Do they speak SNAG? Comparing male students' perceptions of workplace communication dilemmas with those of female students and female managers
Purpose ÃÂ¿ Barrett compared the perceptions of female management students and senior female managers about effective and probable workplace communication strategies, and the extent to which each group's perceptions were influenced by gender norms in communication. The purpose of this paper is to compare male students' perceptions of the strategies to those of female students and female managers. Design/methodology/approach ÃÂ¿ In total, 255 second-year male management students evaluated strategies for the same dilemmas as the two female groups. Findings ÃÂ¿ Overall, male students resemble female students rather than senior female managers. They reject some stereotypically male strategies, seeing them as more effective for women. Yet, male students regard an ineffective but probable approach to getting credit for ideas as even less effective for men than for women, and an effective, but feminine, strategy for getting noticed for promotion as more effective for women. Male students may believe using overtly feminine strategies penalizes men. Like female students, male students' confidence affects their personal choice of strategy. Research limitations/implications ÃÂ¿ The study used a limited number of dilemmas and demographic factors, limiting the results' generalizability. ÃÂ¿PaperÃÂ¿ scenarios, even if drawn from typical workplace dilemmas, may not reflect the work world. Nevertheless, the findings suggest language ideologies at work are changing for both genders. Originality/value ÃÂ¿ This paper describes the first study comparing students' and senior women managers' reactions to classic workplace communication problems. In addition, it investigates the perceptions of young men rather than stereotypical males.