Systems Theory, Societal Contexts, & Organizational Heterogeneity
FROM THE WOMANS POINT OF VIEW TEN YEARS LATER: TOWARDS A FEMINIST ORGANIZATION STUDIES Marta B Cals & Lina Smircich Discussion by Carliss Charles the sex segregation of occupations and organizations persists world-wide, as does pay inequity between women and men. (Cals & Smircich 1996) What difference has 10 years made? Have condition changed enough that this chapter is no longer necessary? Have organization practices and theories become more gender mindful? Should gender continue to be an important category of analysis in organization studies? FEMINIST ORGANIZATION STUDIES
In the last 10 years women employment has risen above 40%, but has yet to result in: Real socioeconomic empowerment for women An equitable distribution of household responsibilities Equal pay for work of equal value Gender balance across all occupation The reality is that no country in the world, no matter how advanced, has achieved true gender equality, as measure by comparable decision-making power equal opportunity for education and advancement, and equal participation and status in all walks of human endeavor. Gender disparities exist, even in countries without glaring male domination FEMINIST ORGANIZATION STUDIES Critiquing the status quoFeminist theoretical perspective Women
(liberal, radical, psycho-analytic) Gendering (socialist, poststructuralist/postmodern, transnational/(post) colonial) Work/family issues The Feminist movement in 3 Waves beginning in the 18 th century The First-wave was oriented around the station of middle or upper-class white women, and involved suffrage and political equality. Second-wave feminism attempted to further combat social and cultural inequalities. Third-wave feminism was a reaction to and continuation from the second-wave, taking a post-structuralist analysis of femininity to argue that there is in fact no all-encompassing single feminist idea. THE WOMANS CONDITION
Liberal, radical, psychoanalytical feminist theories share a fundamental ontological assumption: Womens oppression is located in the condition of women. Most arguments are centered on issues of her equality, similarity, or difference between the sexes Expecting to resolve how the two sexes and their sexualities may come to share common or spate spaces in society, BUT without oppression or subordination Political concerns: Reforming organizations & institutions, even though there are fundamental differences on what that means THE WOMENS CONDITION LIBERAL FEMINIST THEORY
Individualistic, focuses on womens ability to show and maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. Neutrality; requires women to mold themselves to fit a citizenship already constructed in the welfare of certain men. 2nd wave: aiming for equal access and equal representation in public life without stressing differences. Acknowledging differences was seen to be reactionary and harmful to the cause (Friedan 1963) Critiques Inability to move beyond a conversation @ women being as good as men Treated women as male clones Represents only the interests white, middle class, heterosexual women Influencers 1st wave feminists: Mary Wollstonecraft, John Stuart Mill 2nd wave feminists: Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem 3rd wave feminist: Rebecca Walker LIBERAL FEMINIST THEORY & WIM RESEARCH
An anomaly Women in managerial positions only the exceptional, indeed the overqualified, women can hope to succeed in management. (Bowman et al 1965:176) WIM research highly oriented toward comparative analysis of men & women in managerial positions, mostly documents the persistence of sex segregation in organizations Why it continues within a fundamentally just system to enumerate causes through measureable constructs Functionalist/positivist orientation favoring quantitative methods, but also using qualitative Sex/gender is a variable (i.e. men/women), not an analytical framework Voice concerns about gender stereotypes, assuming a fundamental humanity, but do not question the gendered images imbedded within; Womens equality is taken for granted Attempts Goal: Pursuit of equity, rather than the elimination of inequality Equity- maintaining a just institutional system for the exercise of all peoples individual rights acknowledging fundamental problems in the premises that support the institutions which disadvantage particular groups Inequality- Major assumption: Organizations and management, as institutions of liberal political and
