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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2019

Jolien Voorspoels and Inge Bleijenbergh

The purpose of this paper is to explore the practices utilized by university actors when implementing gender quotas, and study how these practices affect gender equality…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the practices utilized by university actors when implementing gender quotas, and study how these practices affect gender equality in academic decision-making bodies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies a practice theory lens to the case study of a Belgian university implementing a gender quota by performing 26 semi-structured interviews with actors, and collecting and analyzing relevant organizational documents.

Findings

This study shows that university actors implement gender quotas through three practices: gender-specific calls, scouting and “playing around”. Identifying this variation in practices helps to understand both actors’ sense-making of compliance with gender quotas and women’s decision-making power in academic bodies.

Research limitations/implications

This study explores how practices interact with the organization’s broader context and its power dynamics. In future studies, adding ethnographic observations would strengthen the practice approach.

Practical implications

The study indicates that implementing gender quotas can foster women’s representation in decision-making, but that a strictly procedural sense-making of gender quotas could also undermine this. Universities should continue implementing gender quotas, further analyze their implementation practices and comprehensively adapt their organizational policies and practices to comply with gender equality goals substantively.

Originality/value

Through a practice theory approach, this paper offers original insight into how actors comply with gender quotas. Uncovering the implementation process in particular, the paper reveals how gender quotas could foster gender equality in academic decision-making.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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

Keywords

Open Access

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2010

Pascale Peters, Inge Bleijenbergh and Frederik Poutsma

The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of the work of the Dutch government's “Taskforce Part‐time Plus” set up to stimulate longer working hours for particularly…

784

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of the work of the Dutch government's “Taskforce Part‐time Plus” set up to stimulate longer working hours for particularly Dutch women holding part‐time jobs of less than 24 h per week, to help counteract a predicted structural shortage of manpower.

Design/methodology/approach

In 2009, the Taskforce commissioned two studies. The first study comprised three surveys, respectively, among: women holding smaller part‐time jobs; full‐time working men; and employers. The second study focused on the relationship between ambition, working hours and gender. A survey of 7,000 male and female labour‐market participants was combined with qualitative data collection, encompassing focus group interviews with 35 male and female part‐time workers and their managers, and three group model building sessions.

Findings

The first study showed that only a small amount of Dutch part‐time working women is willing to work longer hours in the short term. In the second study, the hypothesis that women's lower working hours could be explained by a lack of career ambition was rejected. However, the results showed that women did neither feel challenged, nor supported by their working and household conditions to extend their working hours to realize their ambitions (in the short run).

Originality/value

The paper illustrates that, in the Dutch case and in some contexts, greater equality, diversity and inclusion not only demands support for reduced work‐loads, but rather calls for a new culture in which women's marginal labour‐market participation does not remain unquestioned.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2010

Inge Bleijenbergh, Pascale Peters and Erik Poutsma

This paper aims to introduce the theme of the special issue – diversity management beyond the business case. It addresses two main questions: first, how increased…

10323

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce the theme of the special issue – diversity management beyond the business case. It addresses two main questions: first, how increased diversification within workgroups or labour is dealt with via diversity management, and second what the effects are of this increased diversity for group performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The different contributions are embedded into two important discussions in the literature: problems with the concept of diversity and problems with outcomes of diversity management.

Findings

Reflecting on the contributions to this special issue, it is argued that solely emphasizing business case arguments for supporting the implementation of diversity management may be rather risky. They conclude with a plea for emphasis on arguments of justice and sustainability of the employment relationship and discuss future avenues for research.

Originality/value

The paper shows the difficulty of universally applying the concept of diversity and diversity management. In addition, it shows that the claimed positive impact of diversity management is contingent on several factors.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Inge Bleijenbergh and Marloes Van Engen

Interventions to support gender equality in organisations are often unsuccessful. Stakeholders disagree about the causes and problem definition of gender equality or pay…

1456

Abstract

Purpose

Interventions to support gender equality in organisations are often unsuccessful. Stakeholders disagree about the causes and problem definition of gender equality or pay lip service to the principle of gender equality, but fail to implement gender equality in practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine participatory modelling as an intervention method to support stakeholders in: reaching a shared problem definition and analysis of gender inequality; and identifying and implementing policies to tackle gender inequality.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply participatory modelling in case studies on impediments to women’s careers in two Dutch universities.

Findings

This study shows that participatory modelling supported stakeholders’ identification of the self-reinforcing feedback processes of masculinity of norms, visibility of women and networking of women and the interrelatedness between these processes. Causal loop diagrams visualise how the feedback processes are interrelated and can stabilise or reinforce themselves. Moreover, they allow for the identification of possible interventions.

