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Moving with(in) normative firewalls: a dynamic approach to study gendered careers and innovation processes in the truck industry
Stockholms University, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-9435-7278
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-5268-8957
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2741-7263
2018 (Engelska)Konferensbidrag, Muntlig presentation med publicerat abstract (Refereegranskat)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we explore how existing work place culture and gendered norms impact on the possibilities to work with so called ”norm-critical” innovation processes in an organisation. Norm-critical reflexivity in the context of innovation processes implies to pay attention to invisible and implicit norms that may result in that certain privileged perspectives is being prevailed (over others) (Balkmar & Lykke 2015). The empirical findings emanates from a two year interactive research project, in which gender researchers in collaboration with participants at Volvo Group, Sweden, have explored the ways that the company can increase its capacity to work with norm-critical perspectives in the innovation process. Volvo is a highly gender segregated organisation. At the same time the trucking industry in itself is highly masculinized in terms of different professions; ranging from truck drivers to sales personnel to technical engineers involved in the design and manufacturing of trucks. In later years the shortage of truck drivers, in combination with more women drivers entering trucking academies and haulage contractors, has led to a questioning of male norms in the transport business. This includes reports of difficult working conditions for female truckers, including how the design of the truck itself takes the male body as the implicit norm, to the assumption that it is a man that is the presumed driver of trucks.

This paper focus on the part of the project that seeks to better understand how existing work-place culture and norms structure who is considered the ideal employee (Acker 1992) and its implications for innovation. This includes studying its impacts on both the possibility for different categories of employees to take part in the innovation work on equal terms, and the ability to reflect upon the impact of implicit norms in the innovation process itself. In total, 17 semi-structured interviews were conducted with co-workers and managers (13 women and 5 men). The main questions concerned whether there existed ideals that formed implicit ”codes” (Bendl and Schmidt 2010) in the organization and its impact on ideas of preferred professional qualifications, behaviors, personal qualities and its links to career possibilities and innovation. The underlying theoretical assumption is that gender is a fundamental element of organisational structure and work life; “present in [its] processes, practices, images and ideologies, and distribution of power” (Acker 1992, p. 567). The way that gender plays out in the daily life in a workplace is understood as not being a static barrier prohibiting women in general, rather, it is considered fluid, relational and may vary depending on the context (Meyerson & Fletcher 2001, Bendl and Schmidt 2010). It is argued that the concept ”fire wall” (Bendl and Schmidt 2010 ), offers a fruitful way to highlight the elasticity and permeability that we believe characterize the forms of discrimination, inclusion and exclusion that takes place in these processes.

References

Acker, J. 1992. Gendering Organisational Theory. In Mills, A. and Tancered, P. (eds.). Gendering Organisational Analysis. London: SAGE.

Acker, J. 2006. Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organisations. Gender and Society 20(4):441-464.

Balkmar, D. & Lykke, N. 2015. Developing disruptive norm-critical innovation at Volvo: FINAL REPORT. Linköping: Tema Genus Report Series No. 23: 2015.

Bendl, R. & Schmidt. 2012. From 'Glass Ceilings' to 'Firewalls' - Different Metaphors for Describing Discrimination. Gender, Work and Organization. Vol. 17. No 5:612-635.

Meyerson, D. & Fletcher J.K. 2001. A Modest Manifesto for Shattering the Glass Ceiling. Boston: Harvard Business Review.

 

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2018.
Nyckelord [en]
gender, Sweden, norms, trucking industry
Nationell ämneskategori
Genusstudier
Forskningsämne
Genusvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-83391OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-83391DiVA, id: diva2:1444512
Konferens
Gender, Work and Organization, 10th Biennial International Interdisciplinary Conference, Sydney, Australia, June 13-16, 2018
Projekt
Lastbilar för alla: Utveckling av norm-kritisk innovation på Volvo
Forskningsfinansiär
Vinnova, 2016-04214
Anmärkning

Balkmar and Callerstig (co-authors), Susanne Andersson (co-author and presenter).

Tillgänglig från: 2020-06-22 Skapad: 2020-06-22 Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-08Bibliografiskt granskad

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Balkmar, DagCallerstig, Anne-Charlott

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Andersson, SusanneBalkmar, DagCallerstig, Anne-Charlott
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Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap
Genusstudier

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