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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Gary N. Powell and D. Anthony Butterfield

The purpose of this paper is to consider the current status of women in management and explanations offered for this status in light of a rare empirical field study of the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consider the current status of women in management and explanations offered for this status in light of a rare empirical field study of the “glass ceiling” phenomenon the authors conducted about 20 years ago.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors review the study’s key arguments, unexpected results, and implications for organizational effectiveness (which have been largely ignored). The authors then review what has transpired and what has been learned about the glass ceiling phenomenon since.

Findings

The nature of glass ceilings has remained essentially stable over a 20-year period, although further explanations for them have flourished.

Research limitations/implications

More scholarly examinations of ways to shatter glass ceilings and thereby enhance organizational effectiveness are recommended.

Practical implications

Organizations, human resources directors, and internal decision makers need to adopt practices that foster “debiasing” of decisions about promotions to top management.

Social implications

Societies need to encourage organizations to adopt ways to shatter glass ceilings that continue to disadvantage women.

Originality/value

A systematic review and analysis of the present-day implications of an early study of the glass ceiling phenomenon has not previously been conducted.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

Francesco Baldi and Lenos Trigeorgis

There has been a long controversy in the literature on assessing the value of human capital – a long-sought but elusive and challenging task. The ability to quantify…

Abstract

Purpose

There has been a long controversy in the literature on assessing the value of human capital – a long-sought but elusive and challenging task. The ability to quantify flexible human capital (FHC) has been a shortcoming in extant literature. We make a meaningful contribution by showing how real options (RO) methodology can be used to quantify FHC and we provide complementary case study evidence from Fortune 500 “best companies to work for” that the value of employee career development is higher in more volatile sectors in line with real options theory (ROT).

Design/methodology/approach

This article provides a prescriptive RO methodology for adopting a more flexible, staged SHRM organizational perspective suitable for uncertain environments, and explores its theoretical and empirical implications through the dual use of RO methodological modelling and multi-case study data involving ten Fortune 500 companies. The case study approach is aimed at creating managerially relevant knowledge. The relevance of our approach to managerial practice is shown through guidelines on how a company like Google might use the RO methodology to estimate the career development option value so as to inform its internal development program for employees to create and capture value.

Findings

Our focus is on the staging flexibility in HR as exemplified by the internal career development process. This process can be viewed as a multi-stage (compound) option involving various types of HC uncertainty, HC options, and HR practices. We model staging HR deployment via the option to promote staff employees to middle-level management, itself embedding the option to rise to the top management. To empirically validate our valuation approach, we present case study research that enables quantifying the option value of a career development program and allows assessing how much a mismatch exists in a sample of ten public U.S. companies.

Research limitations/implications

The overall staging quantification idea is important as it offers guidance as to how to value HR as a sequential investment process under uncertain demand or skill conditions. The analysis is limited to the extent that staged career development might interact with other types of human capital (e.g. switch and learning) options and HR practices (e.g. training). Human resources may also interact with other organizational intangibles, such as brand equity. Our analysis also does not account for psychological considerations from the employees' perspective, such organizational commitment facilitating trust to enable reciprocal commitments, which remains a fruitful subject for future extensions.

Practical implications

ROT can provide useful guidance and tools for HR scholars and managers. By keeping tabs on HR-based flexibility value and focusing on the key input variables driving HR flexibility, HR managers can determine the flexibility value unleashed from staging the deployment of HC resources in the face of unanticipated demand and skills shifts.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that attempts to quantify the value of staged career development flexibility using the RO methodology. This article will be cited for its innovativeness in being the first to quantify the value of human capital's contribution to corporate value creation and provide objective evaluation in the context of organizational career-development programs. Besides providing useful insights to scholars, the article also demonstrates how the RO methodology can apply to actual companies and inform managerial practice offering guidelines of relevance to HR practitioners on how to quantify the value of staged HC development in an uncertain environment.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

David S. Murphy

Exploratory research which provides insight into the global leadership potential that is being developed in Mexican companies through their management practices.

