Feminism in organization studies

Document Type : Research Paper




Adopting feminist perspectives is, by and large, novel in social science. However, feminism historical background might be followed until 18th century. Through the years, patriarchal epistemology and gendered metaphysics of science have been criticized fundamentally by radical feminist thinkers. Although such criticisms obviously have limitations, their constructive role in addressing original insights is undeniable. Due to Ubiquity of organizations in modern world and significance of power within organization, organizational life has great potential for feminist criticism. Feminist scholars provide creative insights for organization studies and reveal the true nature of organizations. This paper discusses about critical reading of organizational life and aspects of organizations criticized by feminism. In other words, the main question is which characteristics of organizational life make it susceptible to feminist criticism. The current descriptive research is conducted through Theme Analysis (TA) method; a widely used approach to qualitative content. Reviewing 21 texts, it is maintained that objects of feminist criticism in organization studies could be depicted in two-level framework.


Main Subjects

Acker, J. (2009). From glass ceiling to inequality regimes. Sociologie du travail, 51(2): 199–217.
Acker, J. (1992). From Sex Roles to Gendered Institutions. Contemporary Sociology, 21 (5): 565-569.
Acker, J. (2000). Gendered Contradictions in Organizational Equity Projects. Organization, 7 (4): 625-632.
Acker, J. (2006). Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations. Gender and Society, 20 (4), 441-464.
Acker, J. (2011). Theorizing Gender, Race, and Class in Organizations. In E. Jeanes, D. Knights, & P. Y. Martin (Eds.), Handbook of Gender, Work and Organization (1st Edition ed., pp. 65-80). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
Ahanchian, M. R. (2009). End of Management; Collapse of the Management narratives in the Modern age. Tehran, Iran: Nashr-e-Ney. (in Persian)
Alvesson, M. & Billing, Y. D. (1992). Gender and Organization: Toward a Differentiated understanding. Organization Studies, 13 (12): 73-102.
Anderson, E. (1995). Feminist Epistemology: An Interpretation and a Defense. Hypatia, 10 (3): 50-84.
Britton, D. M. (2000). The Epistemology of the gendered organization. Gender & Society, 14 (3): 418-434.
Brooks, A. (2003). PostFeminism, Feminism, Cultural theory and cultural Forms. New York: Routledge.
Butler, J. (1999). Gender Trouble, Feminism and the subversion of identity. New York and London: Routledge.
Calas, M. B. (1993). Deconstructing charismatic leadership: re-Reading weber from the darker side. Leadership Quarterly, 4(3-4): 305-328.
Calas, M. B. & Smircich, L. (1999). From 'The Woman 's ' Point of View: Feminist Approaches to Organization studies. In S. R. Clegg, & C. Hardy (Eds.), Studying organization, Theory and method (pp. 212-251). London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi: Sage Publications.
Calás, M. B. & Smircich, L. (1991). Voicing Seduction to Silence Leadership. Organization Studies, 12 (4): 567-602.
Coppock, V., Haydon, D. & Richter, I. (1995). The Illusions of Post-Feminism: New Women, Old Myths. London: Taylor & Francis.
Deetz, S. (1996). Describing differences in approaches to Organization Science: Rethinking Burrell and Morgan and their legacy. Organization Science, 7 (2): 191-207.
Delmar, R. (1986). What is Feminism? New York: Pantheon Books.
Ebrahimpour, H., Mokabberi, A. H., Rivaz, D. & Roshandel, T. (2011). The media and glass ceiling: Explanation of television impact on the women promotion to the managerial levels. Journal of Public Administration, 3 (6):1-18.
(in Persian)
Farmer, D. J. (1997). Derrida, Deconstruction and public administration. American Behavioral Scientists, 41 (1): 12-27.
Fay, B. (2009). Contemporary philosophy of science, A multicultural Approach. Trans by K. Deyhimi. Tehran, Iran: Nashr-e-Ney. (in Persian)
Feldberg, R. L. & Glenn, E. N. (1979). Male and Female: Job versus Gender Models in the Sociology of Work. Social Problems, 26 (5): 524-538.
Gamble, S. (2006). PostFeminism. In S. Gamble (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Feminism and Postfeminism (pp. 36-45). London: Routledge.
Griffin, G. H. (2000). Editorial. Feminist Theory, 1 (1): 5-9.
