تعداد کمی مناسب است : شیوه های استخدام مدیریتی در بوروکراسی دولتی نروژ
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3862||2002||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||8535 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Scandinavian Journal of Management, Volume 18, Issue 2, June 2002, Pages 197–215
The purpose of the present study is to explore whether supply and demand-related theories can help to explain organisational variations in the domination of men in managerial positions. The exploration is based on a case study of personnel policies and practices applying to managerial recruitment in two Norwegian state bureaucracies. The two organisations have several features in common, and yet the presence of women in the top managerial ranks has developed in different directions. In Organisation 1 male dominance persists in top positions, although for some time men and women have been more or less equally represented in middle management. In Organisation 2 gender equality has been steadily advancing at all position levels throughout the 1990 s. The empirical findings point in different directions, depending on whether a supply or a demand perspective is adopted in explaining these results. In Organisation 1 both supply and demand-related factors help to explain the perpetuation of male dominance in top positions. The progress in gender equality in Organisation 2 contradicts the supply theory, and the analysis of demand-related conditions alert us to the importance of investigating how gender-equality strategies works in different contexts.
A central research topic within organisational research today concerns the dominance of males in the upper levels of work organisations, and possible explanations of its persistence (e.g. Alvesson & Billing, 1997, for an overview). Two theories have dominated this field of research: supply theory and demand theory (Reskin, 1993). The supply theory emphasises the way the gender structure of organisations is shaped by gender differences in occupational choices and ambitions. The demand theory looks at how organisations are gendered in ways that advantage men and disfavour women. Both these explanations have been the subject of several studies (see e.g. Bielby & Baron, 1986; Reskin, 1993; Powell & Butterfield, 1994; Hultin, 1998; Petersen, Saporta, & Seidel, 2000). However, the findings differ as to whether supply and demand explanations are seen as complementary, or whether one explanation should be preferred over the other. In the light of the strong institutionalisation of gender-equality policy in the Scandinavian context, the continuation of male dominance in the management positions of working life is a particularly intriguing phenomenon. Gender relations in Scandinavia can be described as paradoxical (Kvande, 1999) — paradoxical, because on the one hand women participate to a high degree in the work force (Ellingsæter, 2000) as well as participating in politics on equal terms with men (Raaum, 1999), while on the other the representation of women in the power élite of most work organisations remains at the same low level in the Scandinavian countries as in most other western-world countries (Davidson & Cooper, 1993; Raaum, 1996). The achievement of gender equality in top positions has long been one of the central goals of Norwegian public sector organisations. Yet the civil servants, the implementers of government policy, still constitute a masculine assembly. In 1999, 17% of the top executives in the Norwegian state authorities were women (in 1997, 14%). There are significant intra-organisational variations, however. The proportion of women in top managerial positions varies from 0 to 32% (Storvik, 1999). The present study investigates the pertinence of supply and demand theories in explaining organisational variation in progress on the gender-equality front. The impact of gender-equality strategies is also examined, and the way such policies affect supply and demand conditions. The investigation is based on a case study of manager recruitment practices in two Norwegian state bureaucracies.1 In the present case study the two organisations are similar in the sense that they exist within the same field of working life: they are bound by the same regulations, guidelines, personnel policy, positive-action plans, etc.; they are roughly equal in size; their internal organisational structure is similar; and their main concerns belong within clearly politicised areas. Yet the gender-equality profiles of the two organisations have developed in different directions during the 1990 s. In Organisation 1, despite a balanced representation of men and women in middle manager positions, men continue to dominate top management, while in Organisation 2 gender balance has made progress over a relatively short period of time. The question of how these changes have arisen will be addressed by examining some actual cases of recruitment to managerial positions. The way the hiring agents2 judge candidates in relation to perceptions of competence is a key theme. The distinction between formal qualifications on the one hand and other vaguer and less measurable qualifications such as personal suitability on the other, is particularly important here. Gender-equality agreements and positive-action plans, including regulations regarding preferential treatment, are a prominent feature in the Norwegian public sector (Teigen & Jensen, 1995). This emphasis on formal regulations expresses the belief that gender relations can be changed as a result of political–legal reforms. The effectiveness of such policies has been criticised, however (Collinson, Knights, & Collinson, 1990; Cockburn, 1991; Rasmussen (1990) and Kvande & Rasmussen (1995); Rasmussen, 1999). The present analysis provides a discussion of the opportunities and impediments connected with the implementation of gender-equality strategies for enhancing the career prospects of women candidates. Central public administration is the context chosen for this study. First, because it is an important arena of power and influence. Second, it is of particular interest because of the strategic importance of the state sector for the development of a woman-friendly state policy (Hernes, 1987). Third, the central public administration was among the first to introduce internal gender-equality agreements, including procedures for preferential treatment; hence the successes of gender-equality strategies are particularly relevant in this context. Fourth, the fact that the pool of applicants to upper-level positions in the state bureaucracy usually contains both men and women (see Storvik, 1999), makes a good starting point from which to address the status of gender-equality arguments in relation to other selection criteria.