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Gender in Organizations From a Critical Perspective

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 4943 words Published: 11th Jan 2018

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The term gender is just a set of characters that tent to differentiate between female and male, especially in case of women and men. Depending on the context under discussion, the distinguishing characteristics differ from sex to social duties to gender identity as well. Some of the cultures have certain gendered-related social roles that ought to be considered distinct from ladies and gents. On the other hand, the social science at times look at gender as being a social construct and gender studies especially do, research in the natural science looks at whether biological differences in both females and males affect the human development.

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The term organization has been defined as a container, an empirical object which has rigid boundary, and a set of structure with real levels as well as departments that are much static and different entity from the organization members. It has been just in the recent past, when scholars have added that, organizations are defined and constituted through members’ communication as a way of sense-making process. In one way, an organization need to be looked upon as a microcosm of the surrounding culture, and on the other hand, can be seen as an arbitrary point where various forces of culture transect (Mats & Yvonne 2009). It creation is through its naming, hence, an organization can be seen as a series of communication performances that is rooted and enacted in day-day discursive practices.

Important Issue Concerning Gender in Organizations

In general, why do women have lower wages, even when in the similar occupation as well as similar level, experience high rate of unemployment, taking many responsibilities in unpaid labor, strongly underrepresented in higher positions in an organization, and also lower expectations to promotions? It is true that, matters concerning gender need to be looked upon from a different point of vie. From the organizational perspective, there have been reasons that need to be considered about the effective use of human resources which originated from the current order of gender. As an effect, is there any reason for the management to consider gender when addressing the culture, practices and structures of the organization?

It has been shown that, more organizations are benefiting from women after knowing that, there position is actually low paid jobs, and the absence of ambitions which has been conventionally ascribed to women as well as their expectations in finding the fulfillment in the sphere of families, that has been facilitating the adaptations to several modestly skilled jobs that tent to be available in modern working life (Krone & Waldron, 1991). The presence of gender division in the workforce might be more advantageous for many organizations, as compared to taking equal chances seriously if the latter at least call s for major alterations.

On the other hand, it has been argued from the organizations point of departure that, the person’s sex has no importance as parse. Gender equality has never been in opposition to the culture of long workweek for the individuals who happen to be in higher positions or career tracks. This has been shown by current researches which are concluding that, females are giving more priority as compared to their spouses. Remaining in the majority of cases, organizations are drawing upon and reinforcing conventional gender patterns when providing encouragements and utilizing career-oriented individuals. However, the male breadwinner picture still supports strongly, the instrumental as well as career oriented gents working very hard for the organization (Asucraft & Memby, 2004). Such like complications need to be considered before making many assumptions that are interested in gender fairness in the organization. Even for the managerial positions, it might be much optimal for the organization if most ladies tent to be not committed strongly to promotions to top jobs.

Other than concentrating on rational arguments, like around objective interests and means to ends, it is much better to explore how individuals in organizations define the phenomena, as this means overstress broad patterns as well as the consistency whilst along with change. On the other hand, it is only gender discrimination and obstacles to the equal opportunity realization in work organizations that many have wished highlighted. However, it is only male dominance along with female victimization and lost opportunities that is to be concentrated on. An issue of interest is also the rich variation in the way in which organizations have been carrying out gender meanings, and how both female and male lives their organizational lives. It is not true that that work organizations are just representative of privileges accorded to men. However, it is true that, gents and ladies work companies can all bring about conformities, suffering as well as constraints (Kirby & Krone, 2002). All of them might experience joy and benefits conversely not only from wage labor but from day-day organizational life too. In other terms, the limitation on individuals in a certain organization, for instance, the pressure to give priority to work over their families, do not emanates from male dominations only, but also upon the working s of capitalism and the idea of organizations effectively along with competitive production of goods and services, making a high material living standards possible.