economic systems, are assumed to be by definition sex/gender neutral, where all individuals have equal access insofar as they are equally meritorious Meritocratic neutral institutions- systematic inequality is implausible. Should disparities occur, they are addressed one person at a time The causes of barriers for womens equality lie in individual limitations and structural errors, rather than in problematic assumptions behinds theories and concepts (Appold et al 1998) Seldom question whether meritocratic practices (e.g. hierarchy) may be producers/ reproducers, rather than neutral contexts of such happenings LIBERAL FEMINIST THEORY & WIM RESEARCH Psychological variables & individual level. Tend to follow OB & HR research Difficult to find gender-specific theoretical development among these works because of the implicit assumption of neutrality of the theories Concern: To determine if there are sex/gender differences in behaviors assessed through traditional organizational concepts: Leadership (Eagly & Johannsen-Schmidt 2001; Eagly & Karau 2002) Uses of power (Ragins 1997; Cole 2004)
Job Stress (Dowyle & Hind 1998; Yang 1998; Reitman & Schneer 2003) Job satisfaction (Burke 2001; Cron 2001) Organization Commitment (Sign & Vinncombe 2000) Interest for corrective purposes: elimination notions of sex/gender differences from conventional organizational practices (reaffirmation of gender neutrality) Gender Stereotypes (Heilman 2001; Powell 2002; Bird 2003) Androgyny (McGregor & Tweed 2001) LIBERAL FEMINIST THEORY & WIM RESEARCH Sociological & Structural Research Glass ceiling research examines conditions that contribute to womens fair access to managerial positions Concern: sex structuring of organizations and consequences for traditional organization activities and expectations Glass ceiling (Ragins et al 1998; Luness & Thompson 2000; Meyerson & Fletcher 2000) Organizational Demography (Kossek et al 2003) Careers (Linehan & Walsh 1999; Evetts 2000; Bailyn 2003) Social networks (Ibarra 1997) The organization & Broader Social System
Addresses topics of general social and legal concerns and their relationship to organization issues Equal opportunity, affirmative action, discrimination (Liff & Cameron 1997; Woodall et al 1997; Duncan & Loretto 2004) Sexual Harassment (Hughes & Tadic 1998; Firestone & Harris 2003) Work/family issues (Lewis 1997; Kirchmeyer 1998; Milliken et al 1998; Bardoel 2003) RADICAL FEMINIST THEORY Subordination of women at its fundamental issue: Gender is a system of male domination, a fundamental organizing principle of patriarchal society at the root of all other systems of oppression (Jaggar 1983) Women issues are a consequence of male gender privilege in a society where male & the masculine define the norm
1960s roots: Calls for the transformation of social & cultural institutions (family, church, academy, language) in addition to legal & political structures of patriarchy. Consciousness-raising: method whereby women could interrogate their experiences in light of systemic male dominationa political activity locating the origin of womens oppression in patriarchy and trying to find a way to overcome it. Radical feminism is radical because its women-centered, envisioning a new social order where women are not subordinated to men Focus: interconnections of sexuality & power relations Two strands of thought: libertarian & cultural RADICAL FEMINIST THEORY Radical Libertarian Feminism Emphasized the patriarchal sex/gender system is the fundamental cause of womens oppression and should be transcended by separating notions of sex from gender Center of oppression: Femininity, including womens reproductive & sex roles, as they limit womens full human development Biological reproductive processes (sexual & child-rearing practices) are rendered social institutions reinforcing male dominance Solutions New
and developing technology freeing women from their historical reproductive roles Androgyny Culturally a biological male or female would be both masculine and feminine Influencers Shulamith Firestone (1970) Gayle Rubin (1976) Kate Millet (1970) RADICAL FEMINIST THEORY Radical Cultural Feminism Affirming womens femalenesstook the traditional association of women w/ nature (vs man w/culture) and found within it a source of strength and power. Womens way of knowing: closer connection to nature, emotional, non-verbal, spiritual; in contrast to the patriarchal ways of knowing, relying on reason and logic Solution Cultural feminism-a female counter culture
