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Article
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Olivia Kyriakidou

– The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue which presents cutting-edge research in the field of gender, management, and leadership.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue which presents cutting-edge research in the field of gender, management, and leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Olivia Kyriakidou

The purpose of this paper is to build and enrich theory around professional identity construction by investigating the development of professional identity under…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to build and enrich theory around professional identity construction by investigating the development of professional identity under conditions of marginalized gender identity. Professional identity is defined by Ibarra and by Schein as one ' s professional self-concept based on attributes, beliefs, values, motives, and experiences. Professional identity construction under conditions of marginalization presents an interesting puzzle. Professional roles are defined as prestigious and provide the role holder with autonomy and, often, a degree of privilege. However, minority professionals are often accorded little prestige and/or privilege because their identities are perceived as inferior.

Design/methodology/approach

The research studies narratives by 33 prominent women engineers with careers in management who discuss what it means to be both women and engineers holding high management positions in their organizations.

Findings

The research demonstrates that the process of identity construction for women engineers differs in significant ways from that of their male counterparts. The process is centered in redefinition that allows women professionals to construct possible selves and establish positive professional identities: redefinition of occupational rhetorics, disadvantage, and the self.

Research limitations/implications

This study of professional identity construction under conditions of disadvantaged gender identity contributes a new perspective for theorists researching professional identity construction. The results reveal that the development of professional identity for minority women may involve the processes and tasks of redefinition. The tasks in redefinition include redefining disadvantage, redefining the profession, and redefining the self. Moreover, the use of narrative calls for organizational researchers to consider theories in sociology, history, policy, and psychology in the attempts to answer careers questions.

Practical implications

The implications of this research are significant for human resource management practices in the construction and engineering field.

Originality/value

While there is growing interest in professional identity construction (e.g. Clarke et al.), little is known about how marginalization may influence the development of professional identity of minority professionals, such as women managers in engineering.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Olivia Kyriakidou

The purpose of this paper is to defend a social constructionist approach to conceptualizing and managing organizational change. This approach requires that one pays more…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to defend a social constructionist approach to conceptualizing and managing organizational change. This approach requires that one pays more attention to the relational qualities of ongoing interaction processes among the parties involved, and that the individual and the organization are conceptualized as inextricably linked rather than separate entities to be related. Specifically, the authors take the relationship as constructed by employees as the focus of analysis, illustrating that by focusing on the relational quality of the interface between individuals and organizations, new possibilities for dialogue among parties can be created and new ways of intervening can be contemplated.

Design/methodology/approach

To illustrate this argument, a detailed case study of a planned change scenario is described, looking in particular at the way employees construct the change as a basis for identifying the core elements of meaning construction in this instance.

Findings

The findings reveal that contrary to management assumptions, employees interpret change as either attractive or non‐engaging rather than as either a threat or an opportunity. The findings highlight the importance of actively managing the attractiveness of the new organization (its corporate identity and image) as an integral part of the change effort rather than focusing solely on strategic issues.

Originality/value

This paper tries to develop a better understanding of “relational perspectives on the construction of meaning” as they relate to organizational change, especially the kind of broad‐ranging, transformational change. Understanding change events of this type from the perspective of those involved is an important task for organizational scholars. Moreover, it tries to integrate a number of distinct but potential complementary theoretical perspectives, including the social construction of reality, negotiation and argumentation, the negotiated order perspective, sensemaking, personal construct psychology, thematic networks, and identity. Finally, it attempts to ground its inquiry in the words and constructs of those involved in the change process, rather than trying to impose pre‐existing organizational theories on the observed events.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Thomas M. Schneidhofer, Michael Schiffinger and Wolfgang Mayrhofer

– The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of gender and gender role type on objective career success over time from a career practices perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the effects of gender and gender role type on objective career success over time from a career practices perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a relational perspective on gender shifting attention to a field, habitus, and capital-based view on careers, the paper analyses the interrelation of gender, gender role type (GRT) and income with a longitudinal two-cohort design of business school graduates (1990, 2000), using mixed linear models.

Findings

In line with the authors ' argumentation, female or undifferentiated GRT earn less than masculine or androgynous GRT in both cohorts over time, and relative income of androgynous compared to masculine men is higher in the 2000 cohort than in the 1990 cohort. Contrary to the authors ' hypotheses, the income gap between women and men has widened rather than narrowed, and masculine women of the 2000 cohort do not attain a higher proportion of the androgynous women ' s mean income compared to the 1990 cohort.

Research limitations/implications

Career success is based on self-report data (income) and partially based on retrospective evaluations thereof. As the idea of connecting masculinity and femininity to gender and career outcomes arose after data collection, the authors had to rely on the psychometric items and scales already contained in the questionnaire.

Originality/value

Instead of (re- or de-)constructing gender as bipolar object, but as realisation of historical acting including the context within which practical actions take place, the concept of GRT is applied to objective career success from a longitudinal perspective, owing to the relational nature of gender and the temporal nature of careers, as well as its embeddedness in the context within which trajectories unfold. In doing so, it shifts attention to career practices, emerging from the interplay of career field, career habitus, and career capital.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Catherine Loughlin, Kara Arnold and Janet Bell Crawford

– This study aims to test how senior leaders recognize and reward the same leadership behavior in male and female managers.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to test how senior leaders recognize and reward the same leadership behavior in male and female managers.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 120 senior government leaders evaluated simulated performance reviews wherein only manager ' s sex and engagement in individually considerate transformational leadership behavior varied.

Findings

Senior leaders (of both sexes) penalized male and female managers for failing to engage in individually considerate transformational leadership behavior (i.e. rating them as significantly less competent and civil, and recommending them for significantly fewer rewards such as salary and promotion) compared to control groups. However, only male managers benefited (in terms of competence ratings, recognition and reward) from being rated high on this behavior.

