Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) 612

Gender, Leadership and Management (Revision 3)

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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.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program: Master of Arts Interdisciplinary Studies

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**Note: Students in Group Study courses are advised that this syllabus may vary in key details in each instance of the course. Always refer to the Moodle site for the most up-to-date details on texts, assignment structure, and grading.**


Master of Arts-Interdisciplinary 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; 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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 Don’t Really Want It (Or at Least They Shouldn’t)”: Gendered Discourses Surrounding Promotion
  • Unit 4: No to Being “Just One of the Boys”: Female Resistance to the Construction of the Workplace as Male
  • Unit 5: The Apartheid of Gender: Who Does What in the Workplace, and How We Explain It
  • Unit 6: Embodied Theorizing: Conceptualizing Sexually Specific Bodies at Work
  • Unit 7: Feminist Union Organizing and the Construction of the Participatory Organization
  • Unit 8: “Only Flirting”: The Unresolved Promise of Teamwork and the Flattened, Non–Hierarchical Organization
  • Unit 9: “It’s Just a Joke”: Men’s Resistance to Women’s Authority at Work
  • Unit 10: Conclusion: Theorizing Sexual Specificity—The Different as Lesser and Its Practical Applications to Organizing

Student Evaluation

To receive credit for this course, students must participate in the online activities, successfully complete the assignments, and achieve a final mark of at least 60 per cent. Students should be familiar with the Master of Arts—Interdisciplinary Studies grading system. Please note that it is students' responsibility to maintain their program status. Any student who receives a grade of "F" in one course, or a grade of "C" in more than one course, may be required to withdraw from the program.

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

Course Activity Weighting
Online Participation 10%
Four critical reviews 30%
Four critical commentaries 30%
Research proposal 5%
Research essay 25%
Total 100%

Course Materials


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

Athabasca University Printed Materials

Reading File: The Reading File contains selected articles from various sources that are required reading for this course.

Athabasca University Online Materials

Course Home Page: You will find Course Information (including the Assignment File and other pertinent information) at the top of the course home page. You will also find your Study Guide presented unit by unit online. You will find your assignments and links to submit your work to your professor on 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:

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, January 7, 2013.