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The present study of variations in the progress made in establishing gender equality in two Norwegian state bureaucracies underscores the value of studying the complex interplay of supply and demand-related conditions in order to understand and explain the perpetuation of male dominance in the upper levels of work organisations. Further, the study demonstrates in particular how the workings of gender-equality strategies contribute to our understanding of how changes in the gender structure of organisations arise. In this final part I pay particular attention to why the preferential treatment procedures that regulate recruitment processes in public sector organisations are not practised as intended, as well as discussing the normative basis of the gender-equality strategies in Organisations 1 and 2. Both organisations are firmly anchored in a bureaucratic tradition in which the fulfilment of the gender-equality agreement is not supposed to be dependent upon active support from top management. Why then does all the available research evidence indicate that preferential treatment is rarely implemented in a formalised way? This will be examined by taking a closer look at the relationship between different selection criteria. My main purpose here is to stress the different logics of preferential treatment on the one hand and selection according to personal suitability on the other. Personal suitability emerges as an important differentiating criterion when two or more candidates are judged to be more or less equally qualified in terms of qualifications such as educational credentials, work experience, etc. In effect, this counteracts the practising of preferential treatment, because the one criterion, i.e. personal suitability, affects the probability of the other, i.e. preferential treatment, being applied. Thus, as selection principles, personal suitability and preferential treatment collide with one another. The idea behind judging a candidate's personal suitability is the same as it is for exercising preferential treatment, namely to distinguish between more or less equally qualified candidates. The logic of judging a candidate's personal suitability is hierarchic, and aims at differentiating between candidates, while the logic of preferential treatment aims at identifying equality. When the scale tips in favour of the male candidate as the result of an evaluation of personal qualifications, there is little chance of gender-equality considerations reversing the ranking order of the candidates. The symbolic value of preferential treatment seems to collide with heroic visions of personalised management, as Johannessen (1994) has argued. The ineffectiveness of the preferential-treatment policy in Organisation 1 is probably a relevant example of this. In Organisation 2 the personnel manager has activated a space for arguing in terms of a “rhetoric of difference” in order to advantage women candidates, which means that selection according to personality criteria and a preference for women candidates do not clash with each other. Nevertheless, the idea behind the introduction of the preferential-treatment regulations in the Norwegian public sector, which was to provide a tool operating in favour of women candidates, is counteracted by the emphasis on personality criteria and the fitness of the candidates. The different gender-equality strategies of Organisation 1 and 2 parallels the two main arguments in favour of gender equality: the justice argument and the resource argument (Hernes, 1982, 1987; Phillips, 1995; Teigen, 2000). According to the justice argument, justice presupposes a roughly equal distribution of positions of power and influence between men and women (Hernes, 1987; Phillips, 1995). The framing of the preferential-treatment regulation can be seen as a direct application of the justice argument. Preferential treatment combines the intention to increase the representative character of an organisation and to prevent discrimination without severely violating individual-based selection procedures. However, positive action has proved difficult to institutionalise on a basis of the justice argument alone. This is partly because arguments based purely on justice tend to create a dilemma, implying that there is a trade-off between qualifications and gender. The apparent choice between “competence” or “woman” becomes particularly problematic when concern for gender equality is outweighed by less substantial selection criteria, generally referring to the need to prefer “the candidate best suited as regards personality”. The resource argument focuses on the advantages accruing to an organisation from integrating women into its being. The main point is to expand our understandings of what is relevant competence, for instance by claiming that bringing in more women will introduce new perspectives and fresh ways of solving problems. This argumentation builds on a “rhetoric of difference”, which aims at equal representation but argues on the basis of diversity and gender differences (Skjeie, 1991; Wajcman, 1998). Men's and women's different management styles are seen as complementary. The advantage of justifying gender equality on these grounds is that we avoid setting up gender and qualifications as conflicting selection criteria. Rather, gender becomes a personal qualification. This kind of reasoning probably helps to explain the gender equality successes of Organisation 2. Ideas about the special contribution of women have not won acceptance in Organisation 1; nor is the masculine subtext of the personality criteria required ever questioned, and so these are reckoned to be gender neutral. However, although the justice and resource arguments are justified on different grounds, they are not necessarily different in principle: the normative base line of both arguments is the ideal of gender equality. Hence, the resource argument can be seen as a (strategic) extension of the justice argument, and as a recognition of the limited effects of arguing for gender equality in terms of justice (only). Sceptics of this strategy that invokes the special contribution of women claim that such arguments tend to set an “essentialist trap” (see Martin, 1994), which puts pressure on women to behave according to stereotypical images of the feminine manager (Billing & Alvesson, 2000). However, the reality of the proclaimed gender differences is perhaps less significant if women are actually integrated into arenas of power and influence, as we have seen in the political arena (Skjei (1985) and Skjeie (1991)). And, hopefully, the distance between organisational rhetoric and organisational practice is sufficient to allow for individual adaptations, so that individual women are not “forced” to behave according to a feminine stereotype. Proponents of a “new” gender-equality policy argue for less formalised procedures that are also more explicitly adjusted to the system logic of work organisations. They claim that preferential treatment is problematic and not very effective, just because the regulations are adjusted to the selection procedures that are dominant in the political system, and not to the dominant institutionalised recruitment practices within the state bureaucracy (Lægreid, 1989). The conditions for practising preferential treatment are obviously too vaguely specified, and it is not clear in which cases the concern for gender equality should be invoked. In Organisation 2 the initiative has moved away from a bottom-up strategy and towards a top-bottom type. The “new” gender-equality policy was introduced by top management, not as the result of pressure from below but due more to personal commitment and signals from above. From an examination of recruitment practices for management positions in Organisations 1 and 2, the gender-equality strategy of Organisation 2 emerges as far more appealing and effective. But these motivations for gender equality based on a utilitarian discourse, are highly problematic, especially if justice-based demands of equality and a gender-balanced distribution of positions of power appear old-fashioned and insufficiently adjusted to the demands of economic life.