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Fuqua Faculty Conversations

Ashleigh Rosette

Ashleigh Shelby Rosette on Perceiving Social Inequity

November 17, 2014

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Ashleigh Rosette

In our December Fuqua Faculty Conversation, Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, Associate Professor of Business Administration, presented on:

Perceiving Social Inequity

Social inequity is a persistent characteristic of many contemporary work environments. The historically prevailing perspective frames social inequity in organizations as emerging from discrimination: systematic biases that hinder the advancement of subordinate group members. A less frequently considered perspective is that social inequity in organizations emerges from the systematic gains and privilege that members of dominant groups experience. Given the critical impact that privilege recognition can have on the motivation to rectify inequitable differences, in this research, we explore the circumstances that enhance the likelihood of dominant group members viewing inequity as privilege.

View Professor Rosette’s Bio


  1. Looks like I’m not the only one asking the “so what” question of business school research


  2. Dr. Rosette:

    Thank you for addressing my questions. As an emerging scholar, allow me to correct you a point you made in addressing my points and question. Empirical research is often descriptive. What is the distance to the sun? How many people live in the United States? What chemicals are emitted when you burn fossil fuels? This is empirical research, just like yours. It is also purely descriptive, just like yours. Peer review or not, yours is descriptive research. Even if the peer reviewers are from Stanford. While descriptive research is necessary to allow further other findings, it is often not particularly interesting in itself. I hope you don’t go to parties and simply describe what you posted on the video. Maybe your friends would find the perception and framing issues interesting, but I suspect that would be a tiny minority of people. Unfortunately, you discussed almost none of the theory behind your research and repeatedly pussyfoot around its implications and possible uses.

    You did not answer my question of “so what” when responding to me. When you subsequently answered John’s question, you noted that “people don’t like change” and people are “uncomfortable talking about these things.” These are interesting insights, not that frame has an influence over the way we see things. I think that framing affecting perception is pretty obvious. If you can take your frame and attempt to apply it in actual businesses, other workplaces, or in general communities, that would be of interest. Or tying your descriptive findings to similar findings from the past, or contemporary findings from other cultures.

    For example, how would you use your findings to address the social tensions you alluded to in the various protests going on. No doubt you are referring to the democracy protests going on in Hong Kong, since you provided no specifics. Perhaps you are referring to the protests involving alleged police brutality in the United States. Again, specifically tying your research to application would be interesting. When you do that, it would be interesting to get insights on to how you resolve the privilege/disadvantaged divide constructively while maintaining a high level of performance and services that Americans have become accustomed to. And especially not to make those who are privileged feel they are compromised. As an example of how this was not done, if you queried the medical establishment in South Africa, I would expect that you would find that the post-Apartheid impression is that quality has diminished.

    I intentionally worded my questions and comments to be provocative, not to challenge your findings, but to challenge you as a scholar. If you watch the video, you will clearly see how defensive you became in your tone and tenor when addressing my input in comparison to those of others. You can also pick out the nuggets from the video of where your research can go. Until then, your research as you presented it remains descriptive – even if you cannot admit it to yourself. And descriptive research should not be rewarded by tenure at an R1 university as prestigious as Fuqua.

    Best of luck,
    Bill Cleveland

  3. Great information Professor.!.. thoughout our lifetime we will experience some form of favor. ..Whatever cards (meaning life circumstances) your dealt play your hand to achieve the results you want. Thank you for the examples of how some individuals are given status/ privileges vs earned.

  4. Great initiative professor.

    I will be in

    Working ng for a diverse company has been a benefit and a challenge for me……

    Couriers if there is a reason why Asian companies reserve the high executive positions for the natives of that country?

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