Exploring gender in organizations, the mapping of what is happening to both the gents and ladies at work place along with gendered organizations, looking at the company’s culture in terms of masculine as well as the feminine values, meanings and ideas, might lead to different stories being told. The perspective of gender in organizations perspective concentrates on gents and ladies as fairly robust categories and looks into the matter of how these issues are treated behave and or experience work along with life. The interests are normally din measurements and male and female group comparisons. According to Taylor, (1993) the idea of gender in organizations shows that, work place is even more than sites where the game of gender is played out. On the other hand, companies are looked upon as the inscribed by gendered meanings , structures and practices, which are characterized by the assumption along with values of either masculine or feminine nature actively ‘producing’ individuals in the organizations (Ganster & Thomas, 1995). Under this, more emphasize are on the construction processes, and how organizations like other social institutions are shaped artificially in some specific ways and in their turn contributes to the gents and ladies construction.

Most of the gender in organization stories, but somehow a few of these concentrating on gender in organizations, are explicitly and pro-women intentionally, that opposes domination of male, and aims at improving the women situations. Nevertheless, it is also believed that, it will be good if On top of this, address how ladies might act conservatively in connection to the quality ideals, perhaps against the interests they have and how the culture of an organization might impact most men in the negative way. To add on that, gender perspective in an organization might provide significant insights into how companies work, for instance, concerning the inter-alia, company strategy, leadership, organizational culture, ethic, groups, communication as well as corporate social responsibility (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978). This shows that, the approach goes beyond the questions that have been asked about the advantages and disadvantages of gender patterns for careers along with work conditions of both females and men.

Organization Theory and Gender

In real sense the field of organization theory covers a very large area and the field is still expanding. In the past, there has been an increase in the number of research having interest in gender and organizations to a level that, some have observed that the main stream of organizational is just male gendered, this in one way or the other has become something of truism. On the other hand, despite the fact that the recent recognition within the more critical strands, of the discipline, it will be good to emphasize that organization theory has from the past neglected issues addressing with gender (O’Donnell-Trujillo & Pacanowsky, 1983). Some of the workers who have been viewed either supportably gender neutral point of view, but in real sense, they are representing male point of view. This is based on the fact that, studies were carried out invariably on male employees by male researchers. In other words, from the perspective that considers only male and masculine concept of work and organization as very much interesting, though gender concepts have not been addressed ion other works.

In 1980s, the massive literature on organizational culture, were being driven by an interest in the meaning of life at the workplace, the issue of gender was hardly. Despite all these history, the importance of this field has in the recent past received much recognition. Currently, it is almost compulsory to include a section on gender in an ambitious overview of organizational behaviors. Despite all these, both gender in organizations as well as gendering of organizational along with the management theory of organizational analysis which has remained marginalized topics with mainstream organizational as well as the management theory that is still making assumption that both knowledge along with knowledge production are just trying to be gender neutral. The issue of gender for many seems to be a theme that has be included and ticked off, so that the expectations that ought to be addressed are made just in the name of avoiding critiques. Many have questioned the effect that might result due to the analysis as well as the interpretations made on the issue of gender in organizations. It is only few who have considered its effects on the knowledge developing process as well as the understanding of organizations of the issue that, it is only men have taken part in its production. The female sex of course in no way guarantees an interest when considering the issue of gender anymore than the male biological sex an interest in the topic.

The dominance in masculine in the academic life along with the organizations studied has had important effects on the forms of questions raised as well as the answers subsequently produced in the management and organization studies. Some subjects have not been considered in any way, they haven’t been considered from the gender perspective. In addition, there are these who are questioning if the assumption those organizations are neutral to gender, or the world its self is for men. Until recent, the case has been that, the manager is assumed to be ‘he’, though currently, it is perhaps only the senior executives that in most cases are assumed to being male (Kroman & Scott, 2005). As a result, it has been maintained that, it is the life of men and work of gents that has been considered as being the research standard, both within the human relationships school, strategic management research, cultural theory or any other school that individuals might think of, in the organizations theory. It is true that, this holds water in parts of science as well. Uncritically, research in most cases has been reflecting cultural believes. The North American traditional concept of leadership might be described as an imitation that is based on masculine ego-ideal, that glorifies the competitive, creative, combative, aggressive, controlling, as well as self reliant individuals. It has been argued that, the whole field of management has so far had a masculine bias; in addition, other researchers have added that, even more neutral theories like Maslow’s need hierarchy have similar biasness. Nevertheless, there have been some changes in the in the discourse on leadership and management, possibly including the issue of feminization, or in other words, at least de-masculinization, though some reality easily lag behind a changing world. There are those claims and results concerning gender studies that seem more important yesterday, than today or even in future.

