he influence of women superiors on the career advancement of their women employees

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This case study considers what role women superiors play in the career advancement of their women employees. A qualitative research method was chosen for this exploratory research, using semi-structured interviews. Before the direct influences were analyzed, the influence of the organizational culture and underlying processes of Kottke and Agars (2005) were examined. The organizational culture of organization XYZ was found to be family-like, pragmatic and conservative and masculine, which led to an informal process of career advancement, a low level of diversity and a stereotypical male manager in the upper echelon of the organization. Four underlying processes; social cognitions, justice, threat-rigidity and utility influenced the success of initiatives aimed at women’s career advancement. The presence of stereotypes, respondents’ identification as change agents, perceived unfairness of initiatives and the focus on short-term utility predicted unsuccessful initiatives for career advancement of women employees. On the other hand the strong feeling of membership towards the organization and the lack of threat were predicted to be beneficial for the results of the initiatives. The direct influence of women superiors was coded into four themes: affirmative action, role modelling, personal support and communication. Because of the informal process of career advancement within organization XYZ, the role of the superior was very important and so the four found themes are quite implicit.
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