Woman leadership

Embed Size (px)

Text of Woman leadership

  • 1.Women, Management and Globalization in the Middle East Author(s): Beverly Dawn Metcalfe Source: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 83, No. 1, Women, Globalisation and Global Management (Nov., 2008), pp. 85-100 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25482355 . Accessed: 10/04/2013 01:33 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. . Springer is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of Business Ethics. http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from on Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:33:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

2. Journal of Business Ethics (2008) 83:85-100 ? Springer 2008 DOI 10.1007/sl0551-007-9654-3 Women, Management and Globalization in theMiddle East Beverly Dawn Metcalfe ABSTRACT. This paper provides new theoretical insights into the interconnections and relationships between women, management and globalization in the Middle East (ME). The discussion is positioned within broader globalization debates about women's social status inME economies. Based on case study evidence and the UN datasets, the article cnrtiques social, cultural and economic reasons for women's limited advancement in the public sphere. These include the prevalence of the patriarchal work contract within public and pnrvate institutions, as well as cultural and ethical values which create strongly defined gender roles. The discussion examines the com plexities of conceptualizing women's equality and empowerment in Islamic states. The paper reveals that there have been significant achievements in advancing women in leadership and political roles, but that there are still institutionaland culturalbarriersembedded inbusi ness systems. Linking feminist, development and man agement theoretical strands a development framework is proposed which is sensitive to the Islamic Shar'ia encompassing government, organization and individual level strategies. It is suggested that scholars should inte grate literatures from gender and management, develop ment and Middle East studies, and in particular that critical scholars of gender and organization should con sider the interrelations of the national and transnational in critiques of contemporary global capitalism to understand the complexity of women and social change in theME. KEY WORDS: women, globalization, Middle East, management, transnational feminisms, empowerment Introduction As the societies of theArabME confront theprocess of globalization, incorporating pressures for demo cratic change, social justice and tradedevelopment, no issue todayoffers amore formidablechallenge for governments than the unequal status of women. Since the 1970s examination of women's role in the ME has often dominated in representations of political and economic transformationsas evidenced in The IranianRevolution, current debates about constitutional democracy in Iraq and the Taliban regimes inAfghanistan. Yet, it isonly recently that women's contribution to trade and development is being addressed (Acker, 2005; Noland and Pack, 2004). The ArabHuman Development Report 2003 argued that the full empowerment of Arab women, recognizing their right to equal participation in politics, society and the economy, as well as to education and other means of building capabilities was a significant aspect of the region's future development in a global society (Metcalfe, 2006, 2007;World Bank, 2003a, b, c;World Bank, 2005). The eradication of gender inequalities and the empowerment and participation of both sexes in all spheresof public life are a global concem (Walby, 2005). For example,modemization has transformed women's opportunities in the UK and USA, yet women's active participation in political life and congress remains relatively low. A great deal of women-in-management literaturehas examined the barrierswhich limitwomen's social and economic development, yet these substantivewritings are lar gely positioned within westernand developedcultural spaces (for example USA Powell, 2000). The limi tations that hinder women's progress in organiza tions arewell documented, including thepersistence of gender stereotypes (Powell, 2000; Reskin and Padavic, 1994;Walby, 1990); biases in recruitment and selection practices (Dickens, 1997;Hamrs, 2002; Powell, 2000; Truss, 1999); and few female role models (Davidson andBurke, 2004; Powell, 2000). Scholars have also noted how organizations are gendered and reproduce unequal power relations (Heam et al., 2006; Legge, 2004). Only recently have scholars in management and organization This content downloaded from on Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:33:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 3. 86Beverly Dawn Metcalfe behaviour examined gender issues within developing or transitional countries or regions (for example Budwhar and Debrah, 2004; Metcalfe and Afanas sieva, 2005). While there wiU be some common concerns that men and women may share globaUy, it is important to examine the specificities of socio cultural and political processes and their impact on gender systems (Fagenson, 1993; PoweU, 2000; see also Roald, 2001). It is, however, the ME countries where the gap between the rights of men and women is the most visible and significant, and where resistance to wo men's equality has been most chaUenging (Mernissi, 1991; Metcalfe, 2007; Moghadam, 2005; UNIFEM, 2004). Women face discrimination in both the economic and social spheres, and many women do not enjoy equal rights as citizens (CAWTAR, 2001; Seikaly, 1994; World Bank, 2003a). Women are not aUowed to vote in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. Although women's rights organizations have repeatedly raised the issue, not one country in the Arab region has a law thatmakes domestic violence a criminal offence (UNIFEM, 2004). Arab women are significantly under-represented (or entirely absent) in senior executive positions in politics, public administration and legal systems and professional roles in the private sector. Yet, women are chal lenging the prevailing social ethics which require that they define their self-identity in the home sphere and eschew a career. In addition to the change that women face in their local communities, their status is affected by transnational feminisms and global political developments. The emergence of extremist Islamic organizations presents a threat to the gains women have achieved as weU as to the possibilities of reform (Badran, 2005; UNDP, 2003). The politicization of Islam seriously complicates the advocacy of equal rights (Badran, 2005; Esposito, 2005). This is not to suggest, however, that Islam represents ethical value systems that undermine equality between men and women, rather, as the paper wiU argue, that Islam has been used in global discourses to reinforce patriarchal social and work systems. This paper contributes to the scarce knowledge that currently exists on the position of women in management and leadership in theME. Through the integration of literatures in gender, management and ME studies the focus wiU primarily be on unveiling the socio-cultural, economic and institutional barriers that limit women's advancement, as weU as docu menting the progress that has been achieved by women in politics and the professions only in the last few years. The paper presents a framework which can be used to evaluate women's progress in leadership and management incorporating government, organization and individual level strategies. Signifi cantly, the model recognizes that the gender regime in Islamic states is based on sex difference (Dickens, 1997; Legge, 2004; Liff, 1996;Walby, 1990). The underpinning arguments presented suggest therefore that we cannot examine women's public position without connecting to broader socio-cultural debates relating to Islam and gender. Gender, globalization and work The Arab world is diverse economicaUy, sociaUy, historicaUy and politicaUy. Yet Arab people are linked in a variety of ways. The great majority are linked by common language (Arabic), religion (Is lam) and cultural identity and heritage (Ahmed, 1998; Ali, 1995, 1999; UNIFEM, 2004). Global ization processes and economic opportunities remain uneven, between countries, within countries and between individuals (Acker, 2005; UNIFEM, 2004; World Bank, 2003a, b, c). The region continues to face social transformations, demographic shifts, economic waves of affluence as weU as civil strife (Ali, 1999; Noland and Pack, 2004; Norris and Ingleheart, 2002). Consistent with the contradictory nature of globalization the impact on women has been mixed (Walby, 2005; Pfeifer and Posusney, 2003). One feature of economic globalization has been the generation of jobs in export processing, free trade zones and world market factories asweU as e commerce and finance, especiaUy in oil/gas-rich economies such as Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Labour market policies such as Emiritarization, Omanization, Bahrainization and Saudiazation have also created job opportunities in public administra tion for women (Adler, 2004; Moghadam, 2003, 2005). In addition, foUowing international trends there are signs of increased entrepreneurial devel opment amongst women especiaUy in Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain (Basma, 1999; Carter andWeeks, 2002; Tzanntos and Kaur, 2003). This content downloaded from on Wed, 10 Apr 2013 01:33:55 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions 4. Women, Management and Globalization in theMiddle East 87 Development scholars stress that g