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Attitudes towards and Perceptions of Women Managers and Their Communication Competencies in the Sultanate of Oman

This study was concerned with the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the Sultanate of Oman. In particular, it focused on the attitudes of Omani people towards women as managers and the perceptions of these managers‘ communication competencies. It also explored reasons for the underrepresentation of women in managerial positions. The study investigated the topic through a feminist-research lens and used a mixed-method approach that included both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to collect the data. For quantitative data, a questionnaire survey was conducted on a convenience sample of 208 participants from the Ministry of Higher Education in Oman. The survey included two different tests: the Women as Managers Scale (WAMS) and the Communication Competencies of Women Managers Scale (CCWMS). For qualitative data, 12 Omani males and females from the Ministry were interviewed in order to gain in-depth information to complement the qualitative data. The survey data were analysed using the SPSS program while the interview transcripts were analysed using the thematic analysis technique to capture major themes that emerged from the data. The survey findings showed, first, that participants held both positive attitudes towards women in managerial positions and positive perceptions of women managers‘ communication competencies. Second, gender was not found to have significant influence on either the attitudes or the perceptions of communication competencies. Prior experience with women managers, on the other hand, did have significant influence on participants‘ perception of women managers‘ communication competencies but not on the attitudes towards these managers. The findings also indicated that there was a weak correlation between attitudes towards women managers and the perceptions of their communication competences. Finally, the findings showed a significant relationship between satisfaction of working with women managers and attitudes towards women managers, while there was no relationship between attitudes and being overseas. Thematic analysis of the interviews showed that the level of representation of women in managerial positions in Oman could be influenced by many factors educational, Managerial (professional), psychological, familial, societal, and religious. The contribution of this research lies in the following areas. First, the study helps fill the gap in knowledge identified in the review of the literature. While there is a reasonably volume of research on attitude towards women managers in a number of countries, there has been hardly any in Oman. Second, the study shows that while attitudes and perceptions towards women managers in Oman compare favourably with those in many countries, these positive attitudes and perceptions are far from universal. Some people in Oman still believe that men have more abilities than women and are more suitable to work as managers. Third, the research has highlighted the fact that although Omani women have received a great deal of support and encouragement from the Omani government in recent times, there is still much to be done to achieve proportional representation of men and women in managerial positions.
Type of thesis
AL-Mahrouqi, A. (2010). Attitudes towards and Perceptions of Women Managers and Their Communication Competencies in the Sultanate of Oman (Thesis, Master of Management Studies (MMS)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4991
University of Waikato
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