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The gender subtext of organizational learning

The gender subtext of organizational learning PurposeThis 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/approachThis paper uses the method of gender subtext analysis, centering on gendering and its interaction with gender, class and race.FindingsThe 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/valueThis paper is the first to apply gender subtext analysis to theories of organizational learning and, thus, to analyze their gender subtext. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Learning Organization Emerald Publishing

The gender subtext of organizational learning

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0969-6474
DOI
10.1108/TLO-05-2017-0048
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThis 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/approachThis paper uses the method of gender subtext analysis, centering on gendering and its interaction with gender, class and race.FindingsThe 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/valueThis paper is the first to apply gender subtext analysis to theories of organizational learning and, thus, to analyze their gender subtext.

Journal

The Learning OrganizationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 8, 2018

References