Prenatal exposure to testosterone (2D:4D) and social hierarchy together predict voice behavior in bankers
SourcePLoS One, 12, 6, (2017), article e0180008
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI AO
SubjectWork, Health and Performance
Prohibitive voice behaviors are employees' expressions of concern about practices, incidents, or behaviors that may potentially harm the organization. In this study, we examined a potential biological correlate of prohibitive voice: prenatal exposure to testosterone. In a sample of bankers, we used 2D:4D (i.e., the ratio of the length of the index finger to the length of the ring finger) as a marker for prenatal exposure to testosterone (lower 2D:4D suggests higher prenatal exposure to testosterone). We used a self-report scale to measure prohibitive voice. For low-ranked employees, lower 2D:4D was related to using less voice. No such relation was found for high-ranked employees. Conclusions should be drawn with caution, because the findings only applied to voice regarding the organization as a whole (and not to voice regarding the own team), and because of methodological limitations. However, the findings are consistent with the ideas that (a) people low in 2D:4D tend to strive to attain and maintain social status and that (b) remaining silent about perceived problems in the organization is - at least for low-ranked employees - a means to achieve this goal.
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