Regain a sense of wholeness and connectedness to the authentic feminine outside of patriarchy Influencer: Mary Daly (1978) RADICAL FEMINIST THEORY & ALT ORGANIZATIONS In the late 1960s organizational forms reflecting feminist values were put into practice Negation of leadership structure Rejected elements associated with male forms of power Creating a women-space to fulfill womens needs: womens health centers, battered women shelters, rape crisis centers, book stores, art galleries, skill development centers, etc. Consciousness-raising groups sought to institutionalize equality
Effective at creating communities for learning, less effective at sustaining political action (energy would dissipate, energy would dissolve) The shared goals of equality and empowerment didnt take into account differences in work styles and class, and race 7 ethnicity conflicts. In order to survive over the years, several of these organizations have developed organization forms which combine traditional Weberian bureaucracy with various feminine values. PSYCHOANALYTIC FEMINIST THEORY Based on Freuds psychoanalytic theories-- gender is not biological but is based on the psycho-sexual development of the individualthe resolution of the Oedipus Complex. Freud contends that when girls realize they dont have a penis, they assume theyve been castrated, envy the superiority of the boys anatomy. Girls reject mom and transfer love to dad, which is transcended by the desire to have a baby Women never attain mens strong super egos Women lack mens strong sense of justice Women are less likely to obey authority Women are more influenced by feelings rather than reason
Critiques Freuds biological determination depicts women as defective men, and encourages they passivity (Friedan 1974) Womens passivity was recreated in the therapeutic encounter, which encouraged women to fit into the patriarchal order represented by the nuclear family (Firestone 1970) Reflects a lack of recognition of womens very real social oppression (Millet 1970) Two strand approach: psychoanalytic feminism & gendered cultural feminism PSYCHOANALYTIC FEMINIST THEORY Psychoanalytical feminists believe that gender inequality comes from early childhood experiences, which lead men to believe themselves to be masculine, and women to believe themselves feminine. It is further maintained that gender leads to a social system that is dominated by males, which in turn influences the individual psycho-sexual development. Dinnerstein Children learn to blame the women/mother for all that goes wrong in life because of early encounters w/mom as basic source of pain & pleasure, which leads to
gender arrangement that produces the subordination of women Critique: lack of differentiation regarding context specific influences Assumes almost universal condition that women are the first parent Chodorowemphasizes the reproduction of mothering as an explanation for distancing Solution: Changes in parenting arrangements are a way toward a less male-dominated society Gender-Cultural Feminism - Focuses on psycho-moral development. Boys & girls grow into men & women with gender-specific values and virtues that: Reflect the importance of separateness in mens and of the connectedness in womens lives
Serve to empower men and disempower women in a patriarchal society Gilliganwomen and men have different concepts of justice and morality, both reasonable and well-developed Male = ethics of justice Female = ethics of care Noddingsethics of care is better (an active encounter w/individuals to care for and be cared by) PSYCHOANALYTIC FEMINIST THEORY & WIM Early application focused on feminine character traits to explain subordinate economic status. fear of success -explored how early socialization experiences
of males & females carried over to managerial behavior Most women are socialized to be passive To see themselves as victims Are ambivalent towards career Lack the drive for mastery men have Successful women have atypical relationships with their fathers Women fall short in corporate culture because GENDERING: POWER RELATIONS IDENTITIES, DISCOURSES, SUBJECTIVITIES, WITHOUT BORDERS Socialist, poststructuralist/postmodern and transnational/(post) colonial feminist theoretical tendencies share an aim to complicate notions of gender as primarily referring to specifically sexed bodies.
