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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Yvonne Benschop and Hans Doorewaard

This paper aims to examine if the notion of gender subtext is still a useful concept to study the implicit processes of gender distinctions in organizations. It also aims…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine if the notion of gender subtext is still a useful concept to study the implicit processes of gender distinctions in organizations. It also aims to confront the authors' earlier elaboration of the concept of gender subtext with recently developed insights on how organizational processes produce gender at work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the literature that was used to develop the notion of gender subtext. Then it turns to the new insights, concepts and theories that should be included in the update of the notion of gender subtext. The discussion focuses on three elements in particular: the entrance of intersectionality, the disappearance of the layered processes and the prevailing persistency of power.

Findings

The paper concludes that the original concept of gender subtext as a power‐based set of arrangements that reproduce gender distinctions can benefit from the recent theorizing on gender in organizations. The new notion genderplus subtext takes the interference of multiple inequalities into account. Gender is one important part, but not the only, or even the most important, form of inequality at work. To understand the dynamic process of (re)production of these inequalities, the paper points to the interplay between structural, cultural, interaction and identity processes in organizations, and to the hybrid power processes of compliance, accommodation, resistance and counter‐resistance.

Practical implications

The authors hope that this updated version may trigger more debate about the reproduction and, more importantly, about change of gender inequalities in organizations.

Originality/value

The paper reconceptualizes gender subtext, bringing a new perspective to the understanding of the power processes that produce or alter complex inequalities in organizations.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Andrea North‐Samardzic and Lucy Taksa

The aim of this paper is to examine the influence of gender culture and gender subtext on the career trajectories of women. It examines the organization as an arena in…

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4461

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to examine the influence of gender culture and gender subtext on the career trajectories of women. It examines the organization as an arena in which underlying cultural processes maintain gender distinctions and barriers, thereby limiting the efficacy of policies specifically designed to increase the number of women at senior levels.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on the findings of a qualitative case study of the perceptions of women's career trajectories in an Australian financial services organization. by examining the gender subtexts of organizational documentation we analyse the impact of gender culture, specifically the gender structure of the organization, gender identities of women managers and gender symbolism in organizational texts.

Findings

The findings highlight the way an organization's gender culture legitimate continuing gender distinctions and impose pressure on women to comply with masculine behavioral norms, while accepting gender distinctions and arrangements that reproduce inequalities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings illustrate that despite the case study organization being awarded for “best practice” in gender equity, the masculine gender culture of the organization indicates that systemic change to support the advancement of women is still strongly needed. Given that this case study is used as an illustrative example, future research should be mindful of the uniqueness of this particular context.

Originality/value

These findings provide insights into the way the goals of equity legislation, policies and programs can be undermined by the distinct gender culture of an organization.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Stephan Raaijmakers, Inge Bleijenbergh, Brigit Fokkinga and Max Visser

This paper aims to challenge the alleged gender-neutral character of Argyris and Schön’s theory of organizational learning (1978). While theories in organizational science…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to challenge the alleged gender-neutral character of Argyris and Schön’s theory of organizational learning (1978). While theories in organizational science seem gender neutral at the surface, a closer analysis reveals they are often based on men’s experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the method of gender subtext analysis, centering on gendering and its interaction with gender, class and race.

Findings

The dichotomous learning scheme of Argyris and Schön, in which a limited learning approach with alleged masculine values and interaction styles is opposed to an ideal learning approach with feminine values and interaction styles, is related to Bendl’s subtexts of feminization and of unconscious exclusion and neglect in organizational theories. To overcome the binary character of the theory, a gradient and contextualized approach to organizational learning is proposed.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to apply gender subtext analysis to theories of organizational learning and, thus, to analyze their gender subtext.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Joan Acker

Theorizing that was conceived in the 1970s about gendered processes in organizations helped explain gender inequalities in organizations. This article aims to take the…

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16253

Abstract

Purpose

Theorizing that was conceived in the 1970s about gendered processes in organizations helped explain gender inequalities in organizations. This article aims to take the opportunity to re‐examine these processes – including the gendered substructure of organizations, gendered subtext, the gendered logic of organization and the abstract worker from the perspective of the original author in a present‐day context.

