CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
In this chapter I discuss the timing of the literature review in qualitative methodology, and GT specifically, the gap identified in literature together with justification for the chosen topic and the theoretical framework for my study.
ROLE OF LITERATURE REVIEW IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
Different scholars have different views on the timing and role of the literature review in qualitative research, based on the methodology to be used. Creswell (2009) defines three uses of a literature review in a report: to frame the problem in the introduction to the essay, to review the literature presented in a separate section, and to include the literature review at the end of the study where it becomes a basis for comparing and contrasting the findings of the qualitative study.
Glaser and Strauss (1967, p. 67) assert that a literature review should not be done in the substantive and related areas in which the research is to be done, but that the literature search in the substantive area can be accomplished and woven into the theory as additional data for constant comparison when the GT is nearly completed, that is, during the sorting and writing up. This view is supported by Nathaniel (2006) and Holton (2007). Charmaz (2006) also concurs, stating that delaying the literature review avoids researcher bias. However, this view is not shared by Coffey and Atkinson (cited in Dunne 2011), who believe that an ignorant researcher runs the risk of rediscovering the wheel. This assertion is supported by various scholars (Clarke 2005; Cutcliffe 2000; Dey 1999; Eisenhardt 1989; Layder 1998), while Henwood and Pidgeon (cited in Dunne 2011, p. 120) describe the term ‘theoretical agnosticism’, which they argue ‘is a better watchword than theoretical ignorance to sum up the ways of using the literature at the early stages of the flow of work in grounded theory’. This approach does not advocate that the researcher ignores existing theories, but rather that the researcher avoids the imposition of specific theoretical frameworks, as this may cause the researcher to analyse the data through a specific theoretical lens.
Suddaby (2006, p. 635) argues for achieving a middle ground ‘between a theory-laden view of the world and an unfettered empiricism’. Dunne (2011) proposes using reflexivity to counteract the negative impact of or bias from early engagement with theory. He goes on to explain how memoing, described in section 3.6, is based on reflective thinking. As Strübing (cited in Dunne 2011, p. 117) remarks, the fundamental point is ‘not whether previous knowledge should be used in actual data analysis; the important insight lies rather in how to make proper use of previous knowledge’.
Dunne (2011, p. 118) asserts as follows:
[R]egular memos resulting from an early literature review could record and outline the new ideas to which the researcher has been exposed, the propositions, values and context linked with a given theory, the possible shortcomings of the theory, and could also chronicle the manner in which the researcher’s thinking might have changed as a result of accessing that knowledge.
For this study I chose the middle ground (Suddaby 2006). My initial topic was about barriers to women’s advancement in corporate South Africa. My review of the literature focused on previous studies done in the area and gender issues in general. This was done as a natural progression through the university’s stipulated process; from a research proposal, followed by a literature review, to an approval of the research methodology prior to progressing to a field study. However, it was also done ‘in order to identify what work had been done, which issues were central to these fields, and what knowledge gaps existed’ (Dunne 2011, p. 119). This allowed me to identify an area that had not received enough attention, namely investigating gender issues across race and class. More importantly, I found that literature that studied gender, race and social class simultaneously in South Africa was lacking. An in-depth study of women’s stories at CEO level across race, class and industry sectors was also lacking. This realisation was the main reason for my change of topic after going through the literature review approval phase. I was struck by the fact that women were described in terms of numbers (BWASA 2012), therefore, getting the women’s stories as told by them became my area of interest. As a businesswoman who has ascended to the position of non-executive chairman of a top 40 JSE-listed organisation, I had some personal experience of the subject matter. In Chapter 3 I discuss the way I mitigated possible bias of the research findings caused by my prior knowledge.
In the following section, I draw a global comparison regarding gender transformation. I also discuss the two theories that form the foundation of the study, namely, the postcolonial feminist theory and the intersectionality theory.
A GLOBAL COMPARISON OF GENDER TRANSFORMATION
The gender gap in economic participation is not unique to South Africa as evidenced by the global comparison on gender transformation in different countries and geographical regions in the next section.
Table 2.1 shows the top and the worst performers in closing the gender gap, per country income level. Rwanda had the smallest gap in men’s and women’s labour force participation, and Arab countries the biggest (World Economic Forum, 2012). The Rwandan genocide might be part of the explanation for the former, and Muslim religious beliefs might explain the latter.
Even after the gender parity scores are weighted by country population, the Middle East and North Africa still have the lowest scores overall, and on economic participation and political empowerment specifically (World Economic Forum, 2012). Bangladesh was the highest-ranking Muslim majority country at number 86. Asia, especially India, had the lowest scores on the health and survival sub-index, while sub-Saharan Africa had the lowest scores on educational attainment. Out of 135 countries South Africa was ranked 69 in economic participation and opportunity and 87 in educational attainment. The worst score for South Africa was for health and survival at 103. The information supplied in Table 2.1 (showing the top and the worst performers, per country income level, in closing the gender gap) confirms the assertion that the Middle Eastern countries were the worst performers and the Nordic countries among the best. South Africa ranked second in its category, and this could be attributed to the transformation laws passed over the last two decades; however, there is room for improvement.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) started measuring the gap in gender parity in 2006. The WEF index measures the gender gap in four areas, namely; education, economic participation, health and survival, and economic participation. The index compares different countries, different regions and different income countries. In the beginning, the index sample included 115 countries but the number has increased to 134, which represent more than 90% of the world population. Though no country has completely closed the gender gap, some regions and some countries within regions have gone a long way towards narrowing this gap. Overall, the political gap has been narrowed – 17% for political empowerment, more than 59% for economic participation, and more than 93% for education. In general there has been a small deterioration as far as the scores for health and survival are concerned (World Economic Forum 2009).
