The Employment of Women Managers and Professionals in an Emerging Economy:
Gender Inequality as an Organizational Practice


Stephen J. Appold
Department of Sociology
National University of Singapore
11 Arts Link
Singapore 117570
Sununta Siengthai
School of Management
Asian Institute of Technology
Klong Luang, Rangsit, 
Pathumthani 12120, Thailand
John D. Kasarda
Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-3440

The study reported here uses the recent rapid growth in labor demand in an emerging economy to isolate the organizational forces determining the representation of women in high-skill jobs from labor supply factors.   We test key predictions drawn from three theoretical perspectives: according to market incentive theories, firms are motivated to use human resources, including high-skill women, optimally; according to cultural theories, core national values can affect organizational gatekeepers' practices, while social psychological studies suggest that employees' preference for social homophily can make discriminatory behavior efficient.  Analysis of original survey data on 114 multinational firms headquartered in the U.S. and Japan and 40 domestic companies operating in Thailand, shows ambiguous market incentives to firms and no impact of national values on the employment of women.  The results point to male employees' preferences as the basis of gender inequality as an organizational practice.
 

Administrative Science Quarterly  43: 538-565 (1998)
 

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