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Abstract

Purpose

Exploratory research which provides insight into the global leadership potential that is being developed in Mexican companies through their management practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were mailed to a random sample of 500 executives of firms that were members of the American chamber of commerce of Mexico. The response rate, with follow up mailings, was 69.4 per cent (347 questionnaires). The questionnaires gathered information about the criteria used in making executive management promotion decisions and for performance evaluation.

Findings

Significant differences between management practices in Mexico and the US were identified. These differences may influence the ability of Mexican companies to compete in the global market place.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should be conducted to measure the effects of different management styles and cultural differences on the ability of firms to compete in the global market place. The findings in this paper may not be generalizable to companies in cultures that are significantly different from Mexico.

Practical implications

Mexican companies, when compared to US firms, appear to place more emphasis on administrative management skills than on leadership skills. In addition, they place less emphasis on developing international expertise. To increase their level of global competitiveness and orientation the paper recommends that the companies modify their training programs and management practices.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new view of the reward and promotion practices within Mexican companies and relates that view to the development of global managers. This paper should be of interest to executives in Mexico and companies with operations in Mexico, and to researchers interested in global management.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Amy E. Hurley, Stefan Wally, Sharon L. Segrest, Terri Scandura and Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld

Literature on tournament mobility in internal labor markets (ILMs) is reviewed revealing a paucity of studies examining the promotion patterns of late entrants into…

854

Abstract

Literature on tournament mobility in internal labor markets (ILMs) is reviewed revealing a paucity of studies examining the promotion patterns of late entrants into internal promotion systems. An investigation of 502 managers in a large corporation indicated that late entry into the ILM organization was significantly and positively related to career attainment, supporting the “clean slate effect”. In addition, experience in the corporate office was positively related to managerial career attainment, while being female was negatively related to career attainment. In contrast to the tournament model theory, the number of years to reach middle management was positively related to career success. While no effect for race was found, this may be due to the relatively low representation of minorities in the firm studied. Moderating effects of late entry on gender, race or corporate experience were also not found.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Grahame Dowling

The glass ceiling is a metaphor used to characterize the gender inequality of women at the top in most large western organizations. This situation has prompted many…

1205

Abstract

Purpose

The glass ceiling is a metaphor used to characterize the gender inequality of women at the top in most large western organizations. This situation has prompted many business organizations, NGOs and governments to encourage large organizations to promote more women into the executive suite and onto boards of directors. While there is little controversy about this initiative, this paper argues that there should be because it directly challenges the principle that merit should outweigh diversity. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews research that purports to show that women are unfairly under-represented in the most senior positions in large western organizations. It also reviews the arguments that more senior women would improve the performance of these organizations. This research is then used to develop a model of why there are markedly fewer women than men at the top of large organizations.

Findings

This study finds that most of the research studies purporting to show that there is a bias against promoting women to the top of large western organizations are unsound because they are poorly designed and/or fail to accommodate alternative explanations for this effect. Thus, the current number of women who run these organizations may be a good reflection of their contribution to the management of these organizations. These findings suggest that many of the policies that are promoted to help women break through the glass ceiling are misguided.

Practical implications

Large organizations should think carefully about following the advice of special interest groups who vigorously promote this social cause.

Social implications

Social policy advocates need better research from which to advance their cause that there are currently too few women in senior management positions of large organizations.

Originality/value

This is one of only a handful of papers that challenges the current orthodoxy that artificial glass ceilings are restricting the potential contribution of women to the better management of large organizations.

Details

Annals in Social Responsibility, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3515

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2006

Babita Mathur‐Helm

Present research seeks to examine the reality of the glass‐ceiling phenomenon in South Africa's four major retail banks.

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Abstract

Purpose

Present research seeks to examine the reality of the glass‐ceiling phenomenon in South Africa's four major retail banks.

