The effect of an MBA on the development of women's management competencies: A gender viewpoint
Lämsä, A.-M., & Savela, T. (2014). The effect of an MBA on the development of women's management competencies: A gender viewpoint. Baltic Journal of Management, 9 (2), 213-230. doi:10.1108/BJM-05-2013-0086 Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1746-5265&volume=9&iss...
Published inBaltic Journal of Management
© 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Emerald. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
Purpose – This article aims to report the findings of a study of the effect of a women's Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme in Finland called the femaleMBA on the development of women's management competencies. The gendered nature of the competency development was also analyzed. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative interview study was conducted with 20 women who completed the programme. Content analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings – In addition to improving the women's business competencies and their mastery of management language, the programme contributed to the creation of a clearer managerial identity, greater assertiveness, and increased credibility in a managerial role. The development of management competencies was shown to be gendered in varying ways. An all-women learning environment was experienced as a safe and supportive social context for development. Research limitations/implications – Only a specifically women's MBA was studied. The topic should also be studied in a mixed MBA group. Practical implications – MBAs should pay systematic attention to the informal and social learning context. A combination of “masculinity” and “femininity” might be worth taking into consideration when all-women management development programmes are planned and conducted. This study suggests that an all-women group in an MBA has the potential to challenge and even transform participants' ideas and assumptions about the dominance of masculinity in management and to increase their understanding of the importance of femininity in management. Originality/value – A gender angle on research into management development and particularly MBAs is very rare. This study shed light on the topic by showing that competency development in MBAs is not, as is often assumed, gender neutral but gendered. ...
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
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