Tokenism Theory

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Tokenism. Kanter (2003) elucidated tokenism as a situation where organizations made perfunctory gestures in a bid to represent minority groups in leadership. For instance, such practices include appointing one to two women minorities to top teams to reflect TMT diversity. The concept of “tokenism” emerged as one of the palliative measures that some firms adopted to comply with the gender diversity tenets of their firms. Kanter (2003) averred that men were more accepting of “one woman amidst several men” on a team and felt more in control when the diversity condition of at least “one representative” was satisfied than having none at all (pp. 790-810). However, Kanter asserted that tokenism failed to correct the consequences of gender-based…show more content…
Pfeffer posited that resource control is crucial to organizational decision-making and should be well balanced within diverse teams because non-diverse groups were more likely to manipulate issues relating to gender diversity, career advancement, and firm performance. The author affirmed that while the control of resources determined the level of authority of TMT executives, it could also be detrimental to the career aspirations of employees who do not control resources within the enterprise. Pfeffer’s assertions that an organization’s resource base influenced its sustainable survival measures in times of crisis appears instructive on its significance to the controlling power structures in…show more content…
According to Emerson (1962), resource control can be summarized as a situation where “A gains control over B due to access to resources that B values but cannot obtain. The more resources A acquire, the more control A can exercise over B” (p. 31). Emerson asserted that those who have influence over resources are likely to dictate organizational policies, and would eventually dictate those who sit on TMTs. This position has a significant implication on the rate of women’s advancement in F500s. Emerson’s evidence portends danger for women’s career aspiration to TMTs due to the exchange-based power structure of resource control, where those who hold the most resources wield the most power and authority in an
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