Design/methodology/approach

Investigates women's low numbers in their top management jobs. A total of 40 women managers were interviewed for their in‐depth responses, which were content analyzed.

Findings

Results indicate that the glass ceiling considered a myth by many, is real and is nurtured by the organizational culture, policies and strategies besides women's own inadequacies. Only the most decentralized organizations, characterized by a culture that supports women's top positions, will help in breaking down the glass ceiling, along with women's own efforts to grow, develop and empower themselves through academic and career development.

Research limitations/implications

It is limited to South Africa's four largest retail banks only and provides limited awareness about certain work practices that are insufficient tools to break down the glass ceiling, hence, future research may construct such tools and examine the extent to which the glass ceiling exists in different countries and the influence of the local culture in it is formation.

Practical implications

The paper provides clarity for organizational leaders to identify growth barriers existing in their organizations, leading their women workforce towards a glass ceiling.

Originality/value

It distinguishes between a glass ceiling and a job barrier and recommends organizations to practise cultural change and decentralization to break it down. This is a research paper and clarifies the difference between common career barriers and the glass ceiling by attempting to elucidate the existence of the glass ceiling.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Roger Bennett

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that might contribute to the ease with which marketing executives in UK charities who have been promoted to senior…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors that might contribute to the ease with which marketing executives in UK charities who have been promoted to senior general management positions adjust to the occupancy of these roles.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 37 individuals with functional marketing backgrounds currently holding top general management positions in large fundraising charities were interviewed using a frame-worked occupational autobiographic narrative approach. The research was informed by aspects of newcomer adjustment theory, notably uncertainty reduction theory.

Findings

Social and personal considerations were much more important determinants of the ease of assimilation into top management positions in charities than were technical job-related matters. Role ambiguity constituted the main barrier to smooth adjustment. Mentoring, planned induction programmes, the nature of a person’s past work experience and the individual’s social status critically affected how readily a marketer fitted into a top management role. Disparate sets of factors influenced different elements of managerial newcomer adjustment (role clarity, self-efficacy, and social acceptance).

Research limitations/implications

As the participants in the study needed to satisfy certain narrowly defined criteria and to work in a single sector (large fundraising charities) the sample was necessarily small. It was not possible to explore the effects on operational performance of varying degrees of ease of newcomer adjustment.

Practical implications

Individuals promoted to top management posts in charities should try psychologically to break with the past and should not be afraid of projecting a strong functional professional identity to their new peers. These recommendations can be expected to apply to organisations in general which, like large charities, need senior management mentoring and induction programmes to assist recently promoted individuals from function-specific backgrounds; job descriptions for top management posts that are clear and embody realistic expectations; and “shadowing” and training activities for newly appointed senior managers with function-specific backgrounds.

Originality/value

The study is the first to apply newcomer adjustment theory to the assimilation of functional managers into more senior general management. It examines a broader range of potential variables affecting managerial newcomer adjustment than has previously been considered. Relevant issues are examined in the context of an important sector: fundraising charities.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2021

Chaturong Napathorn

This paper examines the development of green skills across firms located in an institutional context, specifically the national education and skill-formation system, of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the development of green skills across firms located in an institutional context, specifically the national education and skill-formation system, of the under-researched developing country of Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper qualitatively explores the Thai education and skill-formation system and conducts a cross-case analysis of four firms across different industries in Thailand. The empirical findings in this paper draws on semi-structured interviews with various stakeholders; field visits to vocational colleges, universities, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) and firms across industries both in Bangkok and in other provinces in Thailand; and a review of archival documents and web-based reports and resources.

