The discursive construction of gender in contemporary management literature

Journal of Business Ethics 81 (2):427 - 445 (2008)
Abstract
This article analyses how the new type of worker is constructed in respect to gender in current management literature. It contributes to the increasing body of work in organisational theory and business ethics which interrogates management texts by analysing textual representations of gender. A discourse analysis of six texts reveals three inter-connected yet distinct ways in which gender is talked about. First, the awareness discourse attempts to be inclusive of gender yet reiterates stereotypes in its portrayal of women. Second, within the individualisation discourse, formerly discriminatory elements of gender lose their importance but a gender dimension reappears within the idea of ‹Brand You’. Third, in the new ideal discourse, women are constructed as ideal workers of the future. The article argues that there is little space within this web of discourses for an awareness of the continued inequalities experienced by women in relation to men to be voiced and that this rhetorical aporia contributes to a ‹post-feminist’ climate.
Keywords gender  management  organisational theory  post-feminism  discourse analysis
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