Gendering (socially systemic) is a process produced and reproduced through relations of power among differently positioned members of society, including relations emerging from historical processes, dominant discourses and institutions, and dominant epistemological conceptualizationsall of which become naturalized as the way it is. Critically focused on analyzing the dynamics that articulate relations of oppression and subordination for many, not only women, within the complexities of gendered/racialized/classist/homophobic/Eurocentric/knowledge systems, historic and present, to denaturalize their sustaining assumptions through varieties of analytical engagements. GENDERING: POWER RELATIONS IDENTITIES, DISCOURSES, SUBJECTIVITIES, WITHOUT BORDERS SOCIALIST FEMINIST THEORY Socialist feminism is a confluence of Marxist, radical and psychoanalytic feminism resulting from Marxist feminists
dissatisfaction during the 1970s with the gender-blind character of Marxist thought and the tendency of traditional Marxism to dismiss womens oppression as not nearly as important as workers oppression. Marxist feminists concerned with double oppression of both class and sex, added gender to the analytic interests to correct for its inattention focuses upon both the public and private spheres of a woman's life and argues that liberation can only be achieved by working to end both the economic and cultural sources of women's oppression. Socialist feminism is a dualist theory that broadens Marxist feminism's argument for the role of capitalism in the oppression of women and radical feminism's theory of the role of gender and the patriarchy. (wiki) Intersectionality- an analytical approach that affirms the importance of multiple category oppression, emphasizing their simultaneity and fluidity, and thus going beyond mere intersections (i.e. racing, classing, sexualizing) Critical studies of race (e.g. whiteness)
Critical studies of men SOCIALIST FEMINIST THEORIZING & THE GENDERING OF ORGANIZING Historically, the transition from agrarian to industrial modes of production created the separation of workplace and home; produced the gendered structure where women and men work in different jobs, industries and organization levels. The unequal and persistent sex-based patterns in employment observable across multiple industries and situations, are referred to variously as the gendered division of labor, the sex structuring of organizations, and occupational sex segregationthe focus of most organizational research under this feminist perspective. Persistent structuring of organizations along gender lines (also classing, racing & sexualizing) is reproduced through ordinary, daily procedures and decisions that segregate, manage, control and construct hierarchiescircles of job segregation are played out in recruiting and promotion practices and work restructuring. Also
through symbols, images, ideologies that legitimate inequalities and differences Also through wage setting practices & job evaluation schemes with embedded assumptions (undervaluing) Also through social interactions that enact dominance and submission Also through gendered sub-structure POSTSTRUCTURALIST/ POSTMODERN FEMINIST THEORIZING Post-structural feminism uses the insights of various epistemological movements, including psychoanalysis, linguistics, political theory (Marxist and post-Marxist theory), race theory, literary theory, and other intellectual currents for feminist concerns. (wiki) Major influencers: Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Guattari, Butler, and Irigaray (French feminism) Derrida focus is on the impossibility of attaining a way of saying that does not contradict itself, for in language we always proliferate other meanings as we further refer to what we want to say
Irigarayher deconstructive writings reclaimed woman in her essential sexual difference to claim her own representation Lacan emphasizes the importance of childrens entrance into the domain of language. Splitting occurs at the Symbolic (linguistic) stage and loses the sense of wholeness and completion of the Imaginary (pre-linguistic) stage. Thus the self that is possible within the Symbolic order is always lacking. Jouissance. Deleuze & Guattari- focus on psychoanalytic conceptions of self in which processes of Oedipalization are social inscriptions requiring understanding oness body as a predetermined function unity. Butler- collapses sex and gender, where gender is the effect of assigning it to a sexed body (i.e. the moment of birth). Thus, naming as well as performing one sex/gender is part of a power/knowledge system that maintains such distinctions institutionally and discursively "woman" is a debatable category, complicated by class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other facets of identity
gender is performative; there is no single cause for women's subordination and no single approach towards dealing with the issue. POSTSTRUCTURALIST/POSTMODERN FEMINIST THEORIZING & ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS Epistemological concern to show how organizational knowledge is underpinned with masculine imagery and connotations, how masculinity is the unstated but present norm in knowledge construction, and to offer suggestions for how such knowledge could be rewritten (e.g. Gray 1994; Krefting 2003) Refusing dualism to create new frames of meaning and new ways of being to express the fluidity of gendered identities The notion of discourse Caring discourses may function not as expressive qualities emanating from emotional and subjective feelings of a women, but as part of the political economy of power/knowledge within organizations The discourse of new public management (British)- marketization and managerialism in higher education, which influences the professional identities of women academics, but also might activate resistances and offer a site of political struggle for these women
