Pygmalion Goes to Work: The Effects of Supervisor Expectations in a Retail Setting
The extent to which the Pygmalion effect occurs in a work organization was investigated. In this study, which took place over a 3-month period in a retail setting, the relationship between a supervisor's expectations of a subordinate and the resulting performance of the subordinate was investigated. Ss included newly hired sales associates and their first-level sales managers. The results revealed little evidence of the Pygmalion effect in the overall sample. However, the results indicate that the Pygmalion effect may have been more operative among men than among women. Although previous research has provided ample evidence of the Pygmalion effect in educational and military settings, this study's lack of significant findings suggests that the process through which supervisory expectations are translated into changes in subordinate behavior is considerably more complex than has been commonly believed.