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留学生毕业论文:Gender and human resource management: a(6)


the move towards  atter organizational structures and the consequential shaking up of
embedded layers in the hierarchy is seen to go hand in hand with the promotion of socalled
‘feminine styles’ of management, involving such strategies as  exible working,
co-operation and team-working. It is therefore argued that recent changes in
organizations may offer opportunities for female managers and for increased female
participation (Cooper and Davidson, 1984; Rosener, 1990; Marshall, 1995). Essential
‘feminine’ qualities are viewed by some commentators as vital for organizational
prosperity, with the implication that organizations need to capitalize on feminine
qualities to survive and prosper (Rosener, 1990; Bacchi, 1990). Women are seen to Ž t
the proŽ le of the ‘new manager’, thus providing a base from which to break into the
male-dominated hierarchy (Maile, 1995). Maddock argues that the working practices
and vision of management proposed by the women who participated in her study
corresponded to this contemporary theorizing. The qualities of these women were
precisely those that management gurus extolled: ‘social commitment, self-motivation,
autonomy, openness to change and a desire to be a change agent’ (p. 187). However, the
feminization of management thesis has been dogged by controversy both epistemologically
and empirically. Focusing on women’s ‘unique skills’ implies essentialist
claims about female characteristics. This leads to the danger that other essentialist
notions of women as passive, weak and emotional may be used to justify, continue and
reinforce a gendered division of labour, where women are judged as inferior when
judged according to a variety of ‘essential’ ‘masculine’ management skills. Gendered
notions of skills mean that ‘feminine’ skills are seen as ‘natural’ and common-sensical
and are therefore unrecognized and unrewarded in the organization. Such thinking
might reinforce the link between women’s work and inferiority, and distance women
from the image of the competitive, rational leader. Finally, the championing of
women’s so-called ‘feminine skills’ may merely lead to the commodiŽ cation of their
emotional labour, subsumed under the dominant masculinist managerial discourses of
the organization. Rather than resulting in a ‘better world’ (Bacchi, 1990) or an
organization based on notions of social justice, as Maddock proposes in her volume, the
feminization of management becomes an element in the discourses of performativity.
Therefore, as emphasized by Webb (1997), the political dimension of the construction
of women as essentially different is ignored at some cost. Empirically, research has
shown that the feminization of management does not necessarily lead to an increase in


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