Shifting forms of masculinity in changing organizations: the role of testicularity

Lynne F. Baxter (Department of Management Studies, University of York, York, UK)
Alasdair MacLeod (Department of Management Studies, University of York, York, UK)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 1 December 2005



This paper seeks to utilize the concept of testicularity put forward by Flannigan‐Saint‐Aubin to explain a shift in the hegemonic masculinities in two organizations which were unusual in being successful in realizing their aims for improvement.


The methodological approach taken is broadly social constructionism. The two organizations featured in the paper are drawn from a more extensive study of 22 organizations studied in the UK and the Netherlands. The first phase of the research consisted of extended interview visits. The visits, lasting two or three days, consisted of a mix of formal interviews and observation of the sites and less formal discussion and observation, frequently during meal breaks.


The organizations instigated change processes, which created opportunities for women employees, sometimes at the expense of men. Previous work has discussed whether organization change can represent a feminizing of the workplace, but this did not fully encapsulate the present findings – the men remained in charge – and this led the authors to investigate further masculinities. Flannigan‐Saint‐Aubin's concept is rare in that it argues for positive aspects of masculinities in a growing literature which has a tendency to focus on the negative.


The paper argues that shifts in gender performance are a useful way of exploring organization change.



Baxter, L. and MacLeod, A. (2005), "Shifting forms of masculinity in changing organizations: the role of testicularity", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 627-640.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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