Gender and the production of elites in the Nordic countries: new directions in research

Gender and the production of elites in the Nordic countries: new directions in research Purpose – The paper criticizes current directions in research on women and management. The purpose of this paper is to propose new directions for such research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is conceptual and is based on a review of recent literature on elites and the gendering of elite positions internationally and in the Nordic countries. This literature is discussed using studies of changing power dynamics and the development of welfare state services in a context of globalization. Findings – The paper argues that one needs to move away from the focus on individual traits and “female management” to study the processes and practices that (re)produce power differences between men and women in the organisations where they take place. Two contextual factors make new directions in research necessary. The first is the knowledge economy changing organisations from bureaucratic towards democratic forms at the level of production and the financialization of the economy centralizing power at corporate level. The second is the challenging of Nordic welfare states by globalization of the economy. The welfare state results in a “democratization of motherhood” that increases women's participation in the economy, but may limit their opportunity to obtain elite positions. Originality/value – To understand women's exclusion of elite positions, new research should combine multidimensional analyses of gender and power to explore the symbolic connections between masculinity and “big money”. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Gender in Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Gender and the production of elites in the Nordic countries: new directions in research

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1754-2413
DOI
10.1108/17542411111164902
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The paper criticizes current directions in research on women and management. The purpose of this paper is to propose new directions for such research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is conceptual and is based on a review of recent literature on elites and the gendering of elite positions internationally and in the Nordic countries. This literature is discussed using studies of changing power dynamics and the development of welfare state services in a context of globalization. Findings – The paper argues that one needs to move away from the focus on individual traits and “female management” to study the processes and practices that (re)produce power differences between men and women in the organisations where they take place. Two contextual factors make new directions in research necessary. The first is the knowledge economy changing organisations from bureaucratic towards democratic forms at the level of production and the financialization of the economy centralizing power at corporate level. The second is the challenging of Nordic welfare states by globalization of the economy. The welfare state results in a “democratization of motherhood” that increases women's participation in the economy, but may limit their opportunity to obtain elite positions. Originality/value – To understand women's exclusion of elite positions, new research should combine multidimensional analyses of gender and power to explore the symbolic connections between masculinity and “big money”.

Journal

Gender in Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 23, 2011

Keywords: Gender and elite production; Gender and power in organizations; Financialization; Leadership discourses; Democratization of motherhood; Women

References

  • Capital theory and the dynamics of elite business networks in Britain and France
    Harvey, C.; Maclean, M.
  • Gender and management: new directions in research and continuing patterns in practice
    Hearn, J.
  • Does the gap in family friendly policies drive the family gap?
    Nielsen, H.S.; Simonsen, M.; Verner, M.

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