Discourses of knowledge- e.g. Brewis (2001) contests that knowledge about sexual harassment works against sexual exploitations. Additional analytical focus The meaning and potentiality of the body Queer theorizing Work family deconstruction TRANSNATIONAL/ (POST)COLONIAL FEMINIST THEORIZATIONS Transnational Feminism is a contemporary paradigm, generally attentive to intersections among nationhood, race, gender, sexuality and economic exploitation on a world scale, in the context of emergent global capitalism. Includes several critics who challenge Western feminist theorizations of gender and gender relations as furthering the images and social experiences of mostly privileged women (and men) in the First World Transnational feminists inquire in to the social, political and
economic conditions comprising imperialism; their connections to colonialism and nationalism; the role of gender, the state, race, class, and sexuality in the organization of resistance to hegemonies in the making and unmaking of nation and nation-state. It resists utopic ideas about "global sisterhood" while simultaneously working to lay the groundwork for more productive and equitable social relations among women across borders and cultural contexts. TRANSNATIONAL/ (POST)COLONIAL FEMINIST THEORIZATIONS Postcolonial feminism, sometimes also known as Third World feminism, is a form of feminist philosophy which centers around the idea that racism, colonialism, and the long lasting effects (economic, political, and cultural) of colonialism in the postcolonial setting. Postcolonial feminists criticize Western feminists because they have a history of universalizing women's issues, and their discourses are often misunderstood to represent women globally. Thus, one of the central ideas in postcolonial feminism is that by using the
term 'woman' as a universal group, they are then only defined by their gender and not by social classes and ethnic identities. Also, it is believed by postcolonial feminists that mainstream Western feminists ignored the voices of non-white, non-western women for many years, thus creating resentment from feminists in developing nations. Postcolonialism can provide an outlet for citizens to discuss various experiences endured during colonialism. These can include: "migration, slavery, suppression, resistance, representation, difference, race, gender, place and responses to the influential discourses of imperial Europe. Postcolonial feminists have had strong ties with black feminists because colonialism usually contains themes of racism. Both groups have struggled for recognition, not only by men in their own culture, but also by Western feminists. Key influencer: Chandra Talpade Mohanty TRANSNATIONAL/(POST)COLONIAL FEMINIST THEORIZATIONS & ORGANIZATION STUDIES Gender in these analyses does not simply pertain to sexed bodies; rather gendering analyses examine subjectivities and subject positions and institutions over time and space as relational products and producers of transnational and global processes Analyze Masculinities in Globalizing Capital
Who makes the decisions that define globalization in theory and in practice? Certain groups of men occupy most top decision-making positions in business and other organizations, including transnational institutions fostering globalization policies, and academic domains creating theories about them Images of top decision-making in organizations involved in global processes already promote particular notions of how such individuals should look and act (global decision-making is coded masculine, and are the immediate beneficiaries) TRANSNATIONAL/(POST)COLONIAL FEMINIST THEORIZATIONS & ORGANIZATION STUDIES Analyze the Gendered Construction of A Division Between Capitalist Production & Human Reproduction Corporate practices, at local and global levels, claim non-responsibility for the reproduction of human life, creating a distinction between production as monetary economy and reproduction as non-monetary Local level: a gendered system supported by the unpaid reproductive work of women (caring work, household work) as well as by the lower paid womens work in for-profit economy Non-responsibility becomes naturalized as a globalization process when production is continuously moved from location to location in search of the cheapest labor, often womens labor
It would be possible to demonstrate relationships between gender and poverty the world over as partial effects of global corporate processes, in contrast to the conventional argument that over time economic liberation will bring wealth to all. Analyze Gender as a Resource for Globalizing Capital Shows further interconnections between different forms of transnational economies, not just through the mobility of capital but also through the mobility of bodies. The newer transnational relations between labor and capital are still mediated by gender, race, classoften occur as members of the One-Third World (men & women) often subject to work intensification. Require services from members of the Two-Thirds world (housework, cleaning work, caring work) so they can go on about they business Possible exploitation of immigrants appearance of newer forms of discrimination New forms of identity formation in relationship to the state Contribute to the naturalization of work intensification but also to further privatization of economies The CONCLUSION: TOWARDS A TRANSNATIONAL FEMINIST ORGANIZATION STUDIES Issues of representation cannot go without attention. Gendered images and ideologies of femininity and masculinity matter in the symbolic construction of desirable workers, the stereotyping of jobs and occupations, and images of successful professionals and
managers have a material consequences 2. Articulate other forms of academic organization (integrative scholarship) 3. Legitimizing transnational feminist networks as new organization forms in teaching and research 4. Increasing importance of electronic networks and cyberspace in the field A transnational feminist organization studies would obtain very different disciplinary lenses, and see to it that organizational knowledge-production would work ever more forcefully towards an equitable and just world. 1. OT QUESTIONS Why do organizations exist? Why are firms the same/different? What causes changes in organizations? Why do some firms survive and others dont? What are the emerging issues?
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