In the past decade, organizational scholars have begun to explore the role of allies in mitigating workplace discrimination toward women and members of minority groups. However, this nascent literature has, to this point, failed to consider the perspective of targets of ally behavior. That is, we do not yet know how targets of discrimination experience others’ intervention or advocacy. To begin to understand these issues, we examine target perceptions of allyship through a qualitative critical incident approach, asking women to describe experiences in which a man has effectively and ineffectively acted as an ally to them in the workplace. Our findings from surveying 100 women provide new insights regarding who engages in ally behaviors, what behaviors these allies enact, when and where the behaviors take place, and why participants believed their male ally engaged in this behavior.

Corresponding Author Information

Shannon Cheng


Department of Psychology, Rice University Houston, TX 77005



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