08002617243222877

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Gender, language and the workplace: an exploratory study Fiona Sheridan Department of Management, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland Abstract Purpose – The study aims to examine the role that gendered talk plays in the workplace in both task and non-task related interactions. Design/methodology/approach – The research undertaken is a hybrid of qualitative and quantitative research using a single case study. The case study, comprising mixed gender and mixed status employees of an American multinational corporation, demonstrates similarities and differences between women’s and men’s speech patterns in this workplace setting. Through the recording and subsequent transcription of meetings that took place among the participants, a data archive was created, enabling analysis of the conversations to take place. Findings – The research ±ndings imply that organisations may need to move away from cultures that favour particular talk related norms to ones that facilitate the integration and assimilation of different types of talk, recognising that women and men use language differently. Research limitations/implications – The speaking dimension of communication is very rich and can be understood at many different levels. Thus, by virtue of the nature of this undertaking along with the richness and the time and energy constraints within which it operated, it was impossible to broaden the scope of the inquiry any further. It is necessary to continue this research involving various other combinations of participants on a gender and a status dimension. Practical implications – This research uncovers the impact of gendered talk on decision making and leadership in the organisation. Originality/value – This paper offers valuable insights for practitioners in relation to the challenge faced by organisations in their need to achieve a more balanced representation of women and men in decision-making positions. Keywords Gender, Language, Workplace, Leadership Paper type Research paper Introduction This research is a study of talk in organisational settings. It analyses differences between the ways in which men and women use language in real work settings. While such differences have already been identi±ed and explored by several researchers (Case, 1994; Tannen, 1994; Boden, 1994; Fischer, 1964; et al. ), this study aims to extend and explore the assertion that men and women talk differently at work. It explores the existence and extent of similarities and differences in male and female speech acts and patterns in a single case setting, and proposes that the analysis of such differences can contribute to an understanding of other sources of difference among men and women at work, not least their unequal career progression patterns.
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08002617243222877 - The current issue and full text archive...

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