. These new careers opened up to new people -- people with different, and generally higher skills than those who held the drudgery jobs -- people in different companies and industries than those from which the jobs were disappearing (Hall, 1969:196-197).

Rule 3 on Career Paths: Watch for changes in technology that may open up new career patterns or close down the one you are on.

Informal Structure -- Its Effects on Career Paths

The formal structure gets a little hazy when we come to the matter of staff. Within each staff unit, we can clearly establish a formal hierarchy of authority for that unit; but these staff units are scattered like nebulae throughout the entire organization. In certain areas their functions overlap so hopelessly that they defy the patience of the organizational chart people. This is how it sometimes happens that the most improbable units are all lumped together in a triumph of bureaucratic legerdemain. This leads to the boss' lament: "But why should I have to go through personnel for Merlyn's three-day conference at the magic convention? It's part of his professional development - and that should be my decision." Ah, but the boss hasn't reckoned with the difficulty of pinpointing on the formal chart the responsibility for professional development decisions. Such a neat category. It ought to fit somewhere. And there it goes -- formally into personnel.

But if the formal structure gets a little hazy around the edges, that route is generally avoidable. That's where the informal structure comes in. The informal structure tells us how it really gets done. Korda (1975:93) notes: "Nobody interested in power can afford to ignore the existence of this system of alternative management, without which no business could survive for long. All tables of organization, and most titles, are meaningless, and the more carefully worked out they are, the less they are likely to have any recognizable reality." The language of the formal structure is one of almost legal precision. The language of the informal structure is one of nuance. One good example of the informal structure is office gossip. According to an April 1986 article in USA Today, "gossip helps us to establish the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Gossip is also informational." I remember working in a university library as a student assistant. There was a student named Tony. He was all over the library always visiting the various departments in the library. He was known as the library's gossip. He knew what was happening, who was doing what, and when a job announcement was being typed up. He was the informal information pipeline. Korda (1975:88) states: "Gossip has always come in for a bad press, and the person who is interested in power should certainly avoid gossiping to anyone. That does not mean it's a bad idea to listen to gossip. Quite the contrary: All gossip is worth hearing if you are strong enough to resist commenting on it, embellishing it or passing it along."

Where stratification in the formal structure is neatly ordered by rules and largely stable, stratification in the informal structure is constantly in flux and negotiable. This is the organizational family. At the level of the smallest unit, the boss refers to his secretary as "my secretary" and she to him as "my boss." Here is the nucleus of the loyal family unit. And for so long as sex-role typing held sway in access to jobs, the relationship bore a resemblance to the family unit. The secretary protected her boss from trivial intrusions, fielded his calls, turned away unwanted callers, and managed the housekeeping chores of keeping order, stocking supplies, and handling all the small details on her own. In exchange, he protected her from outside criticism, infringements, on her territory or rights, and cloaked her in his status. No job description listed these duties - they were carved between the lines, safe from personnel departments.

The organizational "family" may also have many parallels to the social structure in the small village. We encounter the pompous ass, the village "idiot" (protected and retained because he's one of the family), the venerable patriarch (no longer a part of the main line decision-making, but not to be slighted either), the maiden aunt (whose whole life is the organization), the promising young protege, the indolent cousin (who leaves his work for others), the jealous gossip, (the shameless siren, the Don Juan -- they're all there, along with the countless others in the teeming daily life of the organization. It is against the complex of interplay of all these roles that messages must be negotiated through the informal structure.

The informal structure of an organization is created by the workers themselves, is not documented by charts, and may exist largely out-of-awareness for most people. Its effect on career paths can be as strong or stronger than that of the formal structure, depending on the particular organization. There are two major components to the informal structure you should notice when looking for career paths: communication patterns and spatial patterns.


First, the communication structure. There is power in the control of information flows. One kind of information flow will be indicated by such patterns as who sends official memos to whom (a pattern which usually follows the organizational chart from top down). Another, and often very different, kind of information flow will be indicated by such social network patterns as who lunches with whom, by who gets information about important organizational decisions first and from whom, by who initiates conversation and/or interaction with whom.

