A Unified Theory of Colleague Valuation in Political Organizations

Kristin Kanthak and George A. Krause

in The Diversity Paradox

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199891726
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933433 | DOI:
A Unified Theory of Colleague Valuation in Political Organizations

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This chapter provides a unified theory of colleague valuation whereby individual legislators use diversity as a means to differentially discount colleagues whose policy preferences diverge from their own. That is, the tokenism logic advanced in the previous chapter is extended to account for the extent to which any pairwise set of colleagues that involve a ‘valuator’ (i.e., donor) and the ‘valuatee’ (i.e., the recipient) share policy perspectives. Drawing on the insights from Kanter’s tokenism framework, we construct a rational choice model of colleague valuation whereby ‘valuators’ receive utility from ‘valuatees,’ based on an interaction between group size and preference divergence. The chapter then outlines several testable implications of the formal model.

Keywords: colleague valuation; tokenism; Rosabeth Moss Kanter; rational choice theory; ideology; utility maximization; preference divergence

Chapter.  9407 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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