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Understanding women managers’ competence acquisition

Tan, Sui Hong (2015) Understanding women managers’ competence acquisition. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Faculty of Management.

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Abstract

This study investigates the process of competence acquisition of women managers in Malaysia. Even though women form a huge pool of talent at the workplace, they are underrepresented at the upper management levels. Therefore, it is critical to understand how women in management acquire competence at work since the lack of understanding of acquisition process hinders women managers’ competency development. The research employed qualitative multiple-case studies using grounded theory approach against the backdrop of feminist principles. Data were gathered using semi-structured in-depth interviews by incorporating critical incidents and behavioural events techniques, followed by written exercises at the end of the interviews. Fifteen women managers from three work sectors namely, the public sector, private sector and government-linked companies were interviewed. Subsequently the data were analysed using grounded theory approach to identify the broad themes. A key finding is that women managers acquire competence using various informal learning strategies and the process of competence acquisition is affected by individual differences, local social context, organisational culture, work-life balance, coping strategies as well as leadership and management styles. The differences and variations in the individual understanding of competence were also discovered. Competence is understood as the dynamic and contextually-bounded holistic capabilities comprising versatile knowledge, management of extraordinaire skills and positive behavioural traits which enable a person to deliver effective performance. Theoretically, the research contributes towards the development of two models of competence acquisition. Practically, the research highlights the competence content of successful women managers that further provides insight into how competence is acquired at the workplace. These are imperative to improve the performance of a woman manager. Methodologically, the research illustrates the effective combination of grounded theory and feminist underlying principles within the context of multiple-case studies of women managers from different work sectors. Recommendations for future research are identified namely, to conduct comparative studies of women managers’ competence acquisition process of different nations and investigate the contextual factors’ influences on competence acquisition using quantitative approach.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Thesis (Ph.D (Pengurusan)) - Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 2015; Supervisor : Dr. Norhalimah Idris
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions:Management
ID Code:77953
Deposited By: Fazli Masari
Deposited On:18 Jul 2018 15:36
Last Modified:18 Jul 2018 15:36

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