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A Longitudinal Investigation of the Glass Ceiling in Nursing

Drake, HM and Crozier, S (2019) A Longitudinal Investigation of the Glass Ceiling in Nursing. Journal of Managerial Psychology. ISSN 0268-3946 (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper presents a longitudinal, qualitative study exploring changes in the attributional constructions of sense-making in the perceptions and lived experiences of the glass-ceiling among a cohort of female mental health nurses in the National Health Service (NHS) who participated in a 12-month multi-faceted career and leadership development pilot programme compared to a matched control group. Design/methodology/approach: The authors interviewed 27 female mental health nurses in the UK who participated in a multi-faceted development programme specifically designed to support female nurses secure career advancement and 27 members of a matched control group who did not experience the programme. Participants engaged in semi-structured telephone interviews at three separate time points (six months apart) over a 12-month period. Findings: Programme participants differed in their attributional constructions of sense-making in relation to the glass-ceiling over time compared to the matched control group. e.g. triggering understandings and awakenings and re-evaluating the glass-ceiling above when promoted. Findings are used to theorise about the glass-ceiling as a concept that shifts and changes over time as a function of experience. Practical implications: Practical implications include important organisational outcomes in relation to fostering the career advancement and retention of talented female leaders at all career stages. Originality/value: The authors present the first known longitudinal, qualitative study to explore changes in attributional constructions of sense-making in perceptions and experiences of the glass-ceiling among female nurses over time compared to a matched control group.

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