Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Daniel W. Kemper

Second Advisor

Jan Kniffen

Third Advisor

Joseph Silverio


This thesis will focus on the affect of rational bias to the "glass ceiling." Research has suggested that a "glass ceiling" exists in corporate America . It attributes the lack of women in middle and upper management to the "glass ceiling."

Some theorists acknowledge that not all women want to be at the top in management due to the "mommy track" or general lack of interest for that position. However, for those women who desire a position in upper management, some theorists believe women are blocked from upper management positions by the "old boys network" . . . the "glass ceiling."

The purpose of this study is to investigate if the existence of a "glass ceiling" is perceived by both male and female managers. It is hypothesized that people, both male and female, in the corporate sector favor men over women in decision making roles.

Fifty-three office managers participated in the study, twenty males and thirty-three females. The subjects were mailed a questionnaire on rational bias which first was used in a Larwood et al study, and a brief original questionnaire on the "glass ceiling . " The Larwood et a l 's questionnaire was modified to focus only on the independent variable of gender instead of the independent variables of gender and race . It was also modified so that responses to version A were counter-biased by the responses of version B. Data were analyzed by univariate and multivariate statistics.

Results of the analysis provided sufficient evidence to reject the hypothesis . Even though the analysis of the data showed men are favored over women in decision making roles, the hypothesis had to be rejected on the basis that the belief of the existence of a "glass ceiling" in corporate America is dependent on t he gender of the respondent .