Unpacking the ‘Bamboo Ceiling’ Effect from an Emotions Perspective and Examining Potential Solutions through Mentors and Role Models.

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Embargoed until 2023-05-24
Copyright: Yustantio, Jessica
The ‘bamboo ceiling’ is a metaphorical term used to explain the underrepresentation of Asians in leadership positions. This includes the individual, cultural and organisational barriers and challenges that Asians encounter on their way to attaining higher-level positions in Western organisations. The aim of this thesis is to provide a more informed understanding of the bamboo ceiling effect and to shape research questions that are of priority areas for knowledge sharing. Chapter 1 introduces the thesis topic and presents a review of the literature on the bamboo ceiling effect. In examining the literature, I synthesise the major findings in the literature, and subsequently gain further insight into under-examined areas. I pool together a series of research questions to guide the subsequent empirical studies (Chapter 2 and Chapter 3) that help explain the bamboo ceiling effect and its potential solutions. Chapter 2 focuses on the lack of knowledge in explaining the bamboo ceiling effect through an emotions perspective—namely, the mediating effect of perceived ability to manage emotions as a way to understand the differences in the leadership promotability of male and female Asian and Caucasian leaders. Chapter 3 addresses the limitations in the field to investigate potential solutions to eliminate the bamboo ceiling. This chapter presents the effect of race of mentors and role models through a two-wave field study, and applies signaling theory and similarity attraction paradigm to highlight the potential benefits for Asians of having a Caucasian mentor and an Asian role model towards their self-perceived leadership promotability. Chapter 4 presents the thesis’ overarching theoretical and practical contributions, alongside limitations and future research proposals.
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Yustantio, Jessica
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PhD Doctorate
UNSW Faculty
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