Edited by Barbara Czarniawska
Chapter 6: Well-trodden paths and roads less traveled: research directions for gender in management and organization
The field of gender in organizations has become a vast and ever expanding field of research over the past 40–50 years. Originating in the social movement of second-wave feminism which inspired the critical questioning of women’s positions in society, women’s positions in work and in organizations soon became a key area of research reflecting the importance of employment for peoples’ lives. Fueled by theoretical developments in feminism and beyond, the field rapidly grew in many different directions examining the many manifestations of gender in management and organizations from a wide variety of academic disciplines and perspectives. The most popular areas of research include the low representation of women in management and positions of leadership, occupational sex segregation and wage inequalities, gendered career patterns and work–life balance. However, gender equality in organizations is not within reach yet and research expeditions will have to continue to get nearer to it. This chapter sets out to develop a few guidelines and roadmaps for those expeditions, combining some well-trodden paths and roads less well traveled. The field matured and expanded when researchers interested in the positions and experiences of women in organizations started organizing themselves in divisions and special interest groups of professional associations from the 1980s on. The organization of streams and conferences increased the visibility and the legitimacy of the research, and helped to attract new generations of scholars. Another impetus came from the launch of specialized academic journals to disseminate the results of their research, such as in 1985 Women in Management Review (now Gender in Management) and in 1994 Gender, Work and Organization. More recently, further evidence of the development of the field can be found in the various handbooks that are published on Gender and Work (Powell, 1999), Gender, Work and Organization (Jeanes et al., 2011), Gender in Organizations (Kumra et al., 2014) and Gendered Careers in Management (Broadbridge and Fielden, 2015).
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