The Issue of Glass Ceiling: A study of what the HRM textbooks present


  • H.H.D.N.P. Opatha Senior Professor Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura


Generally this conceptual study is a systematic attempt to find out what HRM textbooks present about the issue of Glass Ceiling (GC). Specifically five research questions were formulated and they were answered by adopting a desk research strategy. Relevant writings and explanations from 35 textbooks on HRM published by relevant authorities were examined. The study yielded findings consistent with the formulated five research questions and they are: there is indeed an issue called Glass Ceiling; its meaning is a barrier or barriers or a set of barriers which is/are invisible but real preventing advancement of women employees and minorities to top managerial jobs and positions in the organization; it is a problem to be concerned with owing to significant negative consequences; there are many reasons for the GC issue and 17 reasons were presented; and 19 remedies specified were found. These remedies can be recommended for organizations to melt the GC. However, there are some cautions to be considered.

Key Words: Career Management, Glass Ceiling, Human Resource Management, Textbook