Discussion Questions for Week 4
Ropes Chapters 8
It is clear from the excerpt in the chapter that there are perceptions that, in the work place, some people should be viewed in a particular manner. To fit in the work place, it is required that one impresses his or her seniors to be able to maintain a good relationship with them. Lesley is uncomfortable with the perception that his male seniors have of her just because she is female. She opposes their expectations of her and listens to advice offered by her colleague. At Lesley’s workplace, men find comfort in their majority while the women minorities are left out, often ordered around to carry out non-work related tasks around the office (Ritti and Levy 50).
The concept of ascribed status comes out clearly in this tale with regard to how men place themselves higher than the women at the workplace. Professional women therefore have to think of ways to make their male colleagues to view them equally, as they would their fellow male counterparts. One way to achieve this is by official dressing. Women should strictly dress officially at the work place. Women should also strive to be as competent as the men are. Healthy competition leads to respect between men and women. False attribution can also be reduced by clearly defining roles of different people at the work place.
Ropes Chapter 9
While Stanley feels like he should move on from his present career to something else, his seniors at work are disagreeing on who should have Stanley under their docket. They have both seen Stanley rise through the ranks in the company from his earlier days up to now. Because of Stanley’s high level of success at work, both Ted and Ben want Stanley to work in their departments. Stanley is not aware of this competition for his services and seeks a career change. He has been tremendously successful at his current work place and feels like he should apply his skills in another career (Ritti and Levy 52).In learning from Stanley’s experience, it is always good to inform your superiors at work of your intentions to seek a career change if at all your harbor such intentions.
Stanley will have a hard time explaining to both Ted and Ben his reasons for leaving when he eventually decides to leave. It would be wrong to say that success can be a bad thing sometimes judging from Stanley’s experience. One should always plan and inform in time all the concerned parties of their intentions to shift careers.
Ropes Chapter 10
The concept of self-fulfilling prophesy in the tale is illustrated by Stanley’s move to another career just as he had hoped for before. He shifts to a career that he thought he deserved. He is able to make his prophesy that he would get employed elsewhere true by asking for vacancies around. And by luck, he gets employed in a different company. The environment one is in always has a direct impact on how someone behaves. People always act in a manner that they feel will make them more comfortable in their environment. Minority job candidates always have a hard time convincing their potential employers of their capability to perform the tasks they will be given. Most employers view them as unlearned and incapable of performing vital duties at the work place. Though most people can relate to Claude’s fears, it is not the right attitude to have. Paranoia greatly reduces a person’s performance capability (Ritti and Levy 52). Mercy points, on the other hand, offered to weak candidates will lead to an incompetent workforce incapable of performing vital tasks.
Ropes Chapter 11
Women should answer illegal questions posed to them courteously as much as possible. However, they should dismiss demeaning questions. When young women like Lesley change jobs, they are seen as having failed to conform to certain stereotyped requirements for women in their former work places so they had to seek employment elsewhere. This is unlike for young men who are viewed as just seeking better salaries. The argument that hiring a female who may take maternity leave is just as costly as hiring a young male who may well leave for another job in two or three years is correct logically but is unfair to women. It is necessary for women to seek maternity leave but it is not equally necessary for men to leave their job for another job though it is dependent on one’s goals.
Ropes Chapter 12
To manage relationships at the work place, both women and men should maintain only professional relations at the job place. Conversations at work should only be about work and not about intimate subjects. Also, with strict company policies against intimate relationships at the work place, it is possible to avoid non-professional relationships at the work place. A woman moving up the ranks at her work place can be explained just as a man moving up the ranks would be explained; because of competence and their merit. False general beliefs however stipulate that women can only get promoted if they offer sexual advances to their male seniors at the work place. Ann Wood is viewed differently by her colleagues at work (Ritti and Levy 65) because she does not usually talk with her colleagues who are at the same level with her but only talks to those of a senior level. All the phrases “thinks like a man”, “a credit to his race” and “sleeping her way to the top” are complementary. However, unlike the first two phrases, the last phrase is derogatory and implies that the woman being “complemented” has been promoted after offering sexual advance.
R. Richard Ritti, Steve Levy. The Ropes to Skip and the Ropes to Know: Studies in Organizational Theory and Behavior. 2009. John Wiley & Sons Publishers. Print.