It has been found that, gender perspective means the analysis of the significance, meaning and consequences of what culture defines as male as well as female ways of thinking, valuing, along with acting. It also means the analysis of the organizational practices that maintains the labor division between sexes. Vertical labor division depending on sex, can be connected to conceptions of masculine/feminine, that ascribes a gendered meaning to things that are contingent upon the cultural believes of what are the real orientations along with behaviors of both male and ladies

The usage of gender point of view on organizations would also result to a higher degree of sensitivity to contradictions plus ambiguities concerning social constructions and reconstructions of gender relationships and to what is considered as discrimination and equal opportunities at the work place level. It is much significant to stress that gender relationships are not structured statistically and defined and for all, however, are emergent and changeable. This has been used to account for overall societal degree and every day interactions in the workplace (Hess & Kramer, 2002). Despite the study of discriminating actions as well as gender bias in the organization, it is also much important to research on the elements of modern organization that has been producing tendencies towards equality between the sexes. This last concept has been neglected for long in gender studies. Though there are strong reasons for critical approach, but some current societies and several firms have social values along with rules that promotes the espoused interests and chances of ladies and do not only or majorly discriminate against them, even without the usage of special laws. Such social rules are of greater significance to middle class as compared to the working class ladies.

The current society praises itself for being meritocratic and most individuals in the west claim that, to be in favor of an ideology that provides unbiased chances to both sexes. However, the fact is that, this is sometimes restricted to lip service. The opportunities to choose the way of resisting norms as well as guidelines for acting and being in gender and avoid sex roles, gender norms are currently better as compared to in the past. The chances of organizations taking a progressive and rational role, needed not to be excluded as though it has some limits like, it might give ladies better employment options and promotions as compared to male, but does not in any way deal with wider issues like goals and values along with interests that the organization’s life is based on (Murphy, 2001).

Gender perspective will also mean dealing with ways in which both male and females are constructed as individuals, there formation plus reformation through social processes, their actions and life experience their support and discrimination. It will furthermore include broader views on organizations. Some of the ideals like profi8ts could be much related to masculine conceptions and gent rationality.

The limitations of interpretive powers of a gender point of view have been disputed by many, and as a result, it is not the best perspective for the study of all organizations and working life aspects. By being sensitive about the limitations of analytic and interpretive range of the perspective hardly mean that women need to adapt to their under-privileged in their working life, which previously had been influenced by very strong masculine dominance. A gender perspective din organizations also means the study of phenomena and concentrating on the basic questions that deals with rationality, like the aims and structures of the organization. The trick with this fact on the other hand is the interpretations of gendered meanings sensitively in non-obvious circumstances without generalizing organizational life through looking everything in terms of gender.

By considering the issue of gender out side organizations, it has been researched and the most argued facts are the typical and dominant trends and patterns that aim at a general image of gender in organizations, though diversity as well as multiplicity has received more attention in the recent past. However, diversity has been reduced to the consideration of gender, class plus ethnicity formula. In addition, it has been shown that, organizations differ much from historical and reproduced gender biases in social activities. It is just like how gendered meanings that have characterized different work fields, professions, functions and positions.

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Many modern scholars have stopped looking at organizations and organizational theorization as being gender neutral, as an effect, they have abandoned any hypothesis suggesting that gender and organizational research are unconnected. Different authors as an effect have described the development of gendered organizations as an area of study, which needs to be taken as different from study from both organization researches along with gender studies. Fragmentation and distinction in these disciplines, composition and practices of gender, applied methods along with institutionalized academic professional practices on top of social networks, have encouraged divergence as compared to integration of organizational and gendered studies. Gendered organization field has included national, gender along with disciplinary inclusiveness, methodological and theoretical innovations.

