The Hong Kong women managers face great obstacles at their workplace. The biggest among all is the attitude of male co-workers towards female manager.
A little less than this, the attitude of female sub-ordinates towards female managers also come in the way of career development of Hong Kong women managers. Schein (1976) had claimed that the word ‘manager’ comes with the thought of a man not a woman. This means that masculine traits are the best considered traits for the role of manager.A large number of studies have shown that a perception of women as managers is less favorable in the eyes of the residents of Hong Kong as compared to men (Chow, 1995; Ng, 1993, 1995a; Ng & Chiu, 2001; Ng & Fosh, 2004; Ng & Pine, 2003; Ng et al. , 1998).
Researches have also shown that attitudes towards women as managers in Hong Kong include the need of more women as managers in Hong Kong workplace, perceptions of the qualities of women as managers are also considered whether women have the capability, commitment and temperament to be successful as a manager.Negative attitudes of people towards women in the role of managers insist on limiting the career progress of women managers (Collinson et al. , 1990; Snizek & Neil, 1992). Women managers face great pressure at their workplace because they are in the minority (Kanter 1977).
Being a manager is not an easy task for women because the post of manager and higher severs as a double-edged sword for them. Their colleagues and sub-ordinates keep keen interest and notice their good and poor performances.Ng’s (2001) study confirmed that token effect is really present in the Hong Kong workplace but the intensity of that token effect had been moderated due to realistic culture of Hong Kong and the city is not concerned with giving equal opportunities to women at their workplace. In other words, organizations in Hong Kong believe in receiving high results and therefore, the token effect does not seem very prominent. They do not consider women as a token whose success or failure should seem significant to them.If a women manager gets success in her projects then it is the responsibility of a good human resource management practice to award that woman manager with more advanced and challenging responsibilities.
There are chances of both success and failure at higher positions. A woman manager should not be blamed because of being a female for the failure of the project. The old-boy network is another factor that comes in the way of success of Hong Kong women managers.The old-boy network is also known as the men’s club.
Women managers are not allowed to socialize in the old-boys clubs in Hong Kong (Westwood & Leung 1999). Ng et al. (2002) reported that many employed women in Hong Kong do not wish to be promoted to higher positions because they believe that higher positions are reserved for men and even if they get a chance to be at a higher position then they would be alone as men would not let them join their men’s club.Hong Kong women managers have also reported, though seldom, that they are being sexually harassed at their workplace (Ng 1995b). Employed women in Hong Kong have to face a glass ceiling (Morrison et al. 1987) or a ‘bamboo ceiling’ (Westwood & Leung 1999) if they hope that they will become manager someday.
Jankowicz (2005, p. 224) mentions that methodology is the process or approach to undertake a research or study. Prior to follow a methodology, it is essential to understand the research philosophy, which according to Grinnell (1993 cited Kumar, 1999, p.6) “research is a structured inquiry that emphasize acceptable scientific methodology to solve problems and creates new knowledge that is generally applicable”.
When researching it could be apply to any situation, either for professional or personal purpose. In this case, the main purpose of doing research is to develop an investigation about real situations that may increase or change the knowledge of a particular management problem (Ghauri and Gronhaug, 2002).Therefore, the diverse research methods will be discussed in this chapter, which among other strategies it involves collection and analysis of the research data (Blaxter et al, 2001; Collis and Hussey, 2003). The understanding of philosophical positioning of research is useful in the way that helps researchers to clarify alternative designs and methods for a particular investigation and identify which are more likely to work in practice (Ghauri et al, 1995).In this case, research philosophy is about the way the researcher perceives the development of the knowledge and the way the information can be acquire through different processes, besides it provides an ideology to carry out the research (Collis and Hussey, 2003; Saunders et al, 2003; Bryman, 2004).
Therefore, there are two main views related to research philosophies: positivism and phenomenological, which is also known as interpretivism approach (Creswell, 1994; Denscombe, 2002; Collis and Hussey, 2003; Saunders et al, 2003; Jankowicz, 2005).Saunders et al. (2003) point out that the phenomenological approach proposes the discovery of subjective meanings in for example humans’ behavior in order to understand and give interpretations to their actions and reactions to particular situations (Collis and Hussey, 2003; Saunders et al. , 2003). Nevertheless, it is important to have in mind that one is not a better philosophy than the other.
The philosophy “depends on the research question that the researcher is seeking to answer” (Saunders et al, 2003, p. 85).
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