The primary objective of this research project is to outline and provide some of the cultural challenges women face today to climb the leadership ladder across the world in various cultures and societies. The paper will also include a second part, which will outline and provide some of the factors and policies that should be considered towards the development of a blueprint for becoming a successful leader for aspiring women in Middle Eastern countries.
Part 1: Cultural Challenges Women Face Today to Climb the Leadership Ladder
Based on several past research studies and reports, it is true and evident that the root causes for lack of women leaders in corporate and government organizations in various disciplines is lack of support from leaders and other stakeholders in the society (Turnage, & Goodbo, 2016). However, it is also worth noting that most of these research works have been done in Western world and do not include challenges women face in Middle Eastern countries.
Therefore, it can be argued that there is a limiting and low understanding towards some of issues, problems and challenges that women face in the process of aspiring for leadership in other parts of the world such as in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Furthermore, it can be argued that one of the shortcomings of the previous works has been in understanding the impact of culture on women leadership journey, especially in countries where culture plays an important role in everyday life of people. This is evident in some African communities, where traditional cultures are still valued and hinder women from effective leadership roles in the society.
Despite this, it is true that as more and more women start to take up decision making positions in various societies across the world, a comprehensive understanding of the impact of culture on women leadership across various societies and cultures around the world is needed (Women worth Watching, 2015). This calls for the provision of procedures and policies towards the promotion and increase of understanding the impact of culture on women leadership across various parts of the world. Gender discrimination, poor cultural beliefs and lack of social support forms some of the challenges that women face in the process of aspiring for leadership positions in the society (Women worth Watching, 2015).
In this proposal, various methodologies and approaches will be adopted including the use of hermeneutics, grounded theory, action research as well as survey-based research and experimental research procedures. In most cases, women face a number of social, economic and cultural challenges in the process of their leadership aspirations.
Grounded theory research method
Based on grounded theory methodologies, it is evident that the theory is important towards the analysis of data. Grounded theory operates based on reverse fashion and mostly begins with a question. For example, what are some of the cultural challenges and problems women face today in the process of climbing to top leadership positions in the society (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). After provision of the question, the researcher collects data, define variables and various concepts related to the topic of study.
Furthermore, grounded theory explanations require the reviewing of data collected and then grouping them in various categories (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). Based on the phenomenal under study, it is true and evident that women advancement in leadership in various workplaces in the society is a challenge (Kouzes, & Posner, 2007). Majority of corporate roles and ranks in various organizations are male dominated. In addition, data collected indicate that women are underrepresented in areas dealing with governance, directorship as well as other executive leadership positions (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
In the study, exploring and examining women's leadership roles and tests in the society, the population was mainly from African and Middle East countries (Rashid et al, 2015). The application of grounded theory will allow the selection of sample size in the study. For example, the study will focus on employed women especially towards executive jobs in the society (Doh, & Quigley, 2014).
There are various benefits of using grounded theory toward the analysis of the topic in question. To begin with, it is true and evident that grounded theory provides explicit, sequential as well as strategic guidelines toward the conducting of qualitative research studies (Doh, & Quigley, 2014). Furthermore, grounded theory involves the use of simple definitions to explain complex phenomenon and allow the research participants to understand the main aim and objective of the study. From the practical and simple explanations given, the participants are able to define various variables and hypothesis of the study (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). In addition, grounded theory also includes easy remembering concepts and allowing the respondents and the researcher to understand their world better. It is also worth noting that grounded theory legitimizes qualitative research and data collection thus focuses it towards scientific inquiry (Doh, & Quigley, 2014).
Despite this, there are those who argue that grounded theory do not provide deductive knowledge and may lead to misunderstood concepts. Grounded theory also focuses majorly on quasi objective research and this may give poor empirical data (Doh, & Quigley, 2014).
Survey-based research method
In this study, survey-based research methodology was used. To begin with, it is true and evident that survey research methodologies and approaches are mainly important towards the analysis of statistics and data involving human participants (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). In this study, data collection was based on the use of questionnaire. The participants provided their perceptions and perspectives towards women challenges in leadership. The Survey based research was selected since it allow for the identification of potential sample size, promotes evaluation of data and also allow the researcher to select the best method of posing questions and analyzing data (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). However, several factors were put into consideration before the selection and use of survey based research. For example, the flexibility of the questions, the coverage of the target population as well as the accuracy of the responses were analyzed (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
From the analysis, it was evident that the survey-based research method is expensive in nature, and some respondents may fail to provide truthful information as well (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). In that sense, the researcher informed the participants that the study was mainly for academic purposes and the data collected with is private and confidential. The study results and findings may also include bias data. The survey based research method can only cover a small number of participants (Archard, 2013). However, survey-based research is important toward the analysis of educational views, health ideas and feelings of the participants (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
From the analysis of the study, it is true and evident that the two research methods and approaches that fit the two research topics include the survey research method and the grounded theory.
