WORK AS A CENTRAL LIFE INTEREST IN FIRST AND MIDDLE MANAGEMENT
INNOCENTI, LEE ANN
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Women are not moving into the middle management ranks as quickly as men. Centrality of life interest has been shown to be a factor in upward mobility.;This study seeks to answer the following question: Is there a sex difference in the extent to which work is a central life interest for first line and middle management? In considering the issue of upward mobility for women in organizations, two theories were examined. One theory (individual mode) looks at the individual traits or characteristics of men and women. Differing characteristics of men and women are used to explain why women have not been able to succeed on a larger scale in attaining middle and senior management levels. The other theory (structural) rejects the notion of individual differences and puts forth the belief that responses to work are a function of basic structural issues in an organization.;A pilot study was conducted to determine which of 12 variables (sex, level of management, marital status, parental status, birth order, education completed, number of years working full time, number of years in current position, number of years unemployed, age, number of children, and ages of children) should be incorporated into the analysis of the hypotheses being tested in the main study. Multiple discriminant analysis was used to examine the differences between interest in work with respect to several variables at the same time. The "Central Life Interest" inventory (Dubin, 1956) was used to collect data along with an employee questionnaire designed by the researcher to collect demographic data.;From the pilot study five variables (marital status, parental status, level of management, age and age of children) were found to contribute to discrimination among the three categories of work interest (job, non-job and flexible focus). The major study found three variables that contributed to the discrimination among job, non-job, and flexible focused groups. "Marital status" contributed twice as much as "parental status" and slightly more than "age of children". Fifty four percent of the cases could be classified into their correct work interest group by using the three variables which indicated some discriminating power among the variables selected. There were two major findings. One, that there was no sex difference in the extent to which work was a central life interest for first line and middle managers. Two, that work was more a central life interest for single (never married, widowed and divorced) people.