How do management, in general, perceive female managers, and how do these perceptions influence organizational practices?: An exploratory study of several manufacturing companies in the Umeå Region
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background: Previous researchers have identified perceptions and practices as key barriers to women's advancement opportunities. Moreover, the region of Umeå in Sweden has been experiencing a low representation of female managers, and the manufacturing industry is male-dominated throughout the country. Management perceptions of female managers could be categorized in four different perspectives and these were used after some modification, by adding other, relevant theories from the field of women in management. Organizational practices had shown to be crucial in enforcing gender equality in organizations, and for this study, internal and external recruitment, succession planning and training and development were explored. The intention was to explore how organizational practices had been influenced by management perceptions of female managers, by looking for indicators within these.Purpose: To explore how management, in general, perceive female managers, and how these perceptions might influence organizational practices.Research questions: How do management of several manufacturing companies in the Umeå region perceive female middle managers? and Do these perceptions affect the organizational practices? If so, how?Key concepts:Management perceptions: Subjective constructions of human behavior, more specifically, management attitudes and beliefs towards female middle managers.Middle manager: Someone who deals directly with employees and is in charge of at least one subordinate level and reports to a top-level manager.Organizational practices: Strategic activities in a company.Methodology: This exploratory study was conducted with a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews. Primary data was collected from six different companies in the Umeå Region and secondary data consisted of scientific articles.Findings and conclusions: The perceptions of female middle managers held by management at manufacturing companies in the Umeå Region did influence the organizational practices. In general, all had positive perceptions of women in terms of the economic benefits that they could bring to the companies. In addition, women’s opportunities in the manufacturing companies were influenced by management perceptions of whether women were considered to have the necessary, technical competencies for management positions. Furthermore, it was concluded that those manufacturing companies whose management prioritized the questions of women in management, had the highest representation of female middle managers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 66 p.
female middle managers, gender equality, management, organizational practices, perceptions
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104997OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-104997DiVA: diva2:822500
International Business Program
Hamde, Kiflemariam, Senior lecturer (Associate professor)
Nylén, Ulrica, Senior lecturer (Associate professor)