Exploring Gender Based Resistance to Women in Leadership Roles in Food and Beverage Operations

Watkins, Catherine Lisa Bialek
Mooney, Shelagh
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Master of International Hospitality Management
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Auckland University of Technology

This study sought to explore the organisational newcomer process from the perspective of a new manager in a food and beverage operational setting. The study examined exhibited subordinate behaviours that influenced the new manager experience. Women dominate the hospitality industry in numbers, but the majority hold lower level positions. This study explored the relationship between subordinate behaviours towards new managers and how gender affects organisational socialisation behaviours, influencing the assimilation and adaptation process of new woman managers. Two phases of data collection and analysis were employed to explore newcomer organisational socialisation behaviours in the hospitality industry. Phase One employed a semi-structured literature review, and Phase Two comprised semi-structured interviews of eight food and beverage supervisors or managers. The methodological approach was an interpretivist social constructionist paradigm informed by a feminist lens. The data analysis from Phase One was used to guide the Phase Two thematic analysis of the interview data. Gendering organisation theorisation guided the study by recognising that women and men experience organisational processes differently, as demonstrated by the behaviours of subordinates (Acker, 2006; Calás et al., 2013). The study concluded that subordinates view managers differently because of their gender. In order for women to be gain the acceptance and validation of organisational members in the way as do men, organisations must address gendering in power relations, which are currently maintained through informal socialisation practices.

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