How does the communication pattern of the informal structure affect career paths? Well, if you take a job under a supervisor who is left out of the informal communication channels, chances are you'll receive little support from your supervisor toward your career goals. She may recognize her peripheral role amongst her peers, and understand the implications of greater difficulty in getting her own promotion without informal peer support. She may even resent helping you if it means that your promotion will take you past her on the career ladder.

Another problem encountered with a supervisor who is peripheral to the informal flow of communication is that even though he may wish to promote you along a career path, he may not be privy to the information and contacts essential to locating the next step upward. The informal information flow is a valuable guide to people in a position to help you formulate and attain your career goals. Those people who traditionally get the most important information first, and who are central to the communication pattern, will learn sooner of new developments, new openings, and probably play a large part in the decision-making.

There is, of course, also the grapevine, which often supplies information on openings. Though often unreliable, the grapevine can provide clues as to what you should watch for in the informal information flow. The grapevine may be the first to report that Hairy TopDog is planning to retire early, leaving a spot along your career path open. Thus, "politics" is nothing more than getting to know people on an informal level.

Spatial Patterns

Large, well-decorated, centrally located offices go with power. The further a unit is away from the center of power, less its prestige. The smaller the office and the more out of the way from main traffic arteries, the less the prestige. Offices with windows, particularly with views, have higher prestige than those without. Generally, the higher the floor on which the office is located, the greater the prestige. Most of these patterns of prestige are based on patterns of communication flow.

What does spatial status mean to your career path? It gives you an extra clue to the real nature of the informal structure. You may have identified a reasonable career path on the formal organizational chart. But remember to take a close look at information flows and spatial patterns. The informal structure may not substantiate your expectations from the formal structure.

For example, consider the position of vice President of the United States. On the formal organizations chart, he/she is the person second in power in the U.S. Government. What happens if you analyzed the informal information flow? The Vice President is very often well outside the important inner circle. His/her status usually exists only at the formal level. There may be positions like this along your planned career path.

Exercise 5-2: Discovering Career Paths

Exercise 5-2 is designed to help make you aware of the effects that promotion through a career path can have on the number and kind of day-to-day tasks on the job. If you already have an idea of some job you'd like, complete this exercise with information on that job. If you have no idea, or if you have little information about the job, now is the time to visit your campus placement center.

1. Name a job in which you are interested. (An approximate job title will do).


2. List the primary tasks associated with that job.




3. Name one or more jobs to which you might be promoted directly from the job you listed in Question 1.



4. Name the primary tasks associated with the job(s) you named as promotions in Question 3.



5. Now, for all jobs listed, circle those tasks which you enjoy most.




6. Name one or more jobs (and their tasks) to which a second promotion (from the job named in Question 1) might lead you. Circle those tasks you enjoy most.




7. Draw as many alternative career paths from the job you have chosen as you were able to identify, using this chart as an example.

Second Promotion-1---- Second Promotion-2 -----Second Promotion-3

First Promotion-1---- First Promotion-2 ---------- First Promotion-3


------------Starting Job


8. As you are promoted along any of the identified career paths, would you become more specialized? How would that affect your ability to switch paths? To switch companies or industries?





9. As you advance along the alternative career paths are you going to like the tasks you encounter more or less?





10. What career obstacles will you have to cope with if you encounter a job with no promotional opportunities?





Student Expectations and Rites of Passsage into the World of Work

Expectations -- Reality and Illusion

Many students have not yet confronted the reality of the keen competition for entry jobs. They expect higher wages than the market will bear; and they often confront actual salary ranged for the first time in job interviews.

Recall in Chapter 4 we discussed the economic rate of return on the college degree. We noted at that time the perfectly reasonable emotional response you may feel upon discovering that wages will not meet your expectations. You're likely to feel hurt and angry that after all that hard work, when you are at last ready to grab the world by the tail, employers act as though you aren't worth a decent living wage. Unfair, right? And so who do you take it out on? The interviewer who breaks the news to you. We understand your frustration. It's reasonable and justifiable. Many of the interviewers themselves understand. But students' emotional responses with personnel people have led to the image in industry of the "arrogant B.A.".

