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Egalitarianism and Managerial Hierarchy: Exploring When and Why Egalitarians Disfavor Managerial Hierarchy
Variation in people’s ideological preference for the maintenance versus attenuation of inequality between social groups (i.e., social dominance orientation; SDO) predicts many important sociopolitical outcomes. We argue that SDO may also predict the way people engage with work organizations which might cause unanticipated conflict in attracting potential jobseekers. Building on research connecting ideology to person-organization fit, we explore whether SDO predicts attraction to different organizational structures. Across four studies, we find that egalitarians (those lower SDO, who prefer inequality attenuation) disfavor organizations with much (vs. little) managerial hierarchy; this effect is attenuated among anti-egalitarians (higher SDO). Testing two mechanisms—anticipated organizational efficacy and belonging—we find that anticipated belonging mediates these effects. When cues to belonging for egalitarians are provided, egalitarians favor a very hierarchical organization slightly more than anti-egalitarians. We contribute to research connecting ideology to organizational attraction and our understanding of when ideology and organizational structure conflict.