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Report: Women and power in business

How to build a position in an organization?

Which are the benefits and potential risks arising from the application of specific influence tactics?

Women much more often decide on rational persuasion, which help them to gain trust and engage others in joint actions. These also influence on company’s attractiveness on the market.

The survey was carried out as an online questionnaire in June and July 2012, on group 242 executives (131 women and 111 men) of all levels working for Polish business organizations. Simultaneously in-depth individual interviews with 12 top level executives were made.

The objective of our survey ‘Women and power in business’ was to call attention to the ways in which power is built in organizations, to show the benefits and potential risks arising from the application of specific influence tactics. Analyzing behavior of managers, both men and women, in professional-life situations, which concerned influencing the boss, peers occupying equivalent positions, subordinates and persons with whom no reporting relationship existed, three main influence tactics were distinguished.

The survey present the differences between men and women when it comes to choosing influence tactics and gaining leadership in organizations. Women much more often decide on rational persuasion, which help them to gain trust and engage others in joint actions. As a result these tactics may contribute to strengthening the position of the company in the market – its stability, trust and commitment. On the other hand men are followers of rational exchange and pressure tactics, which are effective in situations, where quick intervention is needed. 

Company must notice differences in exerting techniques and leaders should consciously apply it. Otherwise organization will be exposed to irregular development caused by overusing one of power-buildings technique. 

To sum up, it should be pointed out that gender diversity in business is a driver of its success. The presence, both men and women in business can strengthen the market. It can develop business organizations and the people working for them.

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