In this chapter it is argued that women may be disadvantaging their career advancement opportunities within professional services firms by ignoring the benefits impression management activities can bring to them, preferring to rely instead on principles of meritocracy. The chapter considers the concept of meritocracy and assesses its key characteristics. Also considered are some of the inherent contradictions within the concept and the gender implications of these. Attention then turns to an analysis of impression management, contrasting the key characteristics of the two concepts. The chapter concludes with consideration of the nature of career advancement processes within the professional services with particular emphasis on the performative nature of this process; gender implications are then assessed and discussed.
John Purcell and Nicholas Kinnie
The search for causal links between strategic HRM and business performance has dominated both academic and practitioner debate for over two decades. This article poses fundamental questions such as what is meant by performance, how an HR system is to be configured, how the causal chain between HR practices and performance outcomes is to be modeled, and what this means for research in the area. Most importantly, it challenges what we mean by human resource management. Recent research is reviewed to argue that culture, leadership, line manager behaviour, and operational management all need to fall within this area of interest. Before getting into the substance of these points, the article says something about the type of problems that have bedeviled research in the area.
The resource-based view (RBV) is one of the most influential theories for explaining a firm's sustained competitive advantage (SCA). Its basic idea is that firms can attain an SCA when they possess and control valuable, rare, and inimitable assets and have an organization in place that is equipped to handle them. This article examines how human capital (HC) relates to the RBV. It deals critically with the RBV's evident weaknesses – especially its vague notions of resource and value. The article notes that there is no analysis of how HC might be differentiated from other types of resource, for the RBV treats all resources as conceptually equivalent. It distinguishes eight types of critique to the RBV. Three of these threaten the RBV's status as a core theory: the indeterminate nature of two concepts fundamental to the RBV – resource and value – plus the RBV's narrow explanation of a firm's SCA.
Personnel Movement and the Development of Dynamic Capabilities: An Organizational Learning Perspective
Erin Fahrenkopf and Linda Argote
We assess the role that organizational learning plays in the development of dynamic capabilities which confer sustained competitive advantage on firms. We argue that learning from the experience of others is a mechanism for developing dynamic capabilities. We examine how firms can learn from the prior experiences of their founders and other employees and identify the conditions under which this learning is most likely to occur. We develop how characteristics of the organizational context and characteristics of the knowledge being transferred condition a firm’s ability to learn from others. The chapter concludes with a set of expectations that we hope will stimulate future research on the important question of how learning from the experience of others enables firms to develop dynamic capabilities.
Isabel Metz and Carol T. Kulik
Women’s advancement is impeded by both traditional and modern barriers. Hence, women’s advancement is a ‘rocky climb’, involving a great deal of effort relative to the amount of upward progress, and with significant opportunities for backsliding. Traditional barriers that have prevailed over time include decision-makers’ denial of gender discrimination, social gender roles, stereotypes and perceptions, and organizational culture. Overt gender discrimination has been replaced by a more covert form, modern sexism, and ‘gender fatigue’ has emerged as a new barrier to women’s advancement. The complexity of the barriers impeding women’s advancement in management calls for a customized, step-by-step approach that might overcome ‘gender fatigue’ and boost ‘gender equity’ in organizations. Our recommended approach aims to change the ‘rocky climb’ to just a plain old ‘climb’ up the hierarchical ladder for those women who wish to advance in management.
Gary N. Powell
This chapter reviews four decades of research on the linkages among sex, gender, and leadership by examining status, preferences, stereotypes, attitudes, behaviours, and effectiveness associated with the leader role in relation to gender stereotypes and roles. First, it reviews women’s status over recent decades. Second, it considers preferences for male versus female leaders in general. Third, it compares leader stereotypes with gender stereotypes and examines whether leader stereotypes have changed over time. Fourth, it reviews attitudes towards female leaders. Fifth, it investigates whether (and if so, how) female and male managers differ in their behaviour and overall effectiveness as leaders. Finally, it considers implications for future theory, research, and practice.
Mathew R. Allen and Patrick M. Wright
This article aims to discuss this intersection between strategic management and HRM, what we know, and future directions for Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) research. It begins by briefly discussing the concept of strategy and the popularization of the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm. Next it addresses its role in creating the link between HRM and strategic management including key questions that the RBV has raised in relation to SHRM. It then examines the current state of affairs in SHRM, the progress made, and key questions and concerns occupying the attention of SHRM researchers. Finally, it concludes with a personal view on future directions for SHRM research.
Nicole Bourque and Gerry Johnson
Management researchers have made few attempts to study strategy events and to build explanations from theories. In particular, the management literature has failed to explain why the social dynamics, the often intense emotional experiences of participants, and the intended strategies formed at these events are not always realized after the event. This article uses the ritual theory, developed by anthropologists, in order to shed light on these processes. In particular, this entails a focus on theories of rites of passage and of ritualization. This article describes a “typical” strategy event and discusses the similarities between this event and a rite of passage. Then, it uses ritual theory to analyze this case study and explain the phenomena that arise during and following the event. Finally, it suggests areas of future research and offers some advice for managers and facilitators of such events.