Practical implications

Findings support arguments in the literature for a “feminization” of leadership, whereby both male and female managers are now penalized for not engaging in individually considerate leadership behavior. However, they also question the extent to which women will get credit for engaging in some of the same transformational leadership behaviors as men.

Originality/value

Researchers and practitioners often collapse across components of the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) in measuring transformational leadership behavior. This may obfuscate some of the components being aligned with sex role stereotypes, and therefore unlikely to be rewarded in certain candidates. If the present findings are confirmed by future research, there may be reason to question how the MLQ is being used in research and practice on transformational leadership behavior.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Pat O'Connor

This paper aims to provide a quantitative picture of the extent to which Irish universities are male-dominated at senior management, professoriate and governance levels;…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a quantitative picture of the extent to which Irish universities are male-dominated at senior management, professoriate and governance levels; to locate this pattern in an international context; and, drawing on qualitative data from a purposive sample of Irish university senior managers, to explore the limits and possibilities of change.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative data at senior management level draw on a largely web-based study, supplemented by interview data from a purposive sample of 40 people (85 per cent response rate) in senior management positions in all seven universities funded by the state – including those at Dean to Presidential level, men and women, and academics and non-academics. The interview schedule used in the qualitative study was devised by the eight-country Women in Higher Education Management Network (WHEM).

Findings

Irish universities are very male-dominated at senior management, professoriate and governance levels. The qualitative data suggest that the limits to change are an organisational culture that is homosocial and conformist, where women and their attitudes and priorities are seen as “the problem”. Yet there was a striking level of endorsement of various discourses suggesting that having women in senior management makes a difference.

Research limitations/implications

The failure of the Higher Educational Authority to collect data on the gender of those in senior management in Irish universities has necessitated the use of the web. This is an effective pragmatic response, but obviously not as satisfactory as official data.

Practical implications

It has been widely recognised that diversity in management teams is positively associated with innovation. In this context the absence of such diversity in the senior management teams in Irish universities raises concerns in the context of the challenges facing Irish society in general and the university sector in particular. The references to the organisational culture as conformist and homosocial raise fundamental questions about the universities ' ability to use the skills of their staff to move the institution forward.

Originality/value

The paper is the first specific study of senior management in Irish universities. It echoes and specifies the nature of the organisational culture – but also highlights the existence of legitimating discourses endorsed by senior managers.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2014

Maria Andri and Olivia Kyriakidou

The purpose of this paper is to explore the process of evolution of medical autonomy as an analytic and historical aspect of the medical work organization in a public…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the process of evolution of medical autonomy as an analytic and historical aspect of the medical work organization in a public bureaucracy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on the analytic concept of organizational contradictions (Heydebrand, 1977) to inform a dialectical approach in organizational analysis. Semi-structured interviews with 20 doctors of a Greek general public hospital were conducted and archival data were collected.

Findings

The findings suggest that the historical development of two contradictions characterize the process of medical autonomy evolution. The first contradiction tends to develop between medical autonomy, as a self-control relation, and the established division of labour through which bureaucratic control is exercised over the allocation of resources and over the distribution of healthcare service. The second contradiction tends to develop between those reified aspects of the medical work organization and the ongoing organizing activity, i.e. activity towards extending, intensifying and centralizing organizational control over labour, resources and the distribution of healthcare services. These contradictions indicate a pressure towards constraining health professionals’ power to self-define their relationship with patients and towards curtailing their discretionary domain over the use of resources.

Originality/value

This paper offers an empirical approach to materialist dialectics for organizational analysis towards conceptualizing change as a historical process.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 December 2011

Alexia Panayiotou

This article aims to explore how mainstream popular cinema, usually a vehicle of effortless and accessible entertainment, produces or reproduces prevailing discursive…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to explore how mainstream popular cinema, usually a vehicle of effortless and accessible entertainment, produces or reproduces prevailing discursive constructs about managers, management and corporate firms and provides a cultural reading of organizations. Using a post-structuralist framework, it seeks to deconstruct the representations of managers in several popular films. It aims to propose that the analysis of this representation allows complex questions about the nature of power in organizations and the “opportunity costs” of resistance to be addressed.

Design/methodology/approach

This article focuses on the discursive formation of managers and employees in popular films. The films were chosen using a popularity measure on the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com) and treated as “visual narratives”. A variation of Rose ' s discourse analysis method was used. To critically view the films, a post-structuralist perspective was adopted, in which questions of power, gender and sexuality are seen as fundamental. Gender is a discursive practice that becomes material through the power and resistance subjectified by the human body while “truth” is referenced through specific words and images – so constructed by the “reality” of popular culture.

Findings

The analysis reveals two seemingly competing discourses surrounding the representations of managers that encompass both a description of power and the resistance to this power. In this sense, although popular films position subjects – managers and those managed – in very specific ways, at the same time their construct of power is highly contextual and open to change. This finding leads to, first, a Foucauldian understanding of power and, second, a reconceptualization of power and resistance as one and the same construct, power/resistance, that may help address the “where”, “who”, and “why” of resistance that has previously been ignored.

Originality/value

The article brings popular culture to center stage in organization studies and argues that by not paying attention to its power to inform, society is cut off from valuable knowledge about how management is “done”. The article also reveals that although on surface the representations of managers in films seem to reinforce the dominant discourse of the “macho” manager, at the same time, a second representation – the bright, eager, usually working-class employee who wants to emulate the boss but then “sees the light” and becomes a “hero” – is offering a critique of this construct, making popular culture potentially subversive.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Abstract

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 February 2013

136

Abstract

Details

Management Decision, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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