Impact of gender on use of wasta among human resources management practitioners

Fadi Alsarhan, Sa'ad Ali, David Weir, Marc Valax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The practice of wasta dominates all aspects of Arabs' lives; it is a parallel inegalitarian system that categorizes people according to their connections. One of the epicenters of wasta is human resources management (HRM). This article studies the concept of wasta in the Arab world by examining its use in HRM according to gender, in the case of the Jordanian public sector. Results obtained from 27 semi-structured interviews of HR managers indicate that though wasta is an important feature of HRM in general, there is a notable discrepancy between male and female employees, with the former displaying higher tendencies for using wasta than the latter. An explanation for this finding is the prevalent masculine nature of Jordanian society, which entails social caveats related to the traditional role of women. Professional determinants, such as gendered job segregation and variance in qualifications, also affect men's and women's access to wasta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalThunderbird International Business Review
Volume63
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

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