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Questioning the notion of feminine leadership

Alvesson, Mats LU and Billing, Yvonne D. (2000) In Gender, Work and Organization 7(3). p.144-157
Abstract
Traditionally, leadership has been equated with masculinity. Managerial jobs, at least in business and on senior levels, have been defined as a matter of instrumentality, autonomy, result-orientation, etc. something which is not particularly much in line with what is broadly assumed to be typical for females. Today, however, there seems to be a broad interest in leadership being more participatory, non-hierarchical, flexible and group-oriented. These new ideas on leadership are often seen by students of gender as indicating a feminine orientation. This article argues that it is necessary to critically discuss the whole idea of gender labelling leadership as masculine or feminine and suggests that we should be very careful and potentially... (More)
Traditionally, leadership has been equated with masculinity. Managerial jobs, at least in business and on senior levels, have been defined as a matter of instrumentality, autonomy, result-orientation, etc. something which is not particularly much in line with what is broadly assumed to be typical for females. Today, however, there seems to be a broad interest in leadership being more participatory, non-hierarchical, flexible and group-oriented. These new ideas on leadership are often seen by students of gender as indicating a feminine orientation. This article argues that it is necessary to critically discuss the whole idea of gender labelling leadership as masculine or feminine and suggests that we should be very careful and potentially aware of the unfortunate consequences when we use gender labels. Constructing leadership as feminine may be of some value as a contrast to conventional ideas on leadership and management but may also create a misleading impression of women's orientation to leadership as well as reproducing stereotypes and the traditional gender division of labour. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Gender, Work and Organization
volume
7
issue
3
pages
144 - 157
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • Scopus:0033936941
ISSN
1468-0432
DOI
10.1111/1468-0432.00103
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
959089fd-617c-4fd6-891e-9c2217746049
date added to LUP
2016-06-29 09:42:23
date last changed
2017-02-26 04:39:40
@article{959089fd-617c-4fd6-891e-9c2217746049,
  abstract     = {Traditionally, leadership has been equated with masculinity. Managerial jobs, at least in business and on senior levels, have been defined as a matter of instrumentality, autonomy, result-orientation, etc. something which is not particularly much in line with what is broadly assumed to be typical for females. Today, however, there seems to be a broad interest in leadership being more participatory, non-hierarchical, flexible and group-oriented. These new ideas on leadership are often seen by students of gender as indicating a feminine orientation. This article argues that it is necessary to critically discuss the whole idea of gender labelling leadership as masculine or feminine and suggests that we should be very careful and potentially aware of the unfortunate consequences when we use gender labels. Constructing leadership as feminine may be of some value as a contrast to conventional ideas on leadership and management but may also create a misleading impression of women's orientation to leadership as well as reproducing stereotypes and the traditional gender division of labour.},
  author       = {Alvesson, Mats and Billing, Yvonne D.},
  issn         = {1468-0432},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {144--157},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Gender, Work and Organization},
  title        = {Questioning the notion of feminine leadership},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0432.00103},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2000},
}