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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Above the Glass Ceiling: Exploring Successful Women Leaders in Addiction Treatment
by Briick, Leah M., Ph.D., Capella University, 2019, 207; 27545126
Abstract (Summary)

Addiction treatment centers are organizations that attract large numbers of women employees. Despite the abundance of women in direct care and middle management positions, executive positions are still mostly held by men. This qualitative phenomenological study explored the lived success experiences of executive women addiction center leaders. Healthcare is regularly studied, but there is a gap in the research on addiction treatment center leaders. The research question was “How do women executives in addiction treatment centers explain their lived experience of breaking the glass ceiling and rising to a leadership role?” The influence of gender social roles related to aspiration, work-life balance, support systems, and gender inter-relationships on career goals and successes were explored. The Moustakas modified van Kaam method was used. Video interviews and a structured interview guide were utilized for capturing the descriptions of the lived experience. Ten executive women leaders at addiction treatment centers aged 35–62 years old from the United States participated in the study and described in their own words how they broke the glass ceiling in a top-heavy male industry. The positions held were executive director, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief operations officer, and chief of operations-behavioral health. Participants were executive level decision makers with the ability to impact the organizations’ strategic successes and financial outcomes. The results identified four themes for success strategies related to gender roles and socialization. The major themes that emerged were (a) determination to gain support/balance, (b) authenticity to self, (c) inspiration to change the industry by being a mentor, and (d) self-confidence through knowledge. Additional research would be beneficial to explore correlations between mentoring, aspiration, and success. Further research inclusive of all healthcare systems would determine if success experiences differ by type of system.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wiggins, Kathleen
Commitee: Silvestro, Ken, Gulish Beckham, Laurel
School: Capella University
Department: School of Counseling and Human Services
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Health care management, Womens studies, Counseling Psychology
Keywords: Addiction treatment, C-suite, Executive management, Gender bias, Glass ceiling, Substance abuse leadership
Publication Number: 27545126
ISBN: 9781392803479
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