Do differences in perception exist between men and women in competition for higher- level job positions and does choice architecture in competition play a role in exacerbating or mitigating these differences?
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- Master of Science 
In recent years, the global workforce has undergone large transformations leading to an intensified focus on workplace competition and its interplay with gender dynamics. The aim of achieving harmonious and inclusive workforces has become paramount for organizations across all sectors, yet the underrepresentation of women in higher-level managerial positions remains a persistent challenge. A contemporary study regarding changing the choice architecture from opt-in to opt-out defaults has shown potential to minimize the gender disparities in higher-level managerial positions. However, as the research is novel, the concept is required further investigation to be proven as the preferable option for organizations in attaining potential candidates. In our thesis, we aim to shed light on the intricacies of gender dynamics within workplace competitions and aim to contribute to the broader venture of building a more egalitarian and diverse workforce. We aim to establish the changes of perceptions between the genders by applying an opt-out framework, to see if the effects can lead to a higher representation of female candidates in higher-level positions. We do this by applying dimensions such as Machiavellianism, Moral Judgement and Willingness to Compete, to examine if an opt-out framework provides positive effects on females and their journey up the corporate ladders. Our results suggest that an opt-out framework does, to a certain point, indeed reduce gender disparities in workplace competitions, however, our findings also suggest that not all ways of the recruitment of candidates should be done with an opt-out design. Following, our findings are not globally generalizable, as our survey has been distributed within Norway. In addition, socio-cultural factors will vary across the countries, and hence, our research should be tested within other cultures, in other countries to obtain a better understanding of the effects of opting out or passive choice architecture.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Leadership and Change - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2023