University of Limerick
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The cross-culture analysis of the engineering profession and its interaction with gender: a case study with Aer Lingus and Air Europa

Version 2 2022-05-23, 18:33
Version 1 2022-05-23, 05:56
posted on 2019-02-08, 15:36 authored by Noema Garcia
This study focused on the culture of the engineering profession and the associated processes of enculturation, highlighting the gender interaction. This culture can either militate against or advance the representation of women in engineering by reflecting or challenging masculine attitudes, values and norms of behaviour. In an effort to address these barriers and challenges, this study explored a cross cultural analysis in the aeronautical engineering profession in two different organizations, Aer Lingus in Ireland and Air Europa in Spain in an attempt to identify and compare the artefacts (artefacts, practices and behaviours), values, cultural norms and assumptions which create the culture of the engineering profession. Following a review of relevant literature, research question, aims and objectives were formulated. These have been addressed through an interpretive case study and ethnographic methods of data collection. Godfrey’s (2009) theoretical framework guided the analysis of this study. The first level of the model involved the identification of observable manifestations of the culture which was grouped as Artefacts, Practices and Behaviours. At the second level, values and cultural norms evolved from the observable manifestations. At the third level, assumptions, the core of the engineering profession was extracted from these values and cultural norms, in a form of two cultural dimensions; ‘engineering way of thinking’ and ‘engineering way of doing’. At each level of the analysis, the interaction with gender was highlighted. This investigation uncovered the beliefs and assumptions at the core of the engineering profession culture. These beliefs exposed masculinities, revealing the source of persistent cultural norms and their manifestations in behaviours and practices. Diverse forms of masculinities were evident, especially within the sub-culture in the Irish engineering department. The identification of ‘real engineers’ versus ‘book engineers’ values and cultural norms incorporated in this identity both stereotypically masculine and feminine qualities.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Lynch, Raymond

Second supervisor

Ledwith, Ann





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