Findings

This paper proposes that firms across industries in Thailand must be responsible for helping their employees/workers obtain the green knowledge and skills necessary to perform green jobs through high-road human resource (HR) practices in response to the fact that the Thai education and skill-formation system is unlikely to produce a sufficient number of employees/workers who have green knowledge, skills and abilities and are industry-ready to perform green jobs, leading to a shortage of employees/workers who possess green skills in the labor market. Specifically, curricula in vocational colleges and universities in Thailand are not likely to respond to the needs of firms in producing those employees/workers.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research concern its methodology. This research is based on the qualitative studies of the Thai education and skill-formation system and a case study of firms across industries in Thailand. Thus, this paper does not aim to generalize the findings to all other countries but to enrich the discussion on the effects of macro-level HR policies on the creation of green jobs and the development of green skills across firms in each country. Additionally, it is difficult to gain access to firms across several industries and various stakeholders to understand the development of green skills among employees in these firms. The reasons are resource constraints, time constraints and the hesitation of firms in permitting the author to access the data. These difficulties have restricted the sources of information to construct a more nuanced picture of firms across various industries in developing green skills among their existing employees. Consequently, this research does not include firms in several other industries, including the pulp and paper industry, textile and garment industry, plastic industry and agri-food industry. Thus, future research may extend the topic of the development of green skills among employees to these industries. Quantitative studies using large samples of firms across industries may also be useful in deepening the understanding of this topic, which is significant from the perspectives of the strategic human resource management (SHRM), comparative institutional perspectives on HR strategies and practices, and green economy.

Practical implications

This paper also provides practical implications for top managers and/or HR managers of firms in Thailand, other developing countries and other emerging market economies with deficiencies in the national education and skill-formation system. First, the top managers and/or HR managers can apply various methods to internally develop managers and employees/workers with the appropriate environmental/green knowledge and necessary skills to perform green jobs. The methods include classroom training, on-the-job training, coaching, mentoring systems, job shadowing and being role models for younger generations of employees. Second, these top managers and/or HR managers can cooperate with vocational colleges and/or universities in their countries to design educational programs/curricula related to environmental/green management to be able to produce graduates with suitable qualifications for their firms. These managers can request for assistance from universities in their countries when their firms confront sophisticated questions/problems related to environmental/green management. In this regard, universities will have an opportunity to solve real environmental/green problems experienced by industries, while firms can appropriately and accurately solve environmental/green questions/problems. Third, these top managers and/or HR managers can encourage their firms to apply for certificates of green-/environmentally friendly products or carbon footprint labels from NGOs to foster a green image among firms' consumers. These applications require the firms to pay special attention to the cultivation of green awareness and the development of green skills among their employees. Fourth, these top managers and/or HR managers can encourage their employees to express green-/environmentally friendly behaviors as well as sufficiency-based consumption behaviors. In fact, these top managers and/or HR managers can foster their employees to reduce energy consumption, including electricity and water, to conserve these types of energy for young generations. Fifth, these top managers and/or HR managers can adopt and implement green human resource management (GHRM) practices consisting of green recruitment and selection, green training and development, green performance management, green pay and rewards and green employee relations in their firms to upgrade both the environmental and social performances of firms. Finally, these top managers and/or HR managers must take serious actions regarding the implementation of environmental/green management policies and practices within their firms in order to facilitate the movement of the country toward the bioeconomy, circular economy, and green economy (BCG economy).