Gender Studies

The issue of gender has been has been understood changed and developed differently in different cultural times and contexts. Gents, ladies and gendered practices have been dynamic since time immemorial. It is just in the modern world, that social science has been part of, and contributes towards, culture and thus impact on how gender understanding plus practices will be in the future times to come. On the other hand, Social science does not only deal with gender, but has been actively contributing to the construction of gender in organizations (Werhane, 1987). It has been argued that, it is cultural practices as well as social practices rather than genes accounts for the ratio of male to female or the reverse, in terms of full-time, part-time, wage labor, along with the unpaid homework, and in various occupations and hierarchical levels din different organizations. Social science on its part, fusses with cultural ideas to contribute to their developments.

It is true that all statements and reasoning concerning gender issues are informed by value judgments in organizations are never neutral politically. For instance, the study of gender is one of the political choices, as is of course none-choice. It has been found on the other hand that, refusing to divide up human beings into two sexes is much problematic. This is based on the fact that, by looking at the importance of the distinction as much troublesome in social science, this is because; it obscures the variations and misleadingly indicates that the male and female categories are homogeneous and universal.

It is one thing to assert that feminist organizations do not ride the coattails of larger critical ventures; as a result, it renders both independent of and integral to radical organization studies. The feminism organization scholarship has in a unique way contributed to individuals’ understanding of the relations amongst gender, power identity, discourse as well as organization in a company. According to different studies have shown that in an organization, discourse has been given at least four meanings, each having special attentions to micro and macro dimensions, namely; first, it means engrained habits of personal communication; secondly, it refers to the process of mundane interactions; thirdly, it also refers to the organizational form. Last but not least, discourse; means societal narratives. Scholars have come up with four ways of framing the relations among the discourse, gender as well as the organization. The first frame treats gender as a defining factor of human identity, and explains how it plays a role in [shaping interact ional tendencies. Frame two on its part, highlights the organization of gender identities around difference. The third frame pulls organizations out of the shadows explaining major pictures that frame 1 and 2 minimized, and at the end concentrates on individual entity. Last but not least, looks beyond actual locations of work and connected agencies, with the aim of paralleling discursive fields that interlace gender and labor. However, there have been little or no efforts that are underdeveloped within these frames, which can aid in unpacking the dielectric that exist between micro-and macro-level discursive processes.

It has been argued that, gender perspective assumes that, the domination of male or patriarchy in organizations is just a mechanism that forms the foundation of all sorts of miserable phenomena that legitimize in discriminatory critique. There are authors who have been criticized because of overstretching of gender perspective. Of course, it has been argued that, there is no single discrimination in human society is much more crucial as compared to male and female; hence, there is no area in an organization that is gender neutral. Due to this argument, everything bears reasonable gender meaning and reflects gender biasness, especially to the advantage of men (Stewart, 1981). Though this reasoning has been accepted, there are these who still insist on the problems with gender over-sensitivity in organizations (Ellis, Et al 1988). This is based on that fact that, everything can be perceived as having some gendered meanings or matters that are perfectly gender-balanced , or gender-neutral, does not mean in any way a gender aspect is worthy reiterating at all times. As a matter of fact, there are other aspects that might include some ‘grains’ of truth might be overstressed. Any perspective in an organization runs a risk of being used in one-eye fashion to, to reduce all phenomenon to issues of male and female.

There have been various reasons on the other hand that have stated the significance of paying much attention to gender over-sensitivity. It has been shown that, it is much important to become aware of the problems of overusing a certain perspective. The insensitivity to gender issues has been well documented and strongly reiterated by most literature dealing with gender. Gender over-sensitivity implies that, not to quickly disregard other concepts or possible interpretations. This means the, privileging gender over other factors in an organization, makes it the only decisive factor hence understanding gender becomes generalizing.

