What is it about?
This study explores the underlying mechanisms that drive low-intensity workplace mistreatment within stigmatized groups by investigating the crabs in the barrel syndrome (CBS)—a metaphor used to describe the mentality and behaviors of socially identical individuals who become barriers to career success for fellow ingroup members.
Photo by Ravi Sekhar on Unsplash
Why is it important?
This study challenges traditional theoretical assumptions regarding perceived similarity among organizational members, which suggests individuals with stigmatized identities would support one another’s attempts at achievement and advancement. This study makes novel contributions by exploring multiple facets of social identity, societal factors, and organizational context in examining why members of stigmatized groups sometimes experience incivility, conflict, or competition from similar others. This study advances diversity and inclusion research by exploring an integrative framework that investigates the associated behaviors, structural influences and outcomes of CBS in hopes of providing deeper meaning to the experiences of members of underrepresented groups in organizational research. This research encourages scholars and organizational leaders to continue to focus on advancing diversity and inclusion efforts aimed at removing the structural barriers that continue to exist for women and minorities.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Exploring the Crabs in the Barrel Syndrome in Organizations, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, May 2019, SAGE Publications,
You can read the full text:
If you put crabs in a bowl...
This is an image grid of illustrations from an Instagram post by @storysellercomics. He captioned, "Money doesn't buy happiness but money pays bills. Power doesn't buy kindness, but being in power makes it easier to be kind. Privilege doesn't buy peace but being privileged protects from a lot of other discomforts. Please keep that in mind when judging someone who might already be suffering. They are NOT in their natural state. Trenches don't show your true character. They show your character in extremes. No one should have to prove their worth when in extremes. It's not their nature because it's not natural."
The following have contributed to this page