Hale, M. M. (1996). Gender Equality in Organizations: Resolving the Dilemmas. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 16(1): 7-18.
Harding, S. & Hintikka, M. B. (1983). Introduction. In S. Harding, & M. B. Hintikka (Eds.), Discovering reality, Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science (pp. ix-xix). Dordrecht, Holland: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Hatch, M. J. & Cunliffe, A. L. (2006). Organization Theory;Modern, Symbolic, and postmodern perspectives. 2nd edition ed. New Delhi: Oxford university press.
Hearn, J. & Parkin, P. W. (1983). Gender and Organizations: A Selective Review and a Critique of a Neglected. Organization Studies, 4 (3): 219-242.
Horn, P. (1995). Where Is Feminism Now? Agenda, 26: 71-74.
Humm, M. (1990). The Dictionary of Feminist Theory. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Jaggar, A. (2000). Feminism in Ethics: Moral Justification. In M. Fricker, & J. Hornsby (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge university Press.
Jardine, A. (1985). Gynesis: Configurations of Woman and Modernity. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
Jones, C. (2004). Jacques Derrida. In S. Linstead (Ed.), Organization theory and Postmodern Thought (pp. 34-63). London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage.
Lyotard, J. F. (1984). The postmodern Condition: A report on Knowledge. Trans by G. Bennington & B. Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Martin, J. (1990). Deconstructing Organizational Taboos: The Suppression of Gender Conflict in Organizations. Organization Science, 1 (4): 339-359.
Martin, J. (2000). Hidden Gendered Assumptions in Mainstream Organizational Theory and Research. Journal of Management Inquiry, 9 (2): 207-216.
Martin, J. & Knopoff, K. (1997). The gendered implications of apparently gender-neutral theory: re-reading Max Weber. In E. F. R, & A. Larson (Eds.), Women's Studies and Business Ethics: Toward a New Conversation. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mills, A. J. (1988). Organization, Gender and Culture. Organization Studies, 9(3): 351-369.
Mills, S. (2003). Foucault. London: Routledge.
Morgan, G. (2005). Images of Organization. Trans by A. M. Moshabaki. Tehran, Iran: University of Tehran Publication. (in Persian)
Morgan, G. & Burrell, G. (2007). Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis. Trans by M. T. Norouzi. Tehran, Iran: SAMT Publishing.
(in Persian)
Mumby, D. K. & Putnam, L. L. (1992). The Politics of Emotion: A Feminist Reading of Bounded Rationality. The Academy of Management Review, 17 (3): 465-486.
Nicolson, P. (2005). Gender, Power and Organisation, a psychological Perspective. London & New York: Routledge.
Offen, K. (1988). Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach. Signs, 14 (1): 119-157.
Pilcher, J. & Whelehan, I. (2004). Fifty concepts in Gender Studies. London, Thousand Oaks & New Delhi: Sage Publication.
Riley, P. (1983). A structurationist account of political culture. Administrative Science Quarterly, 28 (3): 414-437.
Sanders, V. (2006). First Wave Feminism. In S. Gamble (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Feminism and Postfeminism (pp. 15-24). London: Routledge.
Scott, R. W. (2006). Organiazations and Organizing, Rational, natural and open system perspectives. New York: Prentice hall.
Taleghani, G. R., Pourezzat, A. A. & Farajji, B. (2009). Survey on the Effect of Glass Ceiling on Decrease of Women Empowerment in Iran Power Development Co. (IPDC). Journal Of Public Administration, University of Tehran, 1 (2): 89-102. (in Persian)
Thompson, D. (2001). Who’s Afraid of Defining Feminism? Australian Women’s Studies Conference, Macquarie University. sydney.
Thornham, S. (2006). Second Wave Feminism. In S. gamble (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Feminism and Postfeminism (pp. 25-35). London: Routledge.
Tong, R. (2009). Feminist Thought: A Comprehensive Introduction. 3th Edition ed. Colorado: Westview Press.
Tyler, M. (2011). Postmodern Feminism and Organization Studies: A Marriage of Inconvenience? In E. Jeanes, D. Knights, & P. Y. Martin (Eds.), Handbook of Gender, Work and Organization (1st Edition ed., pp. 9-24). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
Walters, M. (2005). Feminism, A very short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.