The purpose of this study is to interpret the expectations, the norms and values related to gender within the concept of organizational culture. Over the past decades, organizational researches have paid great attention to cultural research and feminist theories have increasingly examined organizations from the angle of gender. The research the authors conducted in a business organization attempts to link these two areas.
The authors used the focus group discussion method at a telecommunications company in the spring of 2011 in central Hungary.
The employees interviewed made a sharp distinction between professional and managerial competencies of female managers, accepting the former and often questioning the latter. Female managers met with lack of understanding and reserve if they returned to work when their children were still very young – not a common practice in Hungarian society – or if they worked in a top managerial position.
The findings cannot be generalized.
Although women managers’ acceptance is widespread on the level of rhetoric, they face prejudices in several situations in workplaces.
Novelties of the research include examining the compatibility of priorities based on traditional gender expectations and priorities based on high level of investment in women’s human capital in a highly competitive organizational context within a post-socialist society. The paper presents new insights linked to gendered organizational culture, which has been rarely analysed, and presents data from a Central Eastern European society which differs in many respects from previously investigated countries.
The research was conducted within the frame of TÁMOP – 4.2.1/B-09/1/KMR-2010-0005; the publication has been supported by the TÁMOP – 4.2.2/B-10/1-2010-0023 project. Lilla Vicsek was supported in her work by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences with a Bolyai János Scholarship.
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