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Retaining talent in the maritime sector by creating a work-family balance logic: implications from women managers navigating work and family

Linh-Chi Vo (Institute of Sustainable Business and Organizations, Confluence Sciences and Humanities Research Center, UCLy -ESDES, Lyon, France)
Mary C. Lavissière (Centre de Recherche sur les Identités, les Nations et l’Interculturalité (CRINI), Nantes Université, Nantes, France)
Alexandre Lavissière (CESIT, Kedge Business School, Marseille, France)

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

ISSN: 0960-0035

Article publication date: 10 November 2022

Issue publication date: 16 March 2023

658

Abstract

Purpose

This paper contributes to the social pillar of sustainable supply chain management. It does so by investigating how women managers in the maritime sector handle work-family conflict, thereby acting as institutional entrepreneurs to create a work-family balance logic. The maritime sector is a male-dominated supply chain management environment, which suffers from a talent gap of a lack of women executives. One reason for this problem is work-family balance issues that deter women from staying in the workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors interviewed 35 women working as port managers in different developing countries. The authors analyzed their strategies in coping with the conflict between family and work to create a work-family balance logic.

Findings

The authors found four different types of strategies to handle work-family conflicts. Responses showed that women executives in this sector can be institutional entrepreneurs. Based on the findings, the authors were able to confirm and contribute to the existing model proposed by Silva and Nunes (2021) on sustainable supply chain logic. The authors also provided recommendations for these women as institutional entrepreneurs and for policymakers to retain women talent in the supply chain management.

Research limitations/implications

The research focuses on a specific supply chain management sector, which is the maritime sector. It also relies exclusively on interview data.

Practical implications

The authors propose recommendations to develop a work-family balance logic and retain talented women in the supply chain industry based on monitoring equality and supporting their need for a work-family balance, both in the short and long terms.

Originality/value

The authors interviewed women executives in one of the most male dominated sectors. The authors studied their ability to cope with work-family conflicts and identified four ways to create a work-family balance logic. These findings enabled us to show the contribution and limits of women executives as institutional entrepreneurs for work family balance logics in male dominated sectors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the IPER (Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche) in Le Havre, France for its support in contacting alumni of the IMO granted Program.

Citation

Vo, L.-C., Lavissière, M.C. and Lavissière, A. (2023), "Retaining talent in the maritime sector by creating a work-family balance logic: implications from women managers navigating work and family", International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 53 No. 1, pp. 133-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPDLM-09-2021-0409

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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