Social implications

This paper provides social/policy implications for the government, vocational colleges and universities in Thailand, other developing countries and emerging market economies where the skill shortage problem is still severe. First, the government of each country should incorporate green/environmental policies into the national education policy and the long-term strategic plan of the country. Second, the government should continuously implement such national policy and strategic plan by encouraging government agencies, vocational colleges, universities, firms and NGOs to cooperate in developing and offering environmental/green management educational programs/curricula to produce graduates with suitable qualifications for those firms. Third, the government should encourage vocational colleges and universities to equip their students with green skills to be industry-ready in a real working context. Fourth, to alleviate the skill shortage problem in the labor market, the government should foster firms, especially private sector firms, to focus on the upskilling and reskilling of their existing employees. With this action, their existing employees will have green skills, be able to effectively perform green jobs and become an important driver to help the country move toward the BCG economy. Fifth, the government of each country should encourage firms to develop green-/environmentally friendly products by offering them various types of incentives, including tax reductions or tax exemptions. Sixth, the government should encourage universities in the country to sign a memorandum of understanding with leading research institutes and world-class digital technology companies such that these institutes and/or companies admit high-potential university students to work as trainees/entry-level employees for a certain duration. This action can ultimately facilitate knowledge transfer from these institutes and/or companies to those university students who will finally return to work in their home country. Seventh, the government, especially the Ministry of Education, should encourage vocational colleges and universities to teach students in the environmental/green management program based on real case studies/problems found across firms. In this way, graduates should be industry-ready to perform green jobs. Finally, the government must pay serious attention to the implementation of environmental/green management policies across levels within the country so that the transition of the country toward the BCG economy will finally come true in the future.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the SHRM, comparative institutional perspectives on HR strategies and practices, and the literature on the green economy and the development of green skills in firms in the following ways. First, this paper focuses on examining how the institutional context of Thailand shapes the development of green knowledge and skills among employees across firms in Thailand. In this regard, the paper aims to fill the gap in the literature on strategic HRM and comparative institutional perspectives on HR strategies and practices as proposed by Batt and Banerjee (2012) and Batt and Hermans (2012), who suggested that the literature on strategic HRM should go beyond the organizational context and examine how firms adopt and implement HR practices in response to the national institutional context. Second, the paper aims to extend the literature on the green economy regarding the roles played by institutional factors in shaping the development of green knowledge and skills across firms. Finally, strategic HRM, comparative institutional perspectives on HR strategies and practices and green economy studies have overlooked the under-researched country of Thailand. Most studies in these three areas focus more on developed countries. Thus, the findings of this paper should extend the literature on those areas regarding the development of green skills among employees across firms in response to the Thai institutional context.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Derek C. Jones, Takao Kat and Svetlana Avramov

Using new survey data for Bulgarian executives during 1989‐1992,presents some of the first evidence on the nature of managerial labourmarkets for a country in transition…

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Abstract

Using new survey data for Bulgarian executives during 1989‐1992, presents some of the first evidence on the nature of managerial labour markets for a country in transition. Finds that internal labour markets for managers are quite underdeveloped, suggesting insufficient firm‐specific human capital accumulation by managers, weak incentive effects of promotion tournaments, and an inability to use promotions as a job assignment mechanism; the use of incentive pay schemes (as compared to traditional fixed wage payments) is limited and is declining; and internal wage structures are relatively flat, leading to weak incentive effects for all contenders in the CEO promotional tournament and to an inability to ensure that the most able contenders will win. All these findings point to potentially serious inefficiencies and thus to serious public policy concerns. There exists an urgent need for a strategy to promote internal labour markets for managers, which would include both incentive pay systems for managers and steeper internal wage structures.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 16 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2022

Gary N. Powell and D. Anthony Butterfield

The purpose of this study is to examine linkages of gender and gender-related variables to aspirations to top management over a period spanning five decades.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine linkages of gender and gender-related variables to aspirations to top management over a period spanning five decades.

Design/methodology/approach

During each of the past five decades, samples from two early-career populations (n = 2131), undergraduate business students and part-time (evening) MBAs, completed an aspirations to top management measure and described themselves on an instrument that assessed self-ascribed masculinity and femininity.

Findings

Aspirations to top management were predicted by respondent gender for undergraduates, with women’s aspirations lower than those of men, and by masculinity for both populations. Suggesting a shifting role of gender, undergraduate women’s aspirations to top management declined during the 21st century, whereas undergraduate men’s aspirations did not.

Practical implications

Any decline in early-career women’s aspirations to top management over a sustained period may contribute in the long run to perpetuating the under-representation of women in top management.

Originality/value

The finding of a striking decline in women’s aspirations to top management during the 21st century in an early-career population is an original contribution to the gender in management literature.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

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