He said, she said: Communication theory of identity and the challenges men face in the information systems workplace
© 2019 ACM New York, NY, USA. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1145/3353401.3353407
The preponderance of the academic research focused on diversity in the IS field has emphasized the perspectives of women and racioethnic minorities. Recent research has found that following the appointment of a female CEO, white male top managers provided less help to colleagues, particularly those identified as minority-status (McDonald, Keeves, & Westphal, 2018). Additionally, Collison and Hearn (1994) assert that white men’s universal status and their occupancy of the normative standard state have rendered them invisible as objects of analysis. To develop a more holistic view of the IS workplace, we expand the academic exploration by looking at the challenges men face in the Information Systems (IS) workplace. Using a cognitive lens, we evoke the challenges men perceive they face at work and cast them into revealed causal maps. We then repeat the process evoking women’s perspectives of men’s challenges. The findings are analyzed using the Communication Theory of Identity (CTI) to determine the areas of overlap and identity gaps. This study advances our understanding of the cognitive overlap (and lack thereof) regarding the challenges facing men in the IS field, and provides another step toward developing a more inclusive IS work environment.