Nan Maples, Personnel Manager for a large national corporation in the Southern California area, expressed the concerns of many employers. Ms. Maples suggest that some B.A. graduates come across almost arrogantly in an interview, some of which may be a result of lack of experience in interviews. She says that when she discusses salary with them the most frequent response is: "Oh, so low?" But according to Ms. Maples, "I have to calculate their salary in terms of their work in the market place, not in terms of their worth as a human being." Ms. Maples, from the employer's side, sees the long road from the point of hiring to actual productive output. The youthful college graduate comes almost always as a generalist, needing specific training and knowledge of the organization before productive output can be realized. It is in this sense that Ms. Maples calculates "worth." Many employers, like Ms. Maples, are convinced that, at some level, students themselves know this.

Ms. Maples is sympathetic to the plight of the new graduates. Most have, she reasons, been subsidized throughout college by their parents or spouses. They may have lived at home, or shared living expenses with several other students. Now, upon graduation, they look eagerly forward to their "financial independence". So do their parents. "Parents expect them to be on their own now." These expectations fail to take into account the effects of double digit inflations on the cost of independent living. "The cost of living is so high, that it's difficult to earn a living wage when you start out," sympathizes Ms. Maples. "When I started out ten years ago, I decided to live on my own. It was hard, then; and I paid dearly for it. But today I couldn't do it. No one can. Watching these graduates, I get the feeling they're sitting there thinking desperately, "I've gotta live. I know I'm not worth what I'm telling you I'm worth. But how am I gonna live otherwise?" It's sad. Parents are supportive all through school. Then suddenly expect them to be on their own."

Ms. Maples believes that both parents and college professors and counselors should help students develop a more realistic perspective. "I don't see a whole lot of realism out there. They will not be compensated at the level of recent Harvard M.B.A.'s," she says.

Many students believe that industry could offer them higher wages, but fails to do so out of greediness. Students envision windfall profits in most corporations. There are undoubtedly some businesses which consistently underpay their employees. But before you condemn business across the board, take a look at the whole picture. Double digit inflation has eaten into profits at an unprecedented rate. Business finds it increasingly hard to borrow the needed capital for expansion or continued operation. In addition, other economic indicators are rising. Not only is capital increasingly difficult to raise, but the costs to business are rising rapidly. All these factors have an effect on the wage rates business (and public agencies as well) offer entry-level job applicants.

How can you tell whether it's greedy business or business caught between a rock and rising costs? Before applying for any job or asking for a promotion, study the company's annual report to determine its financial condition. (In the public sector, study current local, state or federal budgets, appropriations, and cuts). Also, study industry averages for the various financial ratios, to determine how well the business compares to its competitors. Look for trade publications related to the job area, to get an idea of salary ranges across the industry. Many professional groups publish annual salary range data for their members. Join one or more such groups. Student membership is usually inexpensive and offers many good professional contacts in your future job area. And don't overlook the help your student placement center offers.

Faculty were once as naive as their students in job expectations for graduates. Recent developments in college curriculum development and opening lines of communication with industry and government have begun to change that. Check with faculty members. Those who teach in areas relevant to your job objective may belong to professional associations which publish salary range data. They may know how other professionals in the field can help you assess the market and develop realistic expectations. Check, too, with department offices. Many departments, like Sociology, are making concerted efforts to develop resources within the discipline to help you in your job search and career planning.

Rites of Passage -- "Earning your stripes"

We end this chapter where we began -- with Joan Lloyd's article on learning the new job culture. She (1989a) says, "Don't make a lot of big changes right away. Royal proclamations will only create fear and resentment." What she means here is "earn your stripes, first!!" When you approach industry (or government) with your newly earned degree in hand you are crossing the boundaries from one social system into another. The social norms which define behavior expectations in the academic system vary considerably from the norms in the social system of work. For example, in college each student is evaluated individually. On most campuses, students are expected to compete with one another for top grades. Grade curves are often posted so that students can compare their performance to others. The best recommendations are presumably given to those students who excel over others. Even academic institutions compete with one another to produce the most competitive students. And most of this competition takes place in written exams and term papers.

