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Career success of Arab women managers: an empirical study in Lebanon

Hayfaa Tlaiss (Faculty of Business, University of New Brunswick Saint John, Saint John, Canada)
Saleema Kauser (Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Article publication date: 1 March 2011



The purpose of this paper is to explore how women managers in Lebanon account for their career satisfaction and construct their career success.


A review of literature along with a survey‐based quantitative approach is adopted for understanding the perception of the Lebanese Arab women to their career success. The questionnaire was administered to women participants in managerial and executive roles in different occupational sectors.


The findings suggest that despite the glass ceiling that the Lebanese women managers face, they perceived themselves as successful. However, their success was mainly attributed to their satisfaction with the subjective rather than the objective aspects of their careers.


The value of this paper is three‐fold. First, and in view of the Western focus of similar research, this study contributes to the understudied area of research of women managers and their careers in the Arab Middle East. Second, through empirical research stemming from Lebanon, this paper confirms the salience of the glass ceiling in the non‐traditional Middle Eastern research locale. Third, it challenges the widespread notion that the subjective and the objective dimensions of career success are correlated. Although the findings cannot be generalized to the entire Middle‐Eastern Arab region, they demonstrate important differences in the concept of self‐perceived subjective and objective career success.



Tlaiss, H. and Kauser, S. (2011), "Career success of Arab women managers: an empirical study in Lebanon", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 43-61.



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