Design/methodology/approach

A reflexive approach was used to consider how gender theorizing itself has become more complex as captured in the notion of intersectionality when gender process interacts with other forms of inequality.

Findings

The key finding is the persistence of inequality regimes despite organizational changes, which still make developments in theorizing gender processes relevant.

Originality/value

This article is an opportunity to reflect on the conceptualization and development of one's theorizing over three decades, which has suggested that there are still key questions that demand answers from academics and practitioners who want to challenge these inequality regimes.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 28 December 2021

Trudie Walters, Najmeh Hassanli and Wiebke Finkler

In this paper the authors seek to understand how academic conferences [re]produce deeply embedded gendered patterns of interaction and informal norms within the business…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors seek to understand how academic conferences [re]produce deeply embedded gendered patterns of interaction and informal norms within the business disciplines.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on Acker's (2012) established and updated theory of gendered organisations, the authors focus on the role of academic conferences in the reproduction of gendered practices in the business disciplines. The authors surveyed academics at top universities in Australia and New Zealand who had attended international conferences in their discipline area.

Findings

Academic conferences in the business disciplines communicate organisational logic and act as gendered substructures that [re]produce gendered practices, through the hierarchy of conference participation. Even in disciplinary conferences with a significant proportion of women delegates, the entrenched organisational logic is manifest in the bodies that perform keynote and visible expert roles, perpetuating the notion of the “ideal academic” as male.

Practical implications

The authors call for disciplinary associations to formulate an equality policy, which covers all facets of conference delivery, to which institutions must then respond in their bid to host the conference and which then forms part of the selection criteria; explicitly communicate why equality is important and what decisions the association and hosts took to address it; and develop databases of women experts to remove the most common excuse for the lack of women keynote speakers. Men, question conference hosts when asked to be a keynote speaker or panelist: Are half of the speakers women and is there diversity in the line-up? If not, provide the names of women to take your place.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is twofold. First is the focus on revealing the underlying processes that contribute to the [re]production of gender inequality at academic conferences: the “how” rather than the “what”. Second, the authors believe it to be the first study to investigate academic conferences across the spectrum of business disciplines.

Details

International Journal of Event and Festival Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1758-2954

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Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Allison N. Gorga and Nicole Bouxsein Oehmen

Purpose: This chapter illuminates the ways in which the coherent arrangements of prisons contribute to variation in implementation, functioning, and consequences of a…

Abstract

Purpose: This chapter illuminates the ways in which the coherent arrangements of prisons contribute to variation in implementation, functioning, and consequences of a purportedly gender neutral policy, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), between women’s and men’s prisons.

Methodology/Approach: Guided by grounded theory, two waves of qualitative interviews with inmates, staff, and volunteers at two Midwest women’s prisons were conducted for a total of 61 interviews. Interviews were supplemented with archival data obtained from state historical archives, news outlets, and the Iowa Department of Corrections, as well as participant observation of prisoner advocacy group meetings and the Iowa Board of Corrections’ meetings, and a content analysis of an online discussion forum for correctional officers.

Findings: We find that the gender subtext of prisons shapes the way the PREA is perceived and implemented. Overall, we argue that due to founding logics that differentially shaped the coherent arrangements of men’s and women’s prisons, blanket policies operate differently in these institutions. The gender subtext of prisons, specifically the structural arrangements and cultural processes within women’s and men’s prisons form different landscapes in which the PREA is perceived, enforced, and responded to.

Practical Implications: Given these findings, we call for gender-informed policy that takes gender subtext into account but that also avoids the trap of statistical discrimination present in some gender responsive policies.

