The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue which presents cutting-edge research in the field of gender, management, and leadership.
The special issue arose following the success of a stream on gender, management and leadership held at the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference, and generated 22 full-paper submissions for consideration from conference participants and from responses to the call. The papers covered many themes and incorporated a range of different methodologies. Ultimately, six were selected to be included in this special issue.
All studies of this special isue reveal gender performativity, as the “taken for granted” practice of gender. They show, exactly as suggested by Butler, that gender categories are brought into being performatively, so that “naming” of a subject creates the preconditions for certain categories which then become invested with meaning.
All of the studies included in this special issue show that studying gender, management and leadership in organisations is significant: we do not really leave gender at the door when entering our organisational work lives; rather, we “do” gender in specific ways, some reflexive but most perhaps not.
The paper shows that the special issue highlights the fact that management jobs have traditionally been understood as being constructed according to male norms and thus creating difficulties for women. These include the material part of their work as well as the stereotypical expectations and perceptions and reactions from others. The taken-for-granted point of departure is that women and men are essentially different, as shown by the ascribed congruency between men and management jobs. The studies reported in this special issue, however, try to challenge such conceptions and call for more sophisticated ways to interpret women ' s and men ' s experiences in management positions to enhance the understanding of the complexity of everyday organisational processes.
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