The Construction of Management
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The Construction of Management

Competence and Gender Issues at Work

Brownen Ann Rees

Despite continuing equal opportunity approaches, women are still significantly under-represented at senior management levels and earn less than male colleagues. The author questions whether competence systems – developed and implemented in the workplace to provide objective measurement of management performance – contribute to, rather than improve, women’s disadvantaged position in the workplace.
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Appendix 2: Analytical tools for textual analysi

Brownen Ann Rees


s I have drawn selectively on linguistic techniques that have been identified by linguists/cultural analysts/discourse analysts such as Barthes (1956), Astroff and Nyberg (1992), Sorenson (1991), Fowler (1991) and Fairclough (1992). These tools were first published in Garnsey and Rees (1996). TEXTUAL TRANSFORMATIONS: RHETORICAL TECHNIQUES The following section outlines various techniques used for discourse analysis. These are techniques that exist both at the level of the ‘content’ of the discourse and can be used both across and within texts, and also linguistic techniques that encode various relationships within a text in such a way as to appear natural and unremarkable. They are by no means exhaustive, since the analyst must always be prepared to identify and name new techniques that may arise. Across-text Analysis 1. La vaccine (or inoculation) is a technique identified by Barthes (1956) as acknowledgement that a phenomenon has undesirable aspects, but through admission of an incidental aspect and in such a form as to obscure major, intrinsic ill effects (Barthes 1956, p.238). Garnsey and Rees (1996) show how, in the discourse of Opportunity 2000, a problem is admitted in the underrepresentation of women in management, but reassurance is immediately offered in terms of an achievable solution and the underlying factors are not examined. Imbalance in numbers of women is admitted, but as though it were an incidental feature, without an examination of causes, in a way which conceals structural inequalities. Sorenson (1991) shows how such a technique ‘depolitizes and dehistorizes’ discourse (p.228). 2. A second mechanism...

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