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Women and men in management: Stereotypes, evaluation and discourse
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Very few women hold top corporate positions in Sweden, and women are underrepresented as managers in all work sectors. The present thesis examined stereotypes, perceptions and presuppositions about women, men and management with a combination of perspectives from social and organizational psychology, discourse analysis and gender in organization research. Study 1 of Paper I was a content analysis of management attributes and cultural stereotypes of female and male managers. In Study 2, an inventory of these attributes was formed, and participants’ stereotype endorsements tested. Stereotypes of female managers resembled good management more than male managers, and they were rated more positively, but a masculine norm was implied. Paper II aimed to study and compare gender-related management stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers, and examine perceived gender bias. Men evaluated the female manager stereotype more positively on communal attributes, and, contrary to women, judged the male manager stereotype more positively on agentic attributes. This may help explain the scarcity of women in top management. Women perceived more gender bias favoring male managers than men. Actual male and female managers were rated similarly. Still, the Euclidian distances showed that ratings of actual managers and stereotypes were linked. Paper III examined the discourse on the lack of women in top corporate positions, explanations and links to proposed measures in a project to counter the gender imbalance. A liberal discourse with contradictions and textual silences was exposed. Gender had to be construed in line with traditional gender norms and division of labor to make sense of the proposed explanations. To conclude, one can be reassured by the largely communal portrayal of good management and positive evaluations of female managers, but also apprehensive about the masculine norm of management, perceived gender bias in favor of men, and traditional gender constructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2014. , 78 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, management, leadership, stereotypes, gender typing, liberal discourse, ideology, agency, communion, social roles
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108461ISBN: 978-91-7649-043-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108461DiVA: diva2:758638
Public defence
2014-12-05, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-13 Created: 2014-10-27 Last updated: 2014-11-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Exploring the gender typing of management characteristics in an egalitarian context
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the gender typing of management characteristics in an egalitarian context
2008 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 49, no 6, 549-557 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present studies sought to investigate what kind of stereotypes are used in Sweden to describe male and female managers, and whether genderneutral characteristics are used in the description of requisite management characteristics. In Study 1, participants answered open-ended questions on good, bad, female and male management. Requisite management characteristics showed a greater resemblance to the descriptions of female managers than male. In Study 2, female managers were rated more positively than men, and attributes ascribed to men in Study 1 were considered just as descriptive of women. Although participants described female managers more positively than male, responses often implied a norm of men as managers. In this way, prescriptive aspects of the stereotype may still work against female managers, despite the more feminine description of management.

Keyword
gender typing, management, stereotypes
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-17130 (URN)10.1111/j.1467-9450.2008.00662.x (DOI)000261108500007 ()
Available from: 2009-01-07 Created: 2009-01-07 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. Gender typing in stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender typing in stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers
2013 (English)In: Journal of Managerial Psychology, ISSN 0268-3946, E-ISSN 1758-7778, Vol. 28, no 5, 561-579 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The pm-pose of this paper is to examine gender-related management stereotypes, perceived gender bias and evaluations of actual managers, and to directly compare stereotypes and ratings of actual managers. Design/methodology/approach - Questionnaires were distributed to employees in the bank and insurance sector, and 240 participants rated their actual managers and stereotypes of male and female managers. Findings - Men evaluated the female manager stereotype more positively on communal attributes, and the male manager stereotype more positively on agentic attributes. Women evaluated the female manager stereotype more positively on both communal and agentic attributes, but perceived a higher degree of gender bias in favor of male managers than men did. Actual male and female managers were rated similarly. Still, ratings of actual male managers corresponded more with stereotypes of male than female managers, and ratings of actual female managers corresponded more with stereotypes of female than male managers. Research limitations/implications - Future research needs to determine the direction of association between stereotypes and evaluations of actual managers, and the relative importance of agentic over communal attributes. Practical implications - While women appeared biased in favor of their own gender, men may underestimate the difficulties that female managers encounter. Managers and human resource practitioners should notice these different views, and recognize that gender equality is not achieved in Sweden. Originality/value - The present study contributes with data from an egalitarian society with a positive view of female managers, and a direct comparison of stereotypes and workplace evaluations.

Keyword
Gender typing, Gender, Managers, Management stereotypes
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92672 (URN)10.1108/JMP-01-2013-0012 (DOI)000321414900007 ()
Note

AuthorCount:3;

Available from: 2013-08-14 Created: 2013-08-14 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Gender equality and liberal individualism: A critical reading of economist discourse in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender equality and liberal individualism: A critical reading of economist discourse in Sweden
2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 30, no 3, 306-316 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although Sweden is considered egalitarian, very few women hold top corporate positions. The present study used critical discourse analysis to examine texts by the economist Henrekson (2004), contrasted with another economist Boschini (2004), within a Swedish Centre for Business and Policy Studies project designed to increase the number of women in top corporate positions. Contradictions appeared between Henrekson's ideological stance adhering to liberal individualism, and the implied, normative meaning of gender. Individual men lack agency regarding household and family, while individual women are positioned with agency and thus accountability. Traditional gender constructions and the removal of male agency may undermine the realization of proposed measures, and should be questioned if gender equality in top corporate positions is to be realized.

Keyword
Gender, Top management, Liberal discourse, Ideology
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107985 (URN)10.1016/j.scaman.2014.01.002 (DOI)000341338800005 ()
Note

AuthorCount:1;

Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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