Women - Climbing the Corporate Ladder at American Large-scale Retailers: A Narrative Inquiry

Women - Climbing the Corporate Ladder at American Large-scale Retailers: A Narrative Inquiry

Author: 
Amanda Elizabeth Brazelton
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry design was to investigate the factors that have limited the progression of women into upper management positions at American large-scale retailers. The study under investigation was to explore how leadership, culture, and social networking affect women's advancement opportunities in large-scale retail organizations. A qualitative research study was appropriate for this study because the participants were able to provide a detailed and deeper understanding of their individual experiences to add valuable insight to the fundamental phenomenon. Research is needed to clarify the perception of the observance of the glass ceiling and the low representation of women in upper management positions at large-scale retail organizations.
Dedication: 
To my parents, Air Force Lt. Col. (Ret) And Mrs. Donald Brazelton, their unconditional love and support is always there and appreciated. I love you more than words could ever say and this is in part for you. To my brother and sister-in-law, Army National Guard Major Stephen & Angie Brazelton, my niece Olivia, and Dot Baker (Angie’s mom), family time sometimes had to be put on the back burner in order to do homework or write a paper, and not holding it against me was greatly appreciated. To Kimberly Williams, my best friend, you are awesome!! I appreciate all of the pep talks that kept me going. I love you too! Teddi Rhea, you are still a bright light, and your smile keeps me going, you ROCK! Clemson University Professor Dr. Marjie Britz, you sort of inspired me to take this path, now we can be Professors in Crime/Sociology and Business. To Dana Krause and Dr. Barbara Britton, thank you for the roles you played, to help in this endeavor. To all of the participants who stepped up and agreed to be interviewed for this study, for invaluable information made this study richer by having quality, real-life data to draw upon. To the rest of my family, friends, current and former co-workers, thank you for the guidance and unconditional support. The pursuit for has kept me going on this degree and inspired me to relate to the real-life experiences needed, to write the endless number of papers throughout this degree, ending with pursuing this dissertation.
Acknowledgements: 
First I would like to Thank God for the countless blessings that he has bestowed on me, including the patience and ability to attain my educational goals. Matthew 19:26 states, “but with God all things are possible,” (Matt. 19:26, New International Version). God will put you in the right place at the right time to meet the right people; Dr. Julia Aucoin is one of those people. A special acknowledgement to my mentor Dr. Julia Aucoin has been a light in a dark tunnel, she stepped up from a committee member to be my Chair when I lost my original chair, she pushed me, challenged me, inspired me, had confidence in me and she believed in me to be successful in this endeavor; to you I am so truly thankful, appreciative, and truly grateful for the opportunity to work with you, develop and grow as a scholar has been a blessing, after this stand beside you and be colleagues. I believe I have found a mentor for life. Your wisdom, knowledge, and profound take and insight on things is truly a gift. Dr. Lisa Kilanowski, thank you for coming on my committee and giving me excellent guidance and making sure we were properly in line. Dr. Wanda ArnaudSimmons, thank you for coming on my committee at the tail end of things. I was in a pilot-program that allowed us to start with two committee members. So with you joining the committee right before IRB must not have been the easiest task; however, I have greatly appreciated your guidance and support through the process. You ladies are three of the best committee members a doctoral student could ever ask for. You all offered and challenged me to deliver a quality piece of work that is of high scholarly development, pulling from leadership practice, and identify possible areas for future study or research.