Feldberg, A. C. (2022). The Task Bind: Explaining Gender Differences in Managerial Tasks and Performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 67(4), 1049-1092.

This multi-method study of managers in a grocery chain identifies a novelmechanism by which threats of gender stereotypes undermine women’s ability tobe effective managers. I find that women managers face a task bind, a dilemmathat managers experience as they try to disprove a negative group stereotypeby doubling down on one set of tasks at the expense of other essential tasks.My analysis of interview, observational, and archival data reveals that,compared to men, women do more tasks in front of subordinates—in thissetting, supervisory tasks “on the floor” of the store—in order to showcasetheir qualifications as managers. In doing so, they forgo attention to othertasks that are less public but no less important to being effectivemanagers—in this setting, planning tasks in the office of the store.Neglecting office tasks ultimately undermines the profitability of womenmanagers’ departments. This study’s identification of the task bind hasimplications for theory and practice related to stereotype threat and womenleaders, showing how the threat of negative gender stereotypes, prompted hereby concern about subordinates’ perceptions, can affect managers’ behaviors inways that detract from the performance of managers themselves and that oftheir organizations.