Research Handbook on Women in International Management
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Research Handbook on Women in International Management

Edited by Kate Hutchings and Snejina Michailova

The Research Handbook on Women in International Management is a carefully designed collection of contributions that provides a thorough and nuanced discussion of how women engage in international management. It also offers important insights into emerging and new areas of research warranting future consideration.
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Chapter 1: Women in international management: Reviewing past trends and identifying emerging and future issues

Kate Hutchings and Snejina Michailova


Since the 1980s a body of academic research has studied women in international management. Early research explored whether there were barriers which may have hindered women's involvement in international management and resulted in their under-representation relative to men, including perceptions of foreigner/host country prejudice, organizational policies, and women's own lack of interest/motivation for international assignments (Adler, 1984a; 1984b; 1994; see also Altman and Shortland, 2008; Shortland, 2009). Research has largely disputed that foreigner prejudice or the host country socio-cultural, political or legislative context has limited women's international management opportunities (Adler, 1987; 1994; Stroh, Varma and Valy-Durbin, 2000; Tung, 2004; Varma, Toh, and Budhwar, 2006); some research actually suggested that foreign women may even be preferred over men as expatriate managers. Yet, ongoing research has continued to affirm that women's opportunities are affected by organizational selection practices (Harris and Brewster, 1999; Harris, 2001; Insch, McIntyre and Napier, 2008; Menzies, 2009), structural issues (Mayrhofer and Scullion, 2002), exclusion from networks and lack of support within organizations (Linehan and Walsh, 1999; Linehan and Scullion, 2008) and/ or lack of networks outside organizations (see Hutchings, French, and Hatcher, 2008). Research has even suggested that bias in selection for international work opportunities may actually be present amongst MBA students (Vance, Paik, and White, 2006).

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