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EGAL: Asynchronous Teamwork and Gender Differences in Performance: A Study of Folk Musicians in India
November 22, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
We are pleased to share this talk by Aruna Ranganathan, Associate Professor, Management of Organizations, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, on how women perform better when teamwork is asynchronous, rather than synchronous, because working alone will afford them greater freedom for creative expression.
Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022
5-6:30 pm PST | Calculate Your Local Time
Zoom Registration HERE
Livestream at ISASatUCBerkeley
ABSTRACT: Temporal restructuring features prominently in the future of work. Specifically, teamwork is now often performed asynchronously: members of teams work at different times, by themselves, rather than simultaneously and together. Because women in teams have typically been held back from performing to their full potential, it is imperative to ask: how does this shift to asynchronous teamwork affect the performance of men and women differently? This paper argues that women will perform better when teamwork is asynchronous, rather than synchronous, because working alone will afford them greater freedom for creative expression. We argue that men will not experience the same boost in performance, and thus the rise of asynchronous teamwork has the potential to reduce gender disparities in performance. We explore this question in the context of folk music ensembles in eastern India. After collecting ethnographic and interview data from folk musicians to develop our theory, we conducted a field experiment in which individual singers, both men and women, recorded a song both synchronously and asynchronously with a standard set of instrumentalists. This paper contributes to scholarship on the temporal restructuring of work, performance of women in teams, and gender inequality, while also advancing conversations on the future of work.