Upon leaving the academic social system you will discover (perhaps to your amazement) that there are very few tests to take and term papers to write in the world of work. Very different measures will be used to assess your performance. And there will be far less emphasis on "competition" and more emphasis on teamwork. (Women, take note. Men have often had team experience all through school -- in athletics. Women have had almost exclusively competitive experiences). Even the most ambitious young executives are careful to manage their corporate identities as embers of "the team". There will be starts, just as there are on athletic teams. But the corporation wins, not the individual.

This shift from individual to team emphasis as we cross the system boundaries from college to work is one of the main causes of disillusionment for both industry and the student. The bright student who has excelled for four years expects industry to be as pleased with his/her accomplishments as his/her professors were. But industry has not exams to take. Employers are glad you did well in college, but they can't use your test-taking skills. They expect you to learn performance skills when you enter their system. Performance skills are rarely taught in a classroom. Even medical schools require long years of internship and residence, largely outside the classroom.

This is the point at which major misunderstandings take place between students and employers. Employers want you to "earn your stripes" before you ask for large salaries. But, you feel you have already "earned your stripes" by getting top grades. The problem here is that accomplishments in one social system rarely transfer intact to another social system. You are experiencing the "rite of passage" in moving from the school system to the work system. You must now pass the work system initiation to prove your right to status in your new system. Consider what happens to athletic stars drafted onto professional teams. Sports announcers often comment, "Now we'll get a chance to see how he performs in pro ball." Rookies have to prove themselves all over again. And that, by the way, is when they're playing exactly the same game they played all through school.

What does this mean to you as you contemplate the world of work? You'll need to understand that rites of passage into the new system do exist. You'll be accepted faster if you understand the rules and who that you can help the team win by playing on it. Industry isn't hostile. It's just that you're a new kid on the block asking to play. Don't complain vociferously, at least, to those who want to hire you, that you wrote a brilliant thesis on "The art of the lateral pass as an alternative when direct forward motion is blocked," and want to be hired as starting quarterback. It doesn't exactly work that way in the real world. And it's embarrassing when people giggle, especially at you.

The general tenor of arguments put forth by most employers we've interviewed are:

1) Your education has given you the tools you'll need to enter the world of work. Business (or government) will build on that foundation as you move into a career.

2) The first year or two at work for most people will involve learning the basics (of the whole business if you plan a long career path up). You can move up the basics.

3) Wanting to start too high too fast is a general attitude of today's graduate -- and the team finds this "uppity."


This chapter has dealt with the sociological concepts of culture and social structure as they relate to the workplace (i.e, the problem of identifying career paths in the formal structure of the organization, making the distinction between line and staff and the different kinds of careers open to the two). In addition, this section discussed the effects of social trends, corporate growth, and changing technology upon career paths in the formal organizational structure. Next, the informal structure of the organization was defined and discussed with particular attention to the effects of communication networks and spatial patterns upon careers. Finally, the expectations of the student and his/her rite of passage into the world of work were described in relationship to reality versus fantasy and the necessity of "earning your stripes."

Appendix A - Sociological Terms in this Chapter

Career path --A sequence of jobs through which you progress. Ideally, you would gain status, responsibility, and income with each promotion or job change.

Culture -- The social heritage of a people; those learned patterns for thinking, feeling, and acting that are transmitted from one generation to the next, including the embodiment of these patterns in material items. (VanderZanden, 1993:63).

Formal and informal structure -- The formal structure of an organization is that which is formalized in organization charts and rules. The informal structure is that which is created by the workers to circumvent the rules so they can get the work done.

Information flow -- Information generally flows from the top down, in an organizational pyramid, in the form of memos, instructions, directions and work schedules. Information required to get the work done, such as when spare parts can be ordered, also flows horizontally.

Line and staff -- On the organization chart line positions have decision making responsibility and form one large pyramid structure. Staff positions have advisory and support responsibilities and are more likely to form small pyramids within support divisions.\par likely to form small pyramids within support divisions.

Market share -- When you manufacture a product that produce must compete with other products of the same kind for a share of the market. If you make 25 TV sets and total annual production for our market is 100 TV sets, your market share is 25%.

Relative deprivation theory -- According to relative deprivation theory, the feeling of being deprived depends on our reference group. For example, if a 40 year old woman (with three children) who has never worked compares herself to friends who are 40 (with children), divorced, and forced to work at something they don't like, she may feel privileged. If, on the other hand, she compares herself to her 42 year old sister who has two children, is married and is a successful architect, she may feel deprived.

