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MAIS 612: Gender, Leadership and Management

View current syllabus.

Delivery mode: Grouped study.

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: Completion of MAIS 601 and/or MAIS 602 preferred. Those students without credit in MAIS 601 and/or 602 must obtain permission from the course professor. Students must have well-developed graduate level research and writing skills.

Centre: Master of Arts Integrated Studies

Program: Master of Arts Integrated Studies


Master of Arts-Integrated Studies 612: Gender, Leadership, and Management is a graduate course designed to introduce you to some of the critical work on gender, leadership, and management in ways not usually considered in conventional studies of organizations. Very broadly, this course examines the larger context of women and men at work, the theoretical assumptions underlying how we understand the relations between women, men, power, and organizing, and some of the issues that women, in particular, face in organizations.

In addition to introducing you to a different perspective on these issues in organizing, this course is designed, first, to improve your ability to critically analyze the theoretical assumptions underlying how we think about men and women-or about sexually specific subjects-and about power, and how these intersect in the acts of organizing. Secondly, this course provides practical examples of what you can do, individually and collectively, to develop and apply organizing strategies that combat women's marginalization in organizations.

This is a course designed to offer many opportunities for you to learn from the other students in the course, as well as from your course professor. It is not possible for the books and articles that we will read to ever answer all of the questions that we have about what we do at work, how we think about what we do there, and what we are going to do about it. This course is designed so that we can all talk about these issues together, so we can more precisely apply what we learn to our own specific situations.

Course Objectives

This course provides you with the opportunity to

  1. examine the larger context of women and men at work;
  2. examine the larger context of women and men at work; the theoretical assumptions underlying how we understand women, men, power, and organizing; and some of the issues that women, in particular, face in organizing and in organizations.
  3. improve your ability to critically analyze the theoretical assumptions underlying how we think about men and women-or about sexually specific subjects-and about power, and how these intersect in the acts of leading, managing, and organizing.
  4. critically reflect on the organizing strategies that arise from these perspectives by using your own work or organizing experiences as a basis for this critical reflection.
  5. reflect and comment on the critical reflections of your fellow students and hence expand your own understanding of how our notions about gender-or about sexual specificity-and about women and men intersect with issues of leading, managing, and organizing.
  6. use your critical reflections and commentaries as a basis for further research in order to write a research essay proposal and then write a research essay on an issue or issues of organizing of particular significance to you, and to share that research with your fellow students.

Course Structure

MAIS 612: Gender, Leadership, and Management consists of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Gender, Leadership, and Management: Women, Men, Organizing, and Power
  • Unit 2: The Maleness of Organizational Theory, or "Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?"
  • Unit 3: Women's Ways of Leading-But Only If They're Nice?
  • Unit 4: "Women Don't Really Want It (Or at Least They Shouldn't)": Gendered Discourses Surrounding Promotion
  • Unit 5: No to Being "Just One of the Boys": Female Resistance to the Construction of the Workplace as Male
  • Unit 6: The Apartheid of Gender: Who Does What in the Workplace, and How We Explain It
  • Unit 7: Embodied Theorizing: Conceptualizing Sexually Specific Bodies at Work
  • Unit 8: Feminist Union Organizing and the Construction of the Participatory Organization
  • Unit 9: "Only Flirting": The Unresolved Promise of Teamwork and the Flattened, Non-Hierarchical Organization
  • Unit 10: Toys for the Boys, but Not for the Girls: Who Does What with the New Technologies, Who Benefits, and Who Doesn't
  • Unit 11: "It's Just a Joke": Men's Resistance to Women's Authority at Work
  • Unit 12: Conclusion: Theorizing Sexual Specificity-The Different as Lesser, and Its Practical Applications to Organizing

Student Evaluation

You should be prepared to devote the time necessary to complete the various activities in this course:

  • reading all assigned readings actively and critically, and in time to participate in the weekly online discussions
  • writing succinct, critical postings, reviews, and commentaries
  • researching and writing an academic paper that is both critical and integrative

To help you to develop these skills, your course professor will provide feedback on each activity. You are expected to demonstrate a willingness to work. For instructions on how to complete the activities and assignments, please see the "Assignment File" section near the end of the Course Guide.

To pass this course, you must successfully complete the following activities and assignments:

  1. three online postings per unit (excluding the units on which you will be posting your four critical reviews and four critical commentaries)
  2. online posting of four critical reviews
  3. online posting of four critical commentaries
  4. online posting of a research proposal (250-500 words)
  5. online posting of a research essay (2,500 words)

Note: Online participation will be expected each week-please see the "Online Postings" section of the "Assignment File" near the end of the Course Guide for instructions on how we will begin this activity. If, for some reason, you cannot participate online within the guidelines set forth at the beginning of the course, please contact your course professor.

The following table summarizes the evaluation activities and the credit weights associated with them.

Course Activity Weighting
Three online postings per unit 20 %
Four critical reviews 30 %
Four critical commentaries 30%
Research proposal 5%
Research essay 15%
Total 100%

Course Materials


The package you received should contain each of the items listed below. There is no textbook for this course.

Athabasca University Materials

Course Guide: The Course Guide contains the course introduction, objectives, commentary, reading assignments, online activities, assignments, and other information that you will need to complete the course successfully. The "Study Schedule" identifies the course activities and assignments that you are to complete each week. Please take time now to review the information in this document in order to become familiar with the design of the course.

Reading File: The assigned readings, with the exception of any articles that can be found online, are included in the Reading File. They include the following:

  1. Morgan, Gareth. (1997). Exploring Plato's cave: Organizations as psychic prisons. In Images of organization (2nd ed.) (pp. 215-249). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  2. Oseen, Collette. (2000). Organisational theory. In Encyclopedia of feminist theory (pp. 372-373). London: Routledge.
  3. Calás, Marta B., & Smircich, Linda. (1991). Voicing seduction to silence leadership. Organization Studies, 12(4), 567-602.
  4. Rosener, Judy B. (1990, November/December). Ways women lead. Harvard Business Review, 68(6), 119-125.
  5. Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. (1977). Chapter 4: Secretaries. Men and women of the corporation (pp. 69-103, Notes pp. 349-351). New York: Basic Books.
  6. Hochschild, Arlie Russell. (1983). Chapter 8: Gender, status, and feeling. The managed heart. New York: Holt.

Forms: The forms you will need to submit assignments or notify the University of a change in your status as a student.

Online Materials

Digital Reading File:Any assigned readings that are available online can be accessed via the MAIS 612: Gender, Leadership, and Management Digital Reading File, which is linked to the course home page.

Athabasca University Library: Students are encouraged to browse the Library's Web site to review the Library collection of journal databases, electronic journals, and digital reference tools: http://library.athabascau.ca.