Gendering of family firms : the story of family funeral homes

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dc.contributor.advisor Mills, Albert J., 1945-
dc.creator Parsons, Donna Boone
dc.date.accessioned 2018-03-28T14:41:30Z
dc.date.available 2018-03-28T14:41:30Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.other HD62.25 P37 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://library2.smu.ca/handle/01/27384
dc.description 227 leaves ; 29 cm
dc.description Includes abstract.
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 216-227).
dc.description.abstract Using interpretive narrative analysis to examine a series of interviews with members of selected family businesses in the US funeral industry, this case study offers a deeper understanding about the gendering processes and structures in funeral service firms by exploring how gender intersects with individual identity negotiation. The theoretical foundation of this research was built on the gender in organizations literature and the literature about women and gender in family businesses. An analysis using Joan Acker’s framework of gendering processes suggests that the family funeral firms demonstrated gendering similar to that in other business forms. Primogeniture was pervasive in the firms. Males were almost universally preferred for positions, particularly leadership positions. Interactions with family members and employees inside the firm as well as with people external to the firm construct and reproduce a gender order for women in this business. The socialization process that appears to be non-gendered becomes gendered at the secondary level. However, the stories that funeral home families told about their businesses suggest that, in some ways, family firms might provide less gendered structures and processes than other business forms. Because workers in a family firm hold family roles as well as jobs, they are less likely to be disembodied than the literature suggests is the case for other workers. Owners/parents are more aware of family responsibilities outside of work and are more flexible in allowing people to meet those responsibilities. The women in this study negotiated low-conflict gender identities in response to the gendered structures. The major contribution of this case study is the in-depth study of gender in the context of family-owned funeral homes. Additionally, this thesis stands as a unique example of critical, interpretive research in family business literature and is also a rare application of Joan Acker’s framework for analysing gendered organizations. en_CA
dc.language.iso en en_CA
dc.publisher Halifax, N.S. : Saint Mary's University
dc.subject.lcc HD62.25
dc.subject.lcsh Family-owned business enterprises -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Sex role in the work environment -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Undertakers and undertaking -- United States
dc.subject.lcsh Businesswomen -- United States
dc.title Gendering of family firms : the story of family funeral homes en_CA
dc.type Text en_CA
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (Management)
thesis.degree.level Doctoral
thesis.degree.discipline Management
thesis.degree.grantor Saint Mary's University (Halifax, N.S.)


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