Organizational Dynamics and Gender Equity:The Case of Sociology Departments in the Pacific Region

Stephen Kulis, Karen A. Miller-Loessi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This research attempts to clarify the organization's role in creating or reinforcing occupational stratification by explicitly examining how major organizational characteristics, including dynamic processes of expansion, contraction, and turnover, affect change over time in women's representation. The research focuses on academic sociology, a discipline that recently made modest gains in incorporating women faculty and graduate students. Drawing on longitudinal surveys of sociology departments in the western United States, the study examines the extent and direction of 5-year changes in the sociology faculty sex composition and the degree to which men and women faculty are concentrated at different academic ranks. These changes at the departmental level in women's representation and position are analyzed as outcomes that vary depending on characteristics of the political economy of the department and of the institution as a whole. The model explains a substantial portion of the variance among departments in progress toward gender equity. In particular, high institutional prestige, research orientation, large size, public auspices, nonurban setting, and faculty growth are major predictors of higher representation of women. The analysis has implications for understanding the link between organizational change and how stratification by gender is either preserved or altered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-183
Number of pages27
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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