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Impact of Indigenous Culture on women leadership in Pakistan: How does indigenous culture of Pakistan restricts career progress and leadership abilities of females of Pakistan
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship. (Shafta Manzoor)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

“Although the subject of female leadership is very well documented at an international

level, Pakistan still lacks enough research in this area. This scarcity of research gives

rise to a commonly held belief that gender equality has been achieved in Pakistan which

hides the gender stereotypes and discrimination practices still prevailing in the country.”

“Digging into the experiences of thirty working women, this study examined the effect

indigenous culture of Pakistan has in shaping their life experiences as well as career

success. The study followed a qualitative research approach with phenomenological

theoretical framework. Fifteen females were interviewed from urban areas and fifteen

from rural areas to draw a holistic picture of indigenous culture of Pakistan and its

effect on career success of females.”

“Female participants of this study were interviewed on skype and the data gathered

through these interviews was analysed using grounded theory approach. Interviews

were taken in Urdu and transcriptions were prepared in English to conduct analysis for

this study. Seven categories were initially developed through open coding, followed by

three clusters through axial coding an lastly the study created a theoretical framework

through selective coding. Findings of the study indicate that indigenous culture strongly

effects the career success of working women in Pakistan. Based on thematic analysis,

the study concludes that indigenous culture of Pakistan puts taboos on females in the

form of family bevahior, expectations and the structurally enforced inferior status of

females which effects their leadership skills negatively and restricts their career


“Indigenous culture of Pakistan creates mobility issues for women which restricts the

possibility to join better jobs at other places instead of their home town and it also

effects expansion of entrepreneurial ventures by restricting females to their home towns.

Apart from social mobility, culture restricts the decision making power of females

which effects their self-recognition and vision development and other skills necessary to

become a better leader. Females also face difficulty managing work and family life

because of the uneven domestic work burden on females and the concept that woman is

the caretaker of house no matter how tough her job gets. Single females don’t face the

problem of managing house work and family life however they face issues such as

social immobility, preference of male colleagues over them because of their perceived

short work life, lack of decision making power and lack of self-confidence.”

“The participants were of the view that despite of all the challenges brought by culture,

they are still struggling for their career and fighting against the taboos put by culture.”

“Respondents of this study agreed that their family support is most important factor for

them to stand against the cultural taboos and pursue their dreams. Therefore, this study

concludes that there is a strong need to change the mind-set prevailing in these societies

that female is a creature who has to be agreeable and caretaker of family and who is

responsible for saving relationships. Although efforts have been done to give women

equal rights in Pakistan, these efforts will become more meaningful if general

perception of society about women and their role starts to change which will require

awareness programmes and cooperation from academic institutions and policy makers.”

Page 4 of 97

Impact of Indigenous culture on Female Leadership in Pakistan

“This study recommends a future research on the perception of males about female

colleagues working with them in order to examine if males of countries like Pakistan

are ready to accept female leaders. As this study was conducted on females only, for

future it is recommended to examine the mind set of males of the society to draw a

comparison between situation of females and impact of males mind set on this


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 96 p.
Keyword [en]
Indigenous culture, Female Leadership, Decision making power, Social immobility issues, Patriarchal Culture, Cultural taboos, Leadership skills, Role expectancy of females, Work and family life balance
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-43763OAI: diva2:818152
Subject / course
Management and Organization
Educational program
Leadership and Management in International Context, Master Programme, 60 credits
2015-05-21, 214, Kalmar Nyckel, Kalmar, 11:40 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-08 Created: 2015-06-08 Last updated: 2015-06-08Bibliographically approved

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