Women Work against Each Other

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The term methodology refers, according to Taylor and Bogdan (1984), to the way in which the researcher approaches problems and seeks answers. In the social sciences, the term applies to how one conducts research. A person’s assumption, interest, and purposes shape which method we choose.

Theoretical Approach

According to Ritchie and Lewis(2003), we all have our own perception of the world that surrounds us. Our different backgrounds, intelligences and experiences shape our perception, and the reality is therefore what we understand it to be. Andersen (1990) means that people always will be affiliated with a set of basic assumptions about things in the environment. These particular assumptions, about what is right and wrong in different situations, are called paradigms. Since a researcher’s work often is judged in a paradigm perspective, the paradigms are very important in the scientific world. In accordance with Patton (1990), Andersen (1990) says there are generally two methodological paradigms that are accepted in the world of science; positivism and hermeneutic. This can also be seen in Figure 1. According to Wallén (1996), positivism refers to the researcher’s task to collect and organize data. Characteristic of the positivistic research method is that the researcher proceeds from a basic idea, which he or she might have got through own experiences or from other researchers. The researcher then poses one or several hypotheses, which are empirically tested. If the hypotheses are successful, theories are built upon them.The second paradigm, hermeneutic, is according to Andersen (1990) and Wallén (1996), usually described as the ‘science of interpretation’. It is further explained by Patton (1990),as a term referring to a Greek technique for interpreting legends, stories and other texts.This means, says Wallén (1996) that everything has to be taken into consideration by the researcher. Furthermore, Patton (1990) continues to say that, hermeneutic people mean it is not possible to examine human life or for that matter, human behavior, with the sole help of exact and objective data. To truly be able to grasp the complexity of a human being it becomes necessary to take such things as motivation, actions, thoughts, inspiration and motives into account.It is easy to understand the advantage in drawing conclusions on the basis of large amounts of data. However, there was a wish to do fewer interviews, and follow the hermeneutic approach, in order to get deeper into the subject; how women reach top positions. Wallén (1996) also points out that the most common criticism against positivism is that it sees the human as an objective, a thing. This means it is easy to loose the consistency and overall picture of the work. Feelings and expressions have been included in the study, and we therefore see ourselves as hermeneutic researchers. The hermeneutic ideal also appears useful since it is difficult to conduct research without being colored by a certain degree of subjectivity.


1 Introduction 
1.1 Background
1.2 Problem Discussion
1.3 Purpose 
1.4 Disposition of the Thesis
2 Method
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Theoretical Approach
2.3 Research Approach
2.4 Applied Method
2.4.1 Selecting the Respondents
2.4.2 Data Collection
2.4.3 Interviews
2.4.4 Conducting the Interviews
2.5 Trustworthiness
3 Frame of Reference
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Barriers 
3.2.1 Women Work against Each Other
3.2.2 The Glass Ceiling
3.3 Self-Confidence 
3.3.1 Risk Taking
3.4 Motivation 
3.4.1 Need for Achievement
3.5 Mentoring
3.6 Networking
3.7 Balance in Life 
4 The Story of the Respondents
4.1 Amelia Adamo 
4.2 Eivor Andersson 
4.3 Gunilla Forsmark-Karlsson 
4.4 Lena Herrmann
4.5 Anitra Steen
4.6 Meg Tivéus
5 How Did They Come This Far?
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Barriers 
5.2.1 Women Work against Each Other
5.2.2 Glass Ceiling
5.3 Self-Confidence 
5.3.1 Risk Taking
5.4 Motivation 
5.4.1 Need for Achievement
5.5 Mentoring
5.6 Networking
5.7 Balance in Life 
5.8 Final Advices 
6 Analysis.
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Barriers 
6.2.1 Women Work against Each Other
6.2.2 Glass Ceiling
6.3 Self-Confidence 
6.3.1 Risk Taking
6.4 Motivation
6.4.1 Need for Achievement
6.5 Mentoring
6.6 Networking
6.7 Balance in Life 
6.8 Theoretical Contribution
7 Conclusion
7.1 Further Research.


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