Open Journal of Business and Management

Volume 6, Issue 2 (April 2018)

ISSN Print: 2329-3284   ISSN Online: 2329-3292

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.13  Citations  

Woman and Management: A Conceptual Review, with a Focus on Muslim Women in Management Roles in Western and in Muslim-Majority Countries

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DOI: 10.4236/ojbm.2018.62038    1,300 Downloads   3,875 Views  Citations


We consider the roles of Muslim women managers, executives and professionals in three ways: as women qua women; as women of the Muslim diaspora in Western countries; and as women in Muslim Majority Cultures (MMCs). In reviewing the literature on the “glass ceiling” which prevents women achieving parity with men in middle and senior management roles, we are impressed by the work of Helgeson and Johnson on the special qualities of women in management roles, and compare their social psychological model with accounts of “strong” Muslim women who, drawing on Islamic traditions have performed many leadership roles outside of the traditional family. Nevertheless, it is Muslim women’s strength as strong family managers, with men being supporters rather than leaders of such family roles, which we generalise in describing an ideal model of a Muslim women manager. We draw too on traditional Islamic models in describing the kind of capitalist enterprise which may thrive in MMCs, and in which women will play leading roles. Nevertheless, we observe that in many MMCs non-Muslim (but strong) traditions of patriarchy often prevail, and subvert women’s search for higher education and leadership roles. This review advocates reforms in MMCs which will allow women to enter the world of employment, and to rise to higher managerial positions. At the same time, we observe the strong prejudices against Muslim women entering managerial positions in Western cultures, based on multiple, intersecting prejudice and discrimination against women; against visible ethnic minorities; and against those who are visibly Muslim. Further qualitative work in this field is advocated.

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Bagley, C. , Abubaker, M. and Shanaz, A. (2018) Woman and Management: A Conceptual Review, with a Focus on Muslim Women in Management Roles in Western and in Muslim-Majority Countries. Open Journal of Business and Management, 6, 498-517. doi: 10.4236/ojbm.2018.62038.

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