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Critical conversations

Constructing gender in career counselling

Time: Mon 2023-03-06 13.00

Location: Kollegiesalen 7, Brinellvägen 8

Video link:

Language: English

Subject area: Industrial Engineering and Management

Doctoral student: Camilla Rundberg , Management & Teknologi

Opponent: Professor Tommy Jensen, Stockholm universitet

Supervisor: Professor Monica Lindgren, Management & Teknologi; Docent Charlotte Holgersson, Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

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“Critical conversations” is an exploration of the process of constructing gender in a formal organizational process, namely the performance managementprocess. At the collaborative case company, the performance managementprocess is practiced in so called career conversations and the aim is to explore whether men and women are supported and encouraged differently inthese conversations, intended to develop employees’ careers? If so, how is thisdone? Could it contribute to an explanation of the systematic divergence ofcareer advancement for men and women over time and the late arrival of women, relative men, to executive suit.

Observations from 16 hours of career conversationsthat constitute the prime data. The career conversations sit in the intersection of employees’ individual career ambitions and the casecompany’s organizational goals. The conversations are thus both a site and avehicle to grow individual career development, as well as company performanceand it is my intention to explore how gender is constructed narratively andsocially in that space. Language used in career conversations is analyzed with Boje’s (2001) antenarrative approach, which encourages narrative speculations andbets of what language can hold, mean and construct. Speculattions of what constructs gender in career conversations are informed bypostmodernist feminist thinking, predominantly Acker (1990 and 1992) and her theory of gendered organization processes. The antenarrative analysis builds adeepened understand of how language can socially construct gender and myconclusion is that career conversation is not a gender neutral practice and this has consequences for the individual employees as well as for the organization asa whole.