Public Servants as Agents for Change in Gender Mainstreaming: The Complexity of Practice
2012 (English)In: Promoting Innovation: Policies, practices and procedures / [ed] Susanne Andersson, Karin Berglund, Ewa Gunnarsson and Elisabeth Sundin, Stockholm: Vinnova , 2012, 239-269 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
This chapter describes and discusses actions taken to integrate a gender perspective (gender mainstreaming) within the Swedish government agency of VINNOVA. Despite the popularity of gender mainstreaming, its rapid spread and adoption both in Sweden and internationally, it is a largely contested concept. Theorists on gender mainstreaming suggest that the strategy may lead to co-optation with the dominant discourse in an organisation and thus no transformation of the current agenda taking place. Others have argued that it provides a possibility to change by addressing root causes. Previous studies of the implementation of the gender mainstreaming strategy have often been built on analyses on a theoretical or policy level. This chapter takes a different approach by examining the micro-practices developed by actors in public organisations when implementing gender mainstreaming strategies. This is done by examining the roles of both actors and agency. The chapter is based on the results of a case study of the work at VINNOVA; these results are initially described in the article based on the actors’ own accounts of their work. The intriguing “story” of developments in the organisation is followed by a discussion of the micro-practices and strategies in use, based on notions of tempered radicalism (Meyerson and Scully 1995, Meyerson, 2001ab) and small-wins strategies (Weick 1984). The questions of cooptation and subversