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In recent years, inspired by poststructuralist theory, the study of “sex discrimination” has moved from universalistic to con(textual) analysis. Alvesson and Due Billing…
In recent years, inspired by poststructuralist theory, the study of “sex discrimination” has moved from universalistic to con(textual) analysis. Alvesson and Due Billing (1997), for example, argue for analysis of localized constructions and understandings of masculinity and femininity, and Collinson and Hearn (1994, 1996) argue for a greater understanding of different forms of masculinity and the implications for discrimination. In this chapter, we explore the impact of local cultural rules on the social construction of gendered images in three different airlines—Trans-Canada Airlines (TCA), Pan American Airways (PAA), and the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). This comparative investigation reveals both differences and similarities across the airlines in the workplace practices that result in discriminatory outcomes for females. Using a rules approach (Helms Mills & Mills, 2000), this study explores the dynamic nature of localized, social phenomena that create, maintain, and unsettle gendered practices. It is through such an exploration that we interpret the notion of hegemonic masculinity and attempt to unravel the “truths” of unquestioned, mundane practices.
Through the use of critical hermeneutics, the chapter provides a deep analysis and offers clues as to how management, through the power of communication, can contribute to…
Through the use of critical hermeneutics, the chapter provides a deep analysis and offers clues as to how management, through the power of communication, can contribute to producing and reproducing embedded gender-based assumptions and values through organizational culture, which can both enable and constrain organizational members. It examines gender discrimination as it relates to employment equity in a well-known airline. We show how an organizational culture, supported by society and communicated through language, can impede progress within an organization through the power of language, and highlight a number of clues as to the processes of gender discrimination at work.
Purpose—Through a case study of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), this chapter sets out to explore the roots of 20th century globalization and the postcolonial nature…
Purpose—Through a case study of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), this chapter sets out to explore the roots of 20th century globalization and the postcolonial nature of the trading relations involved.
Design/methodology/approach—Drawing on Foucault’s broad notion of “the archive” a critical hermeneutics approach is used to examine a series of company-produced texts, including minutes, travelogues, company narratives, annual reports, film, diaries, and published histories.
Findings—The chapter argues that Pan Am contributed to the “idea of Latin America” and, in the process contributed to practices of dependency that served the interests of the United States. Drawing on a case study of Pan Am, the chapter further argues that multi-national corporations help to establish the contours of international trade by influencing the very character and boundaries of the territories traded in, with troubling implications for the countries traded in.
Research limitations/implications—As a detailed case study extension of the findings to other global trading arrangements needs to take into account to social-political context and relational histories of the players involved.
Practical implications—The chapter generates insights into the role of rhetoric in developing trading relationships and its roots in embedded notions of postcolonial thinking and generalizations.
Originality/value—The chapter contributes to an understanding of the role of language and the social construction of national identities involved in the development of international business.
This chapter presents a feminist poststructuralist account of the role of men and masculinity in the development of Air Canada, specifically in its early years and the…
This chapter presents a feminist poststructuralist account of the role of men and masculinity in the development of Air Canada, specifically in its early years and the development of the organization’s culture. It is argued that an understanding of the development of gendered practices (i.e., the development of male associated or dominated work) over time can help us to understand and identify how such practices develop, are maintained, and also change.
Purpose—Joan Acker proposed her gendered theory of organization as a framework to analyze organizations and to understand how gender underlies organizational structure in…
Purpose—Joan Acker proposed her gendered theory of organization as a framework to analyze organizations and to understand how gender underlies organizational structure in such a way as to subordinate women. Much of the previous work that has utilized this framework has examined highly (male-) gendered organizations. This archival case study aims to use Acker’s framework to examine a purportedly female-gendered organization—the 1970s feminist organization, Stewardesses for Women’s Rights (SFWR).
Design/methodology/approach—Using these archived materials, this chapter uses a critical hermeneutic approach across Acker’s framework of gendered organization to make sense of the rise and fall of SFWR. The chapter discusses lessons learned from this short-lived organization.
Findings—The chapter finds that societal pressure and organizing women’s understanding of what is “real” and valued in an organization pushed them to create an organization that was as highly (male-) gendered as the organizations from which they were escaping. Many in the organization never saw SFWR as a “real” organization because of the underlying organizational logic that was directing what the organization should be. Even if the organization did, on the surface, look different than other explicitly male-gendered organizations, the same underlying organizational logic manifested itself in similar organizational structure.
Originality/value—This archival case study uses Acker’s framework to examine a purportedly female-gendered organization—the 1970s feminist organization SFWR and reveals lessons learned.