Research limitations/implications

Further testing of the causal loop diagrams by quantifying the stocks and the flows would validate the feedback processes and the estimated effects of possible interventions.

Practical implications

The integration of the knowledge of researchers and stakeholders in a causal loop diagram supported learning about the issue of gender inequality, hereby contributing to transformative change on gender equality.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in the application of participatory modelling in interventions to support gender equality.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Inge Bleijenbergh, Charlotte Holgersson and Irene Ryan

288

Abstract

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

David Knights and Vedran Omanović

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the dominance of the mainstream discourse and practice of diversity management (DM) by identifying and problematizing three…

10051

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge the dominance of the mainstream discourse and practice of diversity management (DM) by identifying and problematizing three distinct but related issues that it encompasses: first, its tendency to displace all alternative approaches; second, its general neglect of the social-historical context and third, its almost exclusive focus on the business case rationale for supporting diversity.

Design/methodology/approach

Employing ethnographic research methods, the empirical material was collected in an international manufacturing corporation based in Sweden. It consists of three different, but interconnected approaches: archival research, interviews and observations.

Findings

The paper shows that in neglecting power, identity, intersectionality and the changing socio-historical context of diversity, a well-meaning corporate diversity programme tended to obscure ethnic and age-related disadvantages at work.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this research relate largely to its dependence on a single case study and the limited focus on diversity as it affected able-bodied, white male immigrant workers. A broader study of the multiplicity of types of discrimination and ways in which diversity is managed in a range of countries and organizations could facilitate a more in-depth exploration of these issues and arguments.

Originality/value

Although not entirely new, the three arguments that have been drawn upon to discuss, analyse and illustrate DM through our data have rarely been brought together in one theoretical and empirical study.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2010

Ilona Buc˘i¯unien˙e and R¯uta Kazlauskait˙e

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into diversity management practices in the Baltic states and present experience of HRM practitioners' in initiating the…

1810

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into diversity management practices in the Baltic states and present experience of HRM practitioners' in initiating the integration of people with disability into the workforce at a multi national retail chain.

Design/methodology/approach

An interview with HR managers of a retail chain on issues related to the integration of people with disability into the workforce, providing background for the relevance, motives, implementation difficulties and organisational benefits of such practices from a business perspective.

Findings

Main challenges related with integration of people with disability into the workforce are as follows: attraction of people with disability, work adjustment to meet the abilities of employees with disability, and preparation of managers and co‐workers to work along with these people. Attraction of people with disability works best on the basis of references from their peers. These people make highly loyal employees. Besides they contribute to the development of a more positive climate in the organisation.

Originality/value

This paper presents a good practice case on the integration of people with disability, one of the most discriminated groups of employees, which is still a rare business practice in the Baltic countries. It also provides recommendations on integration issues for other practitioners.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2013

Inge L. Bleijenbergh, Marloes L. van Engen and Claartje J. Vinkenburg

In the context of research on the career advancement of women and men in academia, this paper aims to reflect on how deans at six schools of a Dutch arts and a Dutch…

1302

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of research on the career advancement of women and men in academia, this paper aims to reflect on how deans at six schools of a Dutch arts and a Dutch sciences‐based university construct the image of the ideal academic, and on how these images are gendered.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an inductive approach, the study analyzed the transcripts of semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with six deans (all men) from two different Dutch universities on the career advancement of men and women at their school.

Findings

It was expected that the images of the ideal academic would be more gendered in the sciences than in the arts university, considering the stronger male domination in the sciences university. The images of the ideal academic, while fundamentally different, regarding the expertise, the applicability of knowledge, and the visibility needed to be considered successful, were equally gendered in assuming that practicing science leaves little room for caring obligations outside work; in both places science was considered an omnipresent and greedy calling. Moreover, deans at both universities to a similar extent expected women academics not to fit to this standard. Paradoxically, in the arts university deans construct an image of women academics that in some aspects reflects a mirror image of women academics in the sciences university and vice versa.

Research limitations/implications

The paper suggests that in this construction the process of “othering” women academics is more constant than the content of the ideal academic. They contribute to theories on the ideal worker in the field of science by arguing the construction of the ideal academic is fluid rather than fixed. Further research could investigate how the image of the ideal academic changes within the same discipline across different countries with a higher representation of women among full professors, as the findings are limited to The Netherlands.

Practical implications

The paper argues that the fluidity of the ideal academic norm offers space for renegotiating such norms by making it more inclusive for women, which will have positive consequences for women's career advancement in academia.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is that constructions of the ideal academic are fluid rather than fixed, while dominant actors in organizations seem to attribute universal value to these images. The “otherness” of women relative to the image of the ideal academic is more constant than the characteristics of these images themselves.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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