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To critically evaluate the role of interlinked factors in determining the relationship between female representation at top tier and overall competitiveness"

Comparative Analysis of Cargo Logistic Firms in Pakistan (Emerging Economy) and Canada (Developed Economy)

Abstract of the Student #Thesis: Riffat Faizan

This thesis aimed to investigate the interrelated variables of gender diversity, leadership style, top team-task performance, and autonomy in determining the relationship between female representation at the top tier and the overall competitiveness of cargo logistics firms in Canada (a developed economy) and Pakistan (an emerging economy). To achieve both numerical significance and qualitative insights, the researcher focused primarily on literature from the past one and a half decades, reflecting the post-recession shift in paradigms. The major theme of this research centers around the 2008 recession, a period during which the logistics environment underwent drastic operational changes. Consequently, the literature from the last decade forms the core of this study.

Addressing the limitations of earlier empirical research, this study adopted a pragmatic approach using a hypothetico-deductive-inductive model. The philosophical stance is realism, with a largely positivist research paradigm. The ontological stance is critical realism, while the epistemological stance is objective. A cross-sectional comparative analysis was conducted using a combination of probability (random stratified) sampling and non-probability (convenience, quota, and snowball) sampling techniques to reach 584 survey respondents and conduct 27 interviews. Quantitative survey results were analyzed using SPSS 23.0, and qualitative aspects were explored through thematic analysis.

The results revealed significant correlations between gender diversity and competitiveness (p=0.000 < 0.05), leadership style and competitiveness (p=0.000 < 0.05), and top team-task performance and competitiveness (p=0.001 < 0.05). However, there was no significant relationship between autonomy and competitiveness (p=0.0852 > 0.05). Gender diversity at the top tier accounted for the highest variation (85%) between female representation and competitiveness. Furthermore, Pakistani organizations were found to have higher female representation at the top and better progression opportunities for females than Canadian organizations. This thesis confirms that female representation at the top tier increases firms' overall competitiveness and operational efficiency in contrasting economies.

Based on the current findings, recommendations are provided to targeted cargo logistics firms in Canada and Pakistan to enhance their operational efficiency and competitiveness in a volatile and dynamic environment.

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