Exploring Differences between Women’s and Men’s Managerial Competency Proficiencies: Evidence from China, India, Korea, and Japan

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Abstract

This paper investigates the state of women and men’s competencies in managerial positions in four Asian countries. A large-scale quantitative investigation of firms in China, India, Korea, and Japan yielded insight into comparable proficiency ratings and the ability of men and women to drive business results. Existing management competency literature is often limited to western males and females on executive levels overlooking the Asian characteristics of female and male managers in middle- and lower-management positions. Gender differences in terms of competency strengths, actual use, and actual impact of the use of the competencies on a specific target achievement criterion in various management positions are explored. Findings reveal that in all competencies men outscore women or women display equal strength compared to their male counterparts. Findings suggest that strategic innovative orientation and change management play an important role in all of the settings that were investigated. We propose that women who want to improve key competencies needed for advancement should target those competencies in which no gender differences currently exist. On the firm level, we conclude that adopting gendered competency decision-making criteria for recruiting, staffing, and promoting, could contribute to the creation of environments in which the mix of women’s and men’s competencies can benefit both individuals and the firm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
JournalManagement Education: An International Journal
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Asia
  • Capabilities
  • Competency
  • Gender
  • Women empowerment

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