Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)




In the 21st century, there are more women in the workforce than ever before. These women work in places and positions across the professional spectrum, and to their positions they bring higher degrees and they compete for higher-paying positions that bring added responsibility. Research has demonstrated that these women and many women have been taught that relationships are important-and that relationships are maintained by avoiding confrontation. Women in the workforce, then, strive to be friends and coworkers at once, and when conflict, disagreement, and/or hurt feelings arise, they often resort to indirect and covertly aggressive behaviors such as gossip, rumors, and exclusion of select others from group activities and conversations. Based on an extensive review of relevant literature and using interviews conducted with seven working women, this research illuminates working women's relationship to the Power Dead-Even Rule. Finally, the research suggests a path toward avoiding indirectly aggressive behaviors and building a healthy, productive work environment.


SC 11.MAL.2010.Friedman.D