In triangulating the results, it is evident from survey research as well as from grounded theory model that majority of participants argue that discrimination, lack of social support, prejudices, traditional cultures and stereotypes form some of the major factors that hinder women from aspiring in their roles as leaders in the society. Furthermore, several results also indicate that there are cultures that view women as inferior beings compared to men, thus, hinder their leadership aspirations in the society. Grounded data results also indicate that women are underrepresented in areas dealing with governance, directorship as well as other executive leadership positions.
In this study, the main reason why grounded theory was selected is because it provides proper grounds for analysis of qualitative data. For example, it is evident that grounded theory operates based on reverse fashion and mostly begins with a question (What are some of the cultural challenges and problems women face today in the process of climbing to top leadership positions in the society?). Grounded theory also includes several data collection, definition of variables as well as reviewing of concepts and grouping of data in different categories. Thus, grounded theory will provide concepts that are easy remember and legitimize qualitative research and data collection, thus focuses it towards scientific inquiry.
Secondly, survey research method will promote the analysis of data especially those that involve human participants as in this case. Furthermore, survey method also provides cheap procedures of collecting data such as the use of questionnaire. It also allows for the identification of potential sample size, promotes evaluation of data and also allow the researcher to select the best method of posing questions and analyzing data. Through the use of the survey method, the research will evaluate the emotions and feelings of various women and men in the society towards women leadership.
Finally, experimental research involves manipulation and controlled testing and do not apply to human participants, hence not appropriate for the study. Bricolage research method involves the use of multiple methods and was appropriate for the study but was not selected because it is very expensive and complex in nature.
Therefore, the chosen methodology fits the aims and objectives of the research study, since they will provide clear analysis of data and provide the best solutions toward women leadership challenges in the society. Thus, the chosen methodologies should be used in similar future studies.
Part 2: Success blueprint for aspiring women leaders in Middle Eastern countries
In this part, various best policies and procedures will be adopted in order to promote women aspirations towards leadership roles in the society (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). In most cases, the best way to create a success blueprint for aspiring women leaders is to provide directions and knowledge gained by speaking to successful women leaders already present in our societies. Thus, this part will include and cover some of the qualitative research study findings and results indicating the successful women leaders in various Middle Eastern countries (White, & Breckenridge, 2014). In that sense, this part will include case study research method detailing some of the stories of success women in leadership positions in the society (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
Case study-based research method
From several case study research findings and reports, it was evident that prejudices and discrimination are some of the factors and barriers hindering women success in leadership. (Lester, & Gabriel, 2016). Prejudices are preconceived opinions that are not based on any proper reasoning and critical thinking. On the other hand, discrimination involves the treating of someone unjustly based on its gender, age, and race and skin color (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). In most cases, women in senior positions report high levels of discrimination especially among men in the workplace (Fullana, Pallisera, & Vilà, 2014).
Women in leadership roles also report high stress levels, especially due to stereotypes and discrimination (Lester, & Gabriel, 2016). In that sense, all women should come together in order to support and promote their leadership aspirations in the society. In the Middle East region, women do not have equal opportunities as men. In order to reduce, avoid and control such problems, women should focus on what they want to achieve, borrow from international examples and network in order to gain national support (Lester, & Gabriel, 2016). Women should also recognize other women; adopt new and best leadership styles. This will change men perception and encourage women leadership in the society (Segal et al, 2016).
There are a number of benefits of using case study research method in the analysis and collection of data. For example, case study focuses on a group of people or on an individual and aim at describing the social behaviors of such a group as whole (Lester, & Gabriel, 2016). It is also true that case study approaches involve a formal research method and can be used to solve a problem in question. Case study is more systematic in nature (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). There are also those who argue that case study research method is cheap and can help in determining the best procedure in solving a problem (Livermore, 2010).
