Cronyism as a coping strategy: how do female academics deal with the lack of emancipative support?

Mohamed Mousa, Doaa Althalathini, Hala Abdelgaffar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to explore how female academics use cronyism to cope with the lack of emancipative support resulting from their intense teaching and research duties, poor representation at senior administrative levels and their exhausting familial commitments. Design/methodology/approach: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 32 female academics working full-time at four public universities in Egypt. Findings: The findings showed that the low action resources (considering their unreasonable teaching loads, research requirements and supervision engagements), emancipative values (the unfair representation of female academics at senior administrative levels) and civic entitlement (universities not serious about promoting gender equality) are perceived by female academics as a lack of empowerment that necessitates their adoption of cronyism as their main coping strategy. Moreover, in male-dominated societies, female academics who do not have the power to shape their work-related status tend to use undesirable behaviours such as cronyism to mitigate the negative consequences of the shocks they encounter. Originality/value: This paper contributes by filling a gap in human resources management in which empirical studies on the relationship between cronyism, emancipation and career shocks have been limited so far.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Career shocks
  • Egypt
  • Female academics
  • Organisational cronyism
  • Public universities
  • Theory of emancipation


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