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The contemporary world with its high speeds and rapid development can be quite a confusing place. For the families where both spouses share parental duties and the ownership of a business, it is even more so. The case study tells a story about Susie and Antonio, the parents of two girls of preschool age and the owners of a company manufacturing buttons, fasteners, and zippers for Italian clothing firms. The spouses face a difficult decision, they need to figure out if they should or should not switch their roles so that Susie takes over the company as a CEO and Antonio becomes a stay-at-home dad for the girls.
The case study suggests the reader take responsibility and decide what kind of dynamics should happen in the family. The case is complicated by the clash between the gender roles of both spouses. Gender roles are represented by the varying expectations from individuals based on their sex and popular social beliefs about genders, these roles affect such aspects as financial status, employment, parental and household duties of people (Blackstone 335).
For example, in the case study, Antonio and Susie’s male and female perspectives on things are constantly emphasized. Susie feels tricked when Antonio starts having second thoughts about the promise to become the stay-at-home dad he gave years ago. At the same time, Antonio is aware of this agreement with his wife, yet he does not feel that leaving the company would be a good decision. The thought processes of both Antonio and Susie include memories about talks with their parents such as Antonio’s father’s warning about giving promises that are hard to keep and Susie’s mother’s remark about equality in the couple and believing in far-going agreements.
The wife seems determined about her decision to become the CEO of the family business, while the husband is hesitating about leaving work for years and staying home with the children. There is a good chance that Antonio is reluctant due to the social pressure common in the contemporary world. U. S. Census Bureau points out that working mothers are not rare in modern society, while stay-at-home fathers estimate only one percent in the married couples with children younger than fifteen years old (Reyes par. 6).
This occurs mainly because, in spite of all the progressive attitudes and beliefs that women and men are equal socially, men are still expected to be the suppliers, have higher salaries than their wives, and obtain respectable jobs and prestigious careers. This way, men are truly stuck inside of the gender stereotype. Reyes supports this idea mentioning that girls refer to themselves as “tomboys” and this makes them proud of being strong, skillful, brave, and independent, while boys mock other boys for acting “like a girl” (par. 8).
This factor most certainly holds Antonio back in his decision-making process, while Susie’s exhaustion of spending her every day with two little children motivates her to aggressively insist on switching the roles.
When it comes to the costs and benefits this situation creates for the family business owned by Antonio and Susie, it is important to mention that managerial turnover is a dangerous process and has to be carried out wisely to eventually become a successful manipulation. According to the quantitative and qualitative data provided by the research conducted in 1994-2009, the CEO turnover has a negative impact on the companies’ stock performance (Effects of CEO turnover on company performance 1).
This is why there is a chance that the change of the leader would hurt the results of Bottoni, the company owned by Antonio and Susie. Adding another CEO is likely to create a lot of arguments between the two leaders and disrupt the family harmony. Besides, the children need to be taken care of and Susie does not want to put the girls in the daycare.
The aspect both spouses agree about is that the company is in need of a new leader and that Susie’s ideas, style, and insights could bring a lot of benefits for Bottoni. Antonio also mentions that his leadership has become habitual for the majority of employees and managers. Bottoni’s CEO turnover case is not a typical one because Antonio’s is not being moved due to underperformance, but because the company prefers to take a new course and evolve through focusing on product excellence and details (Dimopoulos and Wagner 3).
In my opinion, in this situation, both spouses are to make adjustments and compromise. For example, Susie needs to agree to arrange daycare for the children so that she could go to work. This would reduce the pressure on Antonio, who does not feel comfortable becoming a stay-at-home dad. This is likely to make the wife feel tricked because her man seems to cunningly avoid keeping his promise and taking the responsibilities of parenting full time. Yet, I believe that forcing Antonio to stay at home with the children would be more dangerous for the emotional atmosphere in the family. Introducing daycare practice would create a lot of free time for Susie to take over as a CEO at Bottoni, while Antonio can remain there as an executive and still manage the employees.
Blackstone, Amy M. “Gender Roles and Society.” Human Ecology: An Encyclopedia of Children, Families, Communities, and Environments 8.1 (2003): 335-338. Print.
Dimopoulos, Theodosios and Hannes F. Wagner. Cause and Effect in CEO Changes. 2010. Web.
Effects of CEO turnover on company performance. Headlight International. 2010. Web.
Reyes, Emily Alpert. ‘Men are stuck’ in gender roles, data suggest. 2013. Web.