There are various steps involved in case study research (Livermore, 2010). For example, it begins with definition of a research question, then the selection of the case and collection of data (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). In some cases, case study research method also includes collection of data in the field, analysis of data and preparation of a report (Lester, & Gabriel, 2016). However, case studies may also provide complex data since they involve collection of data from multiple sources. Despite this, it helps in the analysis of large amount of data and can provide possible solutions and produce a new theory as well (Lester, & Gabriel, 2016). In that sense, it will help in providing a blue print towards women leadership in the society. Case study also provides real life examples especially towards human situations, hence will help solve the problem of women leadership challenges (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
Ethnography research method
Ethnography mainly involves the systematic study of a people's cultural behaviors and beliefs. In most cases, ethnography systems are designed to explore the cultural activities and social values of a population. In that sense, it can be argued that ethnography studies forms some of the major research methodologies and approaches that can be used towards the analysis of individuals cultural values and behaviors. It allows the researcher to observe the various traditional values, cultural beliefs and social practices of a society (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). Thus, there are those who argue that ethnography is culture of a group of people. This is mainly because it provides the empirical data on human behaviors and social values (Yurt, & Tünkler, 2016). From a number of the ethnography studies, it is evident that in Middle East regions majority of women face the problem of social discrimination. Women are viewed as inferior beings and are not considered in top leadership positions. Women's education is highly devalued and majority of communities considered men as the head of society and men dominate all aspects of leadership in the society.
Ethnography involves the investigation of very few cases. However, it is true that ethnography provides detail analysis of the case in question. In that sense, it is the best method towards the analysis and exploration of the best method that can be used to promote women in leadership roles in the society (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014). Although there are those who argue that ethnography studies involve unconstructed data and information, I believe that the use of ethnography studies provides some of the best data analysis methods. This is mainly because it emphasize on the exploration of social issues and promote testing of hypothesis. The data analysis procedures involved in ethnography studies include and consider the use of verbal explanations as well as statistical analysis (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
In most cases, methodological discussions used in ethnography studies cover various questions and include the best procedures on how to report the findings and results after interpretation of data (Tlaiss, 2014). Therefore, it is evident that ethnography method is one of the best approaches towards defining the culture of a group of people. It describes and defines the culture of a group of people in detailed and complex manner. The cultural beliefs and values of individuals from Middle East regions do not value women leadership. Thus, there is need for the provision of policies and procedures that will encourage women education, women empowerment and elimination of traditional cultural values. From the ethnography filed work experiences, it is clear that women face gender discrimination and lack of social support in their leadership roles (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
The procedures involved in conducting ethnography studies include the determination of the research problem. For example, in this case, the problem in question is barriers towards women leadership among Middle East communities. After analysis and determination of the research question, the researcher should identify the cultural beliefs and values of the group in question. The selection of the cultural themes, cultural concepts and cultural patterns also form major parts of ethnography studies. The researcher should also collect information on the site, analyze data and provide rules of the study (Muczyk, & Adler, 2014).
In addition, it is evident that ethnography study is field-based, thus it may be tiresome in nature. One of the major benefits of using ethnography studies is that it is holistic in nature and provides detailed information towards the group in focus. It can also be personalized and include multi-factorial data collection methods including observation and interviews. However, it requires long term commitment, dialogic systems and inductive knowledge (Peachey et al, 2015).
In triangulating the results, it is evident from case study research and ethnography research analysis that preventing and controlling discrimination, providing women with social support and eliminating prejudices as well as traditional cultures and stereotypes form some of the major factors and blueprint ideas toward promotion of women leadership in the society. Furthermore, several results also indicate that the society should embrace women and girl education in order to promote women leadership.
In this study, case research methods will provide proper focus on both individuals as well as group of women in the society and provide proper analysis of their dealership style in detail. It is also true and evident that case study research method provides the best procedure of analyzing data involving human behaviors.
Case study research also seems to the best method of providing the best solution towards the problem in question. For example, it begins with definition of a research question, then the selection of the case and collection of data, analysis of data and writing of a report including recommendations adopted. Thus, case study research method will help in providing a blue print towards women leadership in the society.
Finally, ethnography research method will help in providing systematic analysis of different cultures including the people in Middle East social behaviors, social values and beliefs. Through analysis of the cultural values, traditional beliefs and social practices of the people, the researcher will be able to provide the best solution towards women leadership challenges in the society. Ethnography research method will also include proper analysis of the findings and results in detail.
However, some of the research methods such as hermeneutics were not selected because it involves the analysis of Biblical writings. On the other hand, soft systems research methodology is mostly appropriate in business data analysis, thus was not selected. Action research mainly apply in cases where immediate solution is needed and involves immediate action, thus was not selected.
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