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Challenging Women
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Challenging Women
Gender, Culture and Organization


July 1999 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The influence of male gender cultures on men, women, and institutions is tacitly accepted, but its effect on women in senior management positions and their creativity is little acknowledged. In a climate of corporate change in which traditional institutions, hierarchies, and working practices face pressure to adapt, the role of the innovator and the new manger from outside established hierarchies can become an important catalyst. Based on research into the public sector, Challenging Women offers a radical reassessment of organizational forces for change, the barriers encountered, and the role of "challenging women": senior women managers who are faced with the task of transforming their organizations. The implications of the study go far beyond the public sector to embrace the experience of women managers in organizations everywhere. Much has been written about women at work, the "glass ceiling", and discriminatory employment practices. This study is seminal in the linkage it makes between gender, innovation, and organizational transformation. Challenging Women provides new evidence for understanding and analyzing organizational change in the context of the gender culture at work. Policymakers, as well as students of organizational behavior and management, public sector reform, and gender studies, will find this essential reading.

 
Introduction
 
Management Innovation
 
Management Style, Gender and the Professions
 
Working at the Paradigm Shift
Personal Agency, Having a Mind for a Change  
 
Resistance to Women
 
Gender Cultures, Tactics and Strategies
 
Gender Narratives
 
British Public Sector Reforms
 
Innovative Women are Challenging Women
 
Barriers to Transformation
 
Transformation
A Gendered Process, Post-Command, Post-Market and Post Post-Postmodern  

`Su Maddock is an eloquent writer, and not only is this book full of interesting material, it is also a pleasure to read. It should be complusory reading for all those interested in the subtitles of women's ongoing oppression and what Challenging Women are doing to resist it' - Sociological Research Online

`The book provides convincing evidence of how challenging-women managers are extremely innovative and should be in demand within organisations.' - The British Journal of Healthcare, Computing & Information Management

`Organisational culture is now generally acknowledged by academics and practitioners alike to be an important obstacle in the paths of women managers in organisations, and this book is a welcome addition to the recent publications which have focused on the topic. The strength of the author's work comes from her experience as a change consultant in the public sector and her understanding of the complex organisations in which her sample of women managers work... It is refreshing and positice to see the idea of women as challenging innovators promoted, although by linking their transformative capabilities with their gender it is harder to separate out whether they are marginalised because their ideas are a threat or because they are women' - Work, Employment & Society


"The book provides a fascinating profile of the public sector, the recent structural changes and the difficulties faced by women managers because of the intransigence of a male culture. It is of interest to academics, human resources personnel, and consultants alike." 

Sarah Rutherford

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