Minimization of Gender Over-Sensitivity

The different themes concerning gender over-sensitivity includes the connection of political function of gender studies, it might seem to be propaganda if political is stressed so much. The recognition and reiteration of equality tendency signs among women in an organization in an organization might end up weakening the case for female politicians, academics, along with risks of impoverishing the base for one’s career. Another aspect of gender over-sensitivity in an organization deals with seductive gender concepts and ideas. They might be used when accounting for or illuminating all types of phenomena. The ideas of about femininities along with masculinities might blinker the researcher, other than putting them under use for self-criticality and with open minded. This is based on the fact that, issues of gender involve much more of the researcher as an individual as compared to other subjects. There are also some terms which have much little to do with what is called true, or false, hence much impossible to ascertain the appropriate degree of gender sensitivity.

Even though there are differences between female and male, which are associated to things like sexuality, class among other factors, it will be good if research can add other forms of oppression. The meaning of gender needs not to focus mainly on gender issues and neglect issues and themes that are conceptualized din other forms. If individuals need to take the problem of over-sensitivity seriously, organizations need not to practice monologue, other than co-constructed dialogues. This is based on the fact that in many organizations, lack of communication has been linked to negativism among the coworkers, which might result to gender over-sensitivity. On the other hand, in dealing with organizational gender problems, organizations need to create a culture which in one way or the other assists its workers in managing emotions (Louis, 1980). This is based on the fact that, this needs to be a precondition of client employee relation, which enhances adequate service and product delivery. For instance, it needs to set proactive socialization culture, which leads to the uncertainty reduction for organizational learning.

Synthesis of the Readings

Organizations can be termed as containers, empirical objects, having rigid boundaries and actual levels and departments that are stationary and different from organizational members. Though, it has been criticized that little work has been done on impact of communication on benefit utilization, but the results can be reliable to in linking benefits accrued from it, provided that the right procedure and data collection procedure and practices were done accurately, because, if the research is reliable, then similar results will be reproduced in case of another study. In many organizations, lack of communication has been linked to negativism among the coworkers; this has been attributed to about the reasoning behind employee policies, and the programs that are entailed.

In most cases, organization performance is never monologue, other than co-constructed dialogues. Though co-constructed, political, relative and situational are all four traits in the firms performance, but they do not all influence emergent performance at the same time, why? It has been observed that, the possibilities of emergent quality performance are vested in the interplay between communicative resources, participant goals and personal competence. The issue of sense-making then is as a result of individual reflection degree on the elements interplay. The creation of supportive environment, it is climate for the implementation of policies, apart from putting it on paper. It is beneficial Communication has been seen as a very significant due to the fact that work-family benefits are being realized due to interactions.

On the other hand, in dealing with organizational problems, organizations need to create a culture which in one way or the other helps its workers in managing emotions. This is because this needs to be a precondition of client employee relation, which enhances adequate service and product delivery. For instance, it needs to set proactive socialization culture, which leads to the uncertainty reduction for organizational learning. However, the big question that mangers need to ask themselves is; what are the socialization processes that are facilitating emotion labor practices that are disturbing the turnover rates that often accompany working in human service occupations? In that connection, it is good for the company to lay down procedures under which new employees pass through during orientation.

Research has shown that that Gender and organizations are interdisciplinary studies that entail complicated arrays of theoretical and empirical projects. It has been observed feminist organizations renders independence of and integral to radical organization studies. Feminism organization studies have assisted in giving the relations among the following frames; identity, gender, power, disclosure and organization. It is true frames when combined normally elucidate environmental factors which are much helpful in shaping socialization, economic and institutional changes. On the other hand, there are no efforts within the discussed frames to reveal the dialectic between macro-and micro-degree discursive processes. Though the discussed frame fissures might be the key ones, but aren’t there any other fissures across the frames that can be identified that might be exclusive to gender.

There are many framing techniques that have been developed by researchers. Some of them like these basing on Giddens, have been developed by subjugated groups particularly. According to Clair, (2003) research has shown that women are unable to frame their experience just as simple misunderstanding, nor do they wholly embrace reification, the fact remains that researchers are just using subjugated group, hence the results cant be generalized on the whole group. In addition, it is good to identify, the research has identified the homorganic relations at the individual levels, but what are the relations at different levels of the society? Like interaction of women to co-workers.


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