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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Self-efficacy of Businesswomen: Understanding Generational Cohorts of Saudi Arabian Advocates

  • Author(s): Alfrayan, Reem Ahmad
  • Advisor(s): Yun, John
  • et al.

The purpose of this study is to explore the self-efficacy of Saudi businesswomen and advocates at the Saudi Arabian regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry and to contribute to our understanding of how Saudi Arabian women leaders develop over time. Through Bandura's self-efficacy framework (2005) and its effect on two key generational cohorts of women advocates, much can be learned about those women leaders advocating for the rights of Saudi businesswomen. My focus on self-efficacy of these two Generational Cohorts came from a pilot study (Alfrayan, 2013) on the self-efficacy component of leadership among Saudi businesswomen in three main regions in Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Jeddah, and the Eastern province. The pilot study yielded evidence of the existence of two distinct Generational Cohorts among the Participants. The two Generational Cohorts are characterized by the event of the establishment of a women section that provided services to businesswomen. It is important to note that different geographic regions established women sections at their local chamber of commerce on different dates. Thus, the generations are not defined by time, but by context. Focus is given to how these leaders describe the development of their self-efficacy and what they chose to do with it.

For the purpose of this study, the Generational Cohorts of the Participants were added as a dimension to understand how self-efficacy compares between generations. Using a Quantitative case study approach to closely studying six cases of two generational cohorts in three geographical locations was preformed. Applying Bandura's (1995) self-efficacy framework as the lens for examining the leadership development of businesswomen and professionals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in two generations by researching the following questions were answered: What do Saudi Arabian businesswomen and advocates identify as the most important factors furthering and hindering the development of their self-efficacy to advocate for a larger role for women in business? and In what ways do these women leaders describe the two Generational Cohorts of women advocate's effects on one another?

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