Female HR executives' contributions to firm performance: The effects of gender on decision-making and strategic-planning

by Waitman, Heather R., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 166 pages; 3624588


Women in leadership roles in Human Resources (HR) are gaining recognition in business strategy and strategic decision making; however, their level of participation in these strategic business functions is unclear and needs to be unambiguous. Furthermore, though many researchers have publicized that HR leaders' contributions positively impact a firm's performance, the body of literature does not distinguish HR leaders by gender. Men and women in HR are categorized as HR leaders, HR executives, HR managers, HR professionals, or HR practitioners, which makes it difficult to tell if they are referring to men or women. As a result of this ambiguity, this study attempts to fill a gap in research by determining what are the participation experiences of women in leadership roles in human resources management (HRM), how gender affects their level of involvement in business strategy and strategic decision making, and how this bias (or prejudice) in turn may impact the overall effectiveness of a firm's performance. The study expands research on female HR leaders in an attempt to publicize the value and worth of these women as contributors to firm performance. Understanding the value female HR leaders bring to the organization may open more doors to corporate suites where women can share their perspectives with Senior Executives in discussions, communications, and business decisions. Interviews conducted with female executives revealed that although women in HRM are involved in business strategy and strategic decision making, their level of involvement vary based on several underlying factors. The study findings further revealed that although women executives in HR are contributing to firm performance, they often have to assert themselves in order to be heard and taken seriously as decision makers.

AdviserMartin Lees
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Gender studies
Publication Number3624588

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