Narratives by women managers about spousal support for their careers

Suvi Heikkinen*, Anna-Maija Lämsä, Minna Hiillos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article we present a qualitative study of spousal support for the careers of women managers. The research material consists of the narratives of 25 women managers in Finland. The study has two main implications. Firstly, unlike previous studies, we use a narrative approach to demonstrate that a woman manager's career and spousal support are experienced as ambiguous and evolving over the career. The support was constructed by the women managers as flourishing, irrelevant, deficient or inconsistent. Secondly, to increase our knowledge about gender relations, we combine discussion of the topic with gender order analysis and suggest that gender order is critical for an understanding of the nature of spousal support. We conclude that a male spouse who is willing to break the traditional gender order and provide his wife with various forms of support is often constructed as having a positive influence on the career of his woman manager wife. The study calls attention to families as sites of doing gender. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Management
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Woman manager
  • Career
  • Doing gender
  • Gender order
  • Family
  • Spousal support
  • Narrative
  • Finland
  • WORK-LIFE BALANCE
  • SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM
  • NATIONAL IDENTITY
  • MULTIPLE ROLES
  • GENDER
  • FAMILY
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • MARRIAGE
  • HOME

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