Social class has become increasingly popular in the organizational sciences. Recent studies have found that one’s social class influences phenomena ranging from decision-making, to pro-social behavior, and interpersonal interactions. Despite the burgeoning interest in this topic, there remains a great deal of ambiguity concerning the conceptualization and operationalization of social class. For instance, scholars have used income, education, as well as subjective ratings to measures one’s social class. In order to improve the conceptual clarity of social class, I develop and present a model that draws on the dominant theories of social class from both sociology and psychology, while organizing their key principles to explain how social class influences an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By using this model as a framework, this dissertation attempts to refine the conceptualization of social class by testing core research questions pertaining to the construct validity of this construct. Based on a comprehensive, interdisciplinary literature search, which yielded nearly 4,000 effect sizes, I used meta-analytical structural equation modeling to test the proposed research questions and hypotheses. The findings offer clear support for two distinct components of social class (i.e., objective and subjective) that are both highly related to one another and associated with other micro-level constructs (i.e., job attitudes). Given the timeliness and importance of social class, the findings of this conceptual review and empirical meta-analysis offer a means of summarizing this large, interdisciplinary literature while guiding future management research on this critical topic.
|Advisor:||Woehr, David J.|
|Commitee:||Banks, George C., Walker, Lisa S., Webb, Justin W.|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Business administration, Psychology, Sociology|
|Keywords:||Job attitudes, Meta-analysis, Power, Social class, Status|
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