Date of Award

2-2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Mangement

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Laura Kozloski Hart

Second Advisor

Karen Casey-Acevedo

Third Advisor

Ann Crawford

Abstract

Analysis of existing literature indicates that women occupy approximately 50.5% of management positions in the United States. However, despite the steady growth in the number of female managers; they were mostly working in businesses' lower level jobs. This study aimed to explore which of five strategies had most positively affected women's career advancement into senior executive positions. The five specific strategies included in this study's survey built upon the existing literature which had found important strategies to be (a) Advanced Education and Training, (b) Internal Networking, (c) Career Tracking, (d) Formal Mentoring, and (e) Exceeding Performance Expectations.

This study was conducted using a quantitative research design with an online survey tool. The 16th open-ended question used in this study identifying a new strategy "Opportunity Seeking", which was addressed in the quantitative research questions provided depth of the information the researcher collected. It used a convenience sampling of 500 women in leadership positions (from middle-level to top level management positions) who were also members of the Institute for Women's Leadership.

The multiple regression methodology used in this study determined which strategies had most positively correlated and affected women's career advancement to senior executive positions. In addition, multiple regression analysis also explored the relationships between demographic variables and the women's promotion rates as well as the relationships between demographic variables and the most effective strategy. One-Way ANOVA analysis was also used to compare means in terms of the most effective strategy for different racial groups. A total of 108 survey responses returned were valid and completed.

As a result of multiple regression analysis, Formal Mentoring was identified as the most effective promotional strategy. Additionally, there are statistically significant relationships between demographic variables and the Promotion Rate. Furthermore, there are also statistically significant relationships between demographic variables and the Formal Mentoring strategy. The results of One-Way ANOVA analysis indicated that different perceptions of the most effective promotional strategy did not exist among diverse racial groups. This study's findings provide valuable information for women aiming to break through the glass ceiling, and they contribute to women's career success opportunities.

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