Details

Gender Panic, Gender Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-203-1

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1994

Riane Eisler

Examines the contemporary discourse on environmental sustainability,organizational change and transformational leadership in the largercontext of a shift from a dominator…

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Abstract

Examines the contemporary discourse on environmental sustainability, organizational change and transformational leadership in the larger context of a shift from a dominator to a partnership model of social and ideological organization. Traces the historic tension between these two models, and argues that this tension is coming to a head today because at our level of technological development a dominator model is not sustainable. Analyses some of the key themes in organizational change writings that address environmental sustainability, proposing that there is an implicit subtext in much of this literature relating to conventional gender roles and relations. Suggests that, as this subtext becomes more visible, appropriate changes in policy can be more effectively made.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 17 November 2014

Silvia Gherardi and Annalisa Murgia

The purpose of this paper is to address the relationships between gender and management in the narratives of students. More specifically, the authors discuss how the…

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2320

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the relationships between gender and management in the narratives of students. More specifically, the authors discuss how the discourse on management is mobilized as a discursive practice able to make some form of that activity thinkable and practicable: who can be a CEO? What kind of managerial competencies are attributed to men/women CEOs? What kind of moral order is expressed in the stories told?

Design/methodology/approach

Stimulus texts have been used to elicit narratives. Students were asked to complete a short story regarding a fictive managerial character, either female or male, whose performance and attitude they were asked to evaluate.

Findings

The paper discusses how the collected stories as a whole expressed a conception of what counts as a “good manager” and how management is gendered. In the analysis, the authors discuss whether and how the relationships between gender and management are changing, or the basic assumptions about “think manager-think male” are still valid. The paper illustrates a traditional positioning of gendered management along the lines of rationality vs care, and a third positioning in which the ideal of the “good manager” has both competencies.

Originality/value

The authors designed an alternative research strategy focused on how gender and management are discursively constructed within a context of economic crisis that affects management reputation. Particularly, the authors discuss the surprising results concerning how the written stories evaluating male CEOs distrusted the masculine way of managing and positioned the female managing style within a trustworthy context.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

Susan Sayce

The purpose of this editorial is to present a series of articles in this special invited issue that celebrate Joan Acker's theories of gendered organisations.

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1964

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to present a series of articles in this special invited issue that celebrate Joan Acker's theories of gendered organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial presents articles that utilise Joan Acker's notions of gendered organisations, the gender subtext in organisations, the ideal worker, and inequality regimes to help explain gender discrimination in organisation. It is a celebration of Joan's theorising in relation to this topic and also includes Joan's own thinking about the development of her ideas as theorised by the authors in different organisational and empirical contexts.

Findings

The paper reveals that the articles illustrate the value of Acker's original thinking, how the original concepts have evolved to theorise and explain the intersectionality of current discriminatory practices.

Originality/value

This paper presents a celebration of Joan Acker's work and an introduction to the special issue.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2013

Joel Hedegaard and Helene Ahl

The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework for researching gender equality implications of Clinical Microsystems, a new public management‐based model…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical framework for researching gender equality implications of Clinical Microsystems, a new public management‐based model for multi‐professional collaboration and improvement of health care delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on literature from gender in organizations, new public management, multi‐professional collaboration and organizational control to critically analyze the Clinical Microsystem model.

Findings

While on the surface an egalitarian and consensus‐based model, it nevertheless risks reinforcing a gendered hierarchical order. The explicit emphasis on social competencies, on being collaborative and amenable to change risks, paradoxically, disfavoring women. A major reason is that control becomes more opaque, which favors those already in power.

Practical implications

The paper calls for researchers as well as practitioners to incorporate concerns of equality in the work place when introducing new work practices in health care. For research, the authors propose a useful theoretical framework for empirical research. For practice, the paper calls for more transparent conditions for multi‐professional collaboration, such as formalized merit and advancement systems, precisely formulated performance expectations and selection of team members based strictly on formal merits.

Originality/value

A gender analysis of a seemingly anti‐hierarchical management model is an original contribution, adding to the literature on Clinical Microsystem in particular but also to critical studies on new public management. Moreover, the paper makes a valuable practical contribution in suggesting ways of avoiding the reproduction of gender inequalities otherwise implied in the model.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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