RRBM Honor Roll

The RRBM Honor Roll publications have been selected as examples of research that is both rigorous and relevant. The listing below offers credible insights for society.

These publications have been selected for the RRBM Honor Roll by the Selection Board with the exception of 2019 articles selected by a pre-test review panel.


Nature of the publicationJournal article
Title of the publicationOnward and Upward? An Empirical Investigation of Gender and Promotions in Information Technology Services
Journal name/Book publisherInformation Systems Research

The shaky ascent of women up the organizational ladder is a critical factor that may contribute to the lack of women in information technology (IT). In this study, we examine the effect of gender on the likelihood of employee promotions. We further examine whether women get an equal lift in promotion likelihood from performance improvements, work experience, and training as men. We analyze archival promotion data, as well as demographic, human capital, and administrative data for 7,004 employees at a leading IT services firm located in India for the years 2002–2007 and for multiple levels of promotion. We develop robust econometric models that consider employee heterogeneity to identify the differential effect of gender and performance on promotions. We find that, contrary to expectations, women are more likely to be promoted, on average. However, looking deeper into the heterogeneous main effects using hierarchical Bayesian modeling reveals more nuanced insights. We find that, ceteris paribus, women realize less benefit from performance gains than men, less benefit from tenure within the focal firm, but more benefit from training than men. These results suggest that despite the disparity in returns to performance and experience improvements, women can rely on signaling mechanisms such as training to restore parity in promotions. We find that the effects of gender and performance vary with the level of employee promotion; although not as much as men, women benefit more from performance gains at higher organizational levels. Our findings suggest several actionable managerial insights that can potentially make IT firms more inclusive and attractive to women.

Author #1Nishtha polytechnic Langer
Affiliation Author #1Lally School of Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Author #2Ram D Gopal
Affiliation Author #2Warwick Business School, University of Warwick
Author #3Ravi Bapna
Affiliation Author #3Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota