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Från medarbetare till chef: Kön och makt i chefsförsörjning och karriär
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Gender, Organisation and Management. (Genus, organisation och ledning)
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]


The younger generation is often expected to be part of changes in management gender distribution, concepts of leadership and gender power relations. Parallel with this, there are ongoing gender segregation processes within the organisations resulting in the dominance of men among managers. The aim of this thesis is to describe and understand the transition from staff to management, and in particular how gender is done in this process. The perspective on organisation and gender adopted is social constructionist. Thestudy was carried out in a large Swedish banking company between 2000 and 2005. Analysis was drawn up in order to successively answer four research questions: 1) in what way is the management sourcing process designed and how are candidates for management evaluated?, 2) how do management candidates look upon their career opportunities?, 3) how is gender done in the sourcing of new managers?, and 4) how is gender done in the careers of future managers? The empirical material consists of observations of a management development programme for potential managers, statements on management sourcing and careers, and document material. The statements come from interviews with 11 staff members, six women and five men, identified as potential managers, as well as seven people working with HR at the bank. The 11 management candidates were interviewed three times during a two-year period.

The thesis develops knowledge on how gender and management are done in situations characterised by a balanced gender distribution and simultaneous male dominance. The management development programme serves as a hub for those working with sourcing new managers through its importance in identifying, developing and evaluating candidates for management. The evaluation of women and men among management candidates shows that potential is linked to women and men in different ways and that women and men are evaluated on the basis of different expectations on them as managers. Career is almost exclusively conceived as linear hierarchical movements. Nevertheless, the hierarchical view of career is confirmed almost entirely in the way men orient themselves. The career themes of the men express expectations on having a career. The experiences of the women are diverse. But even among those who have experienced encouragement to develop, this is not reflected in expectations on the future. Instead, the hope expressed is one of being allowed to continue a career. The different empowerment of the women and men express the gender power relations in the organisation and the norm of men as managers, which both men and women relate to.

Two aspects are involved in the doing of gender in management sourcing and careers: construction of gender and gender ordering. Firstly, gender is constructed and ordered in the sourcing of new managers through the gendering of potential, resulting in different opportunities for women and men in organisations. Secondly, gender is constructed and ordered in careers, where careers may be understood as gendered, i.e. where expectations are created in men and hopes in women. The result is different empowerment in women and men. And thirdly, the results point to a complexity in relation to change. Gender equality initiatives and radical practices in combination with individualism and gender neutrality both put gender hierarchy into question and preserve it. Management sourcing involves several practices where the doing of gender is integrated in different ways, both conscious through gender equality initiatives, and sub-conscious through individualised and gender-neutral ideology. Thus, change requires greater consciousness and new practice.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , 265 p.
Trita-IEO, 2009:06
Keyword [en]
managers, gender, careers, management sourcing, young managers, management development, gender practices, gender construction, gender ordering
Keyword [sv]
chefer, genus, chefsförsörjning, karriär, chefsutveckling, unga chefer, kön, könsordning
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-10578ISBN: 978-91-7415-334-7OAI: diva2:219759
Public defence
2009-06-12, F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Forskningsämne: industriell ekonomi och organisation, Examen: Ekonomie doktorsexamen QC 20100728 Available from: 2009-06-04 Created: 2009-05-28 Last updated: 2010-07-28Bibliographically approved

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