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Title: A CIAR study in a male dominated ICT Company in Malta which looks at work-life issues through the masculine lens : a case of : if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?
Authors: Borg, Anna
Keywords: Quality of work life -- Case studies -- Malta
Sex discrimination against women -- Malta
Sex discrimination in employment -- Investigation -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Middlesex University Business School, Middlesex University
Citation: Borg, A. (2014). A CIAR study in a male dominated ICT Company in Malta which looks at work-life issues through the masculine lens : a case of : if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Middlesex University.
Abstract: The focus of this action research study is the analysis of invisible assumptions that sustain gendered work processes based on the ideal worker values. The case study, which is set within a Maltese ICT company, also explores the potential for action research (CIAR) to challenge the gendered processes in ways that enable better work-life integration through the Dual Agenda logic. Data for this research, which adopts a constructionist and interpretivist approach, were obtained through various cycles of qualitative interviews and focus group meetings with participants, the majority of whom were males. These were analysed through NVivo on the principles of Thematic Analysis. This research showed how the hegemonic masculine values of the leaders which led to the conceptualisation of the ideal worker, allowed them the opportunity to perform their masculinity in a culturally approved manner, and because this brought them power and benefits, such values prevailed. It also confirmed that the default expectations by which ideal worker values were measured, stemmed from culturally normative behaviour typically linked to unencumbered men. This rendered anomalous, suspicious and undesirable attempts to integrate work and life for family-related reasons. This happened in an organisational context where the means to assess productivity were low, where organisational learning was weak, and within a national context where the work-life challenge is typically linked to mothers. This illustrates how interlinking factors within the multi-layers of context underpin the current notions of ideal worker thus rendering CIAR insufficient to tackle the multi-forces at play which perpetuate the Single Agenda logic. This research highlights the importance of studying situated hegemonic masculinity in the micro context of organisations without neglecting the interlinking factors at play within the broader context that sustain it. This multidimensional approach is useful in allowing a better understanding of the complexities surrounding the concept of gendered organisations within a dominant hegemonic masculine culture. Overall, this research strives to make a contribution to the debate about gendered organisations and work-life issues through a better understanding of hegemonic masculinity. Furthermore, it adds knowledge about the potential and barriers to Dual Agenda change through the use of the CIAR approach.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - CenLS

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