An understanding of the status of women empowerment globally gives perspective to the status in South Africa and lessons to be learnt from more progressive countries. Those lessons are important in trying to formulate strategies for gender transformation.
In the following section I discuss the theoretical frameworks used in the current study.
[T]he reality is that no country in the world, no matter how advanced, has achieved true gender equality, as measured by comparable decision -making power, equal opportunity for education and advancement, and equal participation and status in all walks of human endeavour. Gender disparities exist, even in countries without glaring male domination, and measuring these disparities is a necessary step towards implementing corrective policies.
Lopez-Claros & Zahidi (cited in World Economic Forum 2005)
It is difficult to look at gender issues at work without first looking at the writings of feminist theorists. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a feminist as someone, male or female, who believes in social, political and economic equality between the sexes (Kramerae & Treichler 1996). This section looks at the thoughts of people who have believed in social, political and economic equality throughout the different phases of the feminist revolution.
The feminist movement started in the 1800s, though it only gained momentum in the 1960s. However, the literature review done for this study indicated that gender equality is still elusive many decades later, and this is attested to by the opening quote to this section.
Calas and Smircich (2006) define feminist theory as a critique of the status quo, and, therefore, always political. Calas and Smircich looked at a multitude of feminist theoretical tendencies and how each one contributed to and/or ignored certain areas within the field of feminist organisation studies. Six feminist theories are discussed in their work, namely: liberal feminism, which is concerned with inequality as regards socialisation of people into gender roles; radical feminism, which focuses on cultural practices that value men’s experiences over women’s; black feminism, which questions which women’s experiences are constitutive of gender; psychoanalytic feminism, which focuses on experiences acquired in early developmental relations with parents; and socialist feminism, which is the confluence of Marxist, radical and psychoanalytic, poststructuralist/postmodern and transnational/postcolonial feminism (Calas & Smircich 2006, pp. 286–321). Postcolonial feminists look at ‘third-wave feminist theorising’, which addresses race and class, amongst other issues.
Feminist scholars’ criticism of liberal feminist theory is based on its roots being an ideal world that is modelled after ‘Eurocentric, elite, masculinist ideals’ (Calas & Smircich 2006, p. 290). This, it is argued, disregards the race issue and social system and their impact on gender issues. Radical feminism is described as seeking to create institutions in which women’s needs can be met, as opposed to a change in ‘mainstream’ organisations to accept women and their differences and treat them as equals. Calas and Smircich (2006) analyse the different approaches used by women in management research. These include psychological and individual level research, sociological and structural research, and research into the organisation and the broader social system. The criticism of radical and psychoanalytic feminist theories by socialist feminists is that they are based mainly on Western patriarchal conditions and give limited regard to culture or historical circumstance.
CHAPTER 1 CONTEXTUALISING THE STUDY
1.2 BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM STATEMENT
1.3 RESEARCHER’S MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY
CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 ROLE OF LITERATURE REVIEW IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
2.2 A GLOBAL COMPARISON OF GENDER TRANSFORMATION
2.3 FEMINIST THEORY
2.5 INTEGRATED THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
CHAPTER 3 DEVELOPING AND IMPLEMENTING THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.2 RESEARCH PARADIGM
3.3 GROUNDED THEORY
3.4 DATA COLLECTION
3.5 STUDY POPULATION
3.6 DIFFERENT TENETS OF GT: DATA COLLECTION & ANALYSIS
3.7 STRATEGIES TO ENSURE RIGOUR
3.8 VALIDITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS
3.9 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS
4.2 MAIN THEMES
4.3 PARTICIPANTS’ EXPERIENCES (WITH RELEVANT EXTRACTS)
4.4 CONCLUSION AND COMPARISON OF WOMEN
4.5 DISCUSSION OF STRATEGIES FOR GENDER TRANSFORMATION
CHAPTER 5 ENFOLDING OF LITERATURE RELEVANT TO THE FINDINGS
5.2 INTERSECTION OF GENDER, CLASS AND RACE
5.3 STRATEGIES FOR GENDER TRANSFORMATION AT LEADERSHIP LEVEL
5.4 PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR WOMEN EMPOWERMENT AND GENDER TRANSFORMATION AT LEADERSHIP LEVEL
CHAPTER 6 CONSTRUCTING A THEORETICAL MODEL FOR GENDER TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY
6.2 ANALYTICAL TOOLS
6.3 CONSTRUCTING THE WOMEN’S HOLISTIC EMBRACE FOR EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP MODEL (WHEEL THEORETICAL MODEL)
6.4 INTEGRATING ABSTRACT CONCEPTS INTO THE WHEEL MODEL
CHAPTER 7 INTRODUCTION, MAIN FINDINGS, CONTRIBUTION OF THE RESEARCH, RECOMMENDATION FOR FURTHER STUDIES, LIMITATIONS, CONCLUSION.
7.2 MAIN FINDINGS
7.3 CONTRIBUTION OF THE RESEARCH
7.4 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDIES
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