Ledarskap och kön : En studie av ledare och maskuliniteter i ett verkstadsindustriföretag

Sammanfattning: The thesis concerns how leadership and gender are constructed in organisations, through the management language, interactions and context. A particular focus is placed on the relations between men, masculinity and leadership. The theoretical starting point is a doing gender perspective, where the terms leadership and gender are understood as processes; that gender and leadership is done in an organisational situation. Through a processual perspective different levels are linked in the analysis of construction of gender and leadership; society, organisational and individual levels, expressed in terms of structure, symbols, interactions and individual sense making. Masculinity research is also a theoretical area of importance for the thesis, with analysis matrices for the understanding of construction of masculinity between men, as well relationships between masculinity and technology and masculinity and leadership respectively.The empirical data consists of interviews and observations of managers at three different organisational levels at the factory of an industrial engineering firm.Leadership stands out in the empirical data as an extended and male, dedicated as well as uniform story. In discussions of gender the differences between women and men are preferentially described, where above all opinions about women’s gender-typical characteristics are expressed. The opinions are to a greater extent gender-stereotypic. These dominating patterns are however challenged in different ways, through the managers different ways of positioning themselves towards respectively leadership and gender, expressed through their desire to limit the work and reasoning that distances itself from gender aspects being a deciding factor for leadership; through policies on fundamental values and equality as well as through a younger, female manager.From a starting point in the dominating pattern the term leadership masculinities is developed: locally confirmed discourses and practices where leadership and masculinity meet in reciprocal interactions. These leadership masculinities are represented in the empirical material by The Son of the District, The Father, The Dedicated and The Feminine. The last leadership masculinity captures something of the variation and contrast to the dominating pattern which is also found in the material, for example as family and relationship orientation at both a policy and practice level.In the thesis it is discussed in conclusion how reproduction and change, uniformity of pattern and variation appear in parallel in the data – there are gaps in the pattern that can be perceived as opportunities for change of gender relationships and leadership practice.