A 32 year old high school teacher may feel quite content when he compares himself to his friends in sales and factory work. However, he may feel deprived when he completes the hours he works and the pay he receives to those of this 35 year old friend who is a university professor. Deprivation is relative.

Rites of passage -- Generally a ceremony, sometimes a painful initiation that marks the transition from one social status to another. Some examples are from child to adult (the Bar and Bat mitzvah), and from adult to senior citizen (Retirement).

Social structure -- The interweaving of people's interactions and relationships in recurrent and stable patterns (VanderZanden, 1993).

Spatial patterns -- The amount, type and location of space allotted to people is often an indicator of social status or patterns. For example, in a large organization if the receptionists are white females, and all African-American females in the organization are located in offices away from the organization reception areas, where they would be unlikely to be seen by clients, the spatial pattern indicates discrimination.

Support services -- Services that are peripheral to the main function of the organization. Sometimes entire departments or divisions exist within an organization to provide support services; sometimes in small organizations this task falls to individuals. Examples of support services: personnel, maintenance (of the organization's products), training, health and safety, accounting, etc.

Appendix B - Self-Diagnostic

Now let's see how well you can wind you way up organizational paths. Is it true that this Vice President's secretary really runs the place? Enter T for True or an F for False.
-----1.Your boss is always in meetings with the big shots, talking to important customers, while you get all the work done. This boss will be helpful to you in moving ahead.-----
-----2. You're 40 years old. You're an executive secretary. You work for the President of the company. There's no where to go up from here.-----
-----3. You decide to get a Ph.D. in electrical engineering. You study and spend all your time working on complex engineering problems. This will get you where you want to go -- to an executive V.P. in this aerospace company.-----
-----4. A job is a job is a job. It doesn't really matter who does it, the job will be pretty much the same.-----
-----5. The research staff has a great deal of decision-making responsibility for the direction the corporation will take in the future. -----
-----6. Research has shown that ethnic minorities have difficulty in performing roles because of their lack of aggressive personality traits. -----
-----7. When an industry is in a high growth period, there will be more career opportunities available.------
-----8. One reason entry level salaries are so low for college graduates is that industry has to invest so much in their training.------
-----9. Even though some workers are losing their jobs to new technology (computerization), they are finding better jobs through the new technology. -----
-----10. Once women were admitted to the job of bank teller, that job ceased to serve as a route to management.------
-----11. If you read the women's success books, you'll discover that women have learned not to take secretarial jobs.-----
-----12. Since most women in this society have experienced some socialization in deferring to men, this interferes at an unconscious level with their ability to learn leadership skills.-----

Correct answers and career forecasts for this self-diagnostic may be found in the next section. It should be noted that the logic of the justification for your answer is more important than the answer itself.

Scoring and Career Forecasts for Self-Diagnostic

Score one point for each correct answer.

1. True.

2. We opt for False: Half the authors of the feminist literature opt for true. This is one of the cutting edges of current research.

3. False.

4. False.

5. False.

6. False.

7. True.

8. True.

9. False.

10. True, however, recently the position has opened to management trainees, both male and female, as part of their management training.

11. False.

12. True.

Your Career Forecast for the Chapter

10-12 points: No fair reading the chapter first. You seem to understand how to ascend the organization.

7-9 points: Okay. So you psyched out our tests. Now all you have to do is psych out your boss.

4-6 points: If you're not careful you're going to get stuck on a career path. Beware of falling career obstacles.

0-3 points: Get lost in mazes a lot, don't you? You're running in the wrong direction. Beware of sudden demotions.


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Goffman, Erving. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday.

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Korda, Michael. (1975). Power! NY: Random, 1975.

Lloyd, Joan (1989a). "Take Time to Learn a New Job Culture," Milwaukee Journal (October 1, 1989).

-----. (1989b). "1990's Promise Exciting Changes."Milwaukee Journal. (December 17, 1989).

Molloy, John. (1981). Live for Success. New York: Morrow.

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Weber, Max. (1947). From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. Ed. and trans. by Hans H. Gerth and C.Wright Mills. New York: Oxford University Press.