Butchers, Bakers, and Barcharts: Gender and knowledge in a grocery chain
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CitationFeldberg, Alexandra. 2019. Butchers, Bakers, and Barcharts: Gender and knowledge in a grocery chain. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation investigates relationships between workers’ gender, technology-usage, and performance. Ample research has shown that differences in their relationships contribute to inequality between men and women at work. Other research has shown that the implementation of new technology systems can shift relationship networks within organizations. However, to date, these insights have remained disconnected. I bridge this gap in two ways. First, in two empirical papers based on a multi-method field study of a large grocery chain, I explore both the antecedents to and consequences of men’s and women’s technology usage. I show how their experiences of their organization can shape men’s and women’s decisions about accessing technology. Furthermore, I find that the implementation and use of technology can be democratizing; offsetting disparities in information access that arise from gender-segregated relationship networks, new technologies can close gaps in men’s and women’s performance outcomes. Second, in a theoretical paper, I posit that three fundamental changes to information stored in digital technologies—it is increasingly thick (captured in rich, complex media), customized (tailored to a given query), and traceable (linked to individual users)—may be supplanting core functions of relationships. In turn, these changes are likely to shift at least two conditions that exacerbate gender inequality in organizations: how men and women access knowledge and contribute to its production. Findings from these papers contribute to research on gender, knowledge transfer, technology, and inequality within organizations.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42029658
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