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Title: An investigation into the existence of white leadership prototypicality in the Department for Work and Pensions : an ethnic minority perspective
Author: Muskwe, N.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2012
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This document sets out to examine the experiences of twenty ethnic minority managers in SEO to SCS grades in the Department for Work and Pensions in order to enhance the understanding of why there is a relative scarcity of senior and executive ethnic minority managers in the largest government department in the United Kingdom. In particular, the research examines how homosocial reproduction and the effect of social closure can limit the promotion opportunities for ethnic minorities in this organisation. This study did not seek to test a hypothesis but instead attempted to understand ethnic minorities’ own experiences in their propositions to senior management positions and how race as a variable is perceived to impede their career advancement. An interpretive paradigm and qualitative methodology were used which enabled the participants to describe their experiences in detail as a natural inquiry. In-depth semi-structured interviews are conducted with twenty ethnic minorities in SEO to SCS grades. The interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and using a thematic analysis, eight themes were identified from the data analysis. The findings revealed that ethnic minorities when seeking promotion are faced with a set of insurmountable obstacles. These barriers are created by their race, which is atypical to the white leadership prototype. The findings show that there are different paths to promotion for ethnic minority and white employees. Ethnic minorities are excluded through social closure and white managers are reproduced at the top, through homosocial reproduction, as they fit with the white leadership prototype. Ethnic minorities due to their nonprototypicality, have to work hard to gain promotion through contest mobility whilst whites are promoted through sponsorship through homosocial mentoring. The research concludes with a discussion of the research limitations, and future research possibilities including a call for more research into the effects of race on ethnic minorities’ propensity to be promoted. Recommendations are made in relation to how DWP can ensure that the senior and executive teams are reflective of their workforce and also to individual ethnic minorities in terms of how they can improve their promotion prospects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available