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Exploring the lived experience of women owner-managers of small construction firms: a social identity approach

Piña, A. E., Lu, S.-L. ORCID: and Phua, F. ORCID: (2022) Exploring the lived experience of women owner-managers of small construction firms: a social identity approach. In: The 38th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) Conference, 5th – 7th Sep 2022, Glasgow, UK, pp. 186-195.

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Despite the growing number of small construction firms that are owned-managed by women, there is limited research into the lived experience enacted by these women who have direct influence over their firms' strategic direction and operational management. Drawn from the existing literature, three areas of the lived experience of women in construction and women owner-managers are identified: their career progression, their leadership roles and their business ownership roles. These areas are mostly rooted in the role of agency (i.e. women) in different social contexts (e.g. construction) which lead to the generation of gendered practices. This treatment provides a general overview of how gender affects the experience of women in the construction industry. This paper aims to revisit the current narratives on gender prevalent in the industry from a social identity perspective. Social identity approach (SIA) posits that individuals have multiple and salient self-concepts that are defined by their social context and experiences. Gender is a strong perceived self-concept and the exploration of the lived experiences of women owner-managers of small construction firms will shed light on how these women identify themselves. The narrative inquiry methodology will be adopted as it is an appropriate way to gather data about lived experience. Data will be collected through narrative interviews of both women and men who are owner-managers of small construction firms. Thematic analysis using NVivo software will be adopted as data analysis method. Findings from this study will contribute to help policy makers and industry stakeholders go beyond examining structural barriers only when it comes to making the construction industry more attractive to women.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:109371


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