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The 24th EGOS Colloquium 2008  

General Theme


Postdoctoral pre-colloquium workshop

PhD pre-colloquium workshop

Roland Calori Prize

EGOS Best Paper Award
EGOS Best Student Paper Award

Organizing Committee

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Tourist Information


Sub-theme 47:

Changing Gender, Gendering Change



Yvonne Benschop
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (The Netherlands)

Albert Mills
St Mary's University Halifax (Canada)

Jean Helms Mills
St Mary's University Halifax (Canada)

Janne Tienari
Helsinki School of Economics (Finland)

Call for papers

Many researchers and practitioners in the field of gender in organizations share a fascination for change. One could argue that this field has seen many changes already. Indeed, compared to their grandmothers and mothers, many women today have a lot more options available to engage in various forms of paid work. Virtually all occupations are open to women, and some women have risen to the top of organizations and boards of directors. Historians might say that the glass is half full here. Yet, a lot still needs to be accomplished. The overrepresentation of women among the lowest paid, lowest grade workers seems to be present at all times and in all places. Although sex discrimination may take different forms and shapes in different contexts, the systematic gender order (Gherardi, 1995) always values the masculine over the feminine, never the other way around. From this perspective, the glass seems to hold only a few drops of water and organizations are in dire need of change.

Upsetting organizations so that a different gender order may occur can be seen as the raison d’être of feminist organization studies. Many policy models, instruments and interventions have been developed over the years to facilitate these changes. Liberal and radical equality models, managing diversity and, more recently, gender mainstreaming models all aspire to upset organizations. Within organization studies, the framework for gender equity and change (Meyerson & Kolb, 2000) has been very influential in discussions of gender interventions in organizations. This framework advocates action research in which gender experts and organization members cooperate in change projects, and signals that this cooperation is not unproblematic.

This stream invites theoretical and methodological reflections and empirical work from multiple disciplinary backgrounds and different parts of the world concerning gender and change in organizations.

Possible papers can address but are not limited to:

  • Different feminist traditions and approaches to gendering organizational change
  • Discussions of policy models and their impact in organizations
  • The role of multinational corporations (MNC's) in gendering change
  • Learning from gender and change
  • Reflections on feminist interventions in organizations and their consequences
  • Innovations in gender and change
  • Case studies of change projects in various industries and countries
  • The issue of resistance to changes in the gender order
  • The role of change agents
  • Methodological concerns on change projects
  • Questioning 'change' from feminist perspectives
  • Feminist reflections on discourses of change

Key readings

Gherardi, S. (1995): Gender, Symbolism and Organizational Cultures. London: Sage.

Meyerson, D.E. & D.M. Kolb (2000): Moving out of the 'Armchair': Developing a Framework to Bridge the Gap between Feminist Theory and Practice. Organization, 7 (4): 553-571.

About the convenors

Yvonne Benschop is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She is an Associate Editor of Gender, Work and Organization and sits on the editorial boards of four other journals. Her current research interests are the intertwinement of gendering and organizational networking, and gender in organizational change. Yvonne has presented her work at EGOS colloquia in 1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Albert J. Mills is Professor of Management and the Director of the Sobey PhD in Management at Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada. He is the author, co-author and co-editor of 14 books, including Gendering Organizational Analysis (Sage, 1992), Gender, Identity and the Culture of Organizations (Routledge, 2002), Identity Politics at Work (Routledge, 2004), and Sex, Strategy & the Stratosphere (Palgrave, 2006). He has presented papers at the 1993, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2005 EGOS colloquia.

Jean Helms Mills is an Associate Professor in Management at Saint Mary’s University, Sobey School of Business in Halifax, Canada. She has authored Making Sense of Organizational Change (Routledge, 2003) and co-authored four other books. She is currently the Americas Editor for Culture and Organization and sits of the editorial boards of four other journals. Jean has presented her research on gender, culture, change and sensemaking at EGOS colloquia in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

Janne Tienari is Professor of Organizations and Management at the Helsinki School of Economics, Finland, and Editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Management. Tienari's research interests include managing multinational corporations, cross-cultural studies of gender and organizing, and media discourse. He has convened tracks on gender and ethnicity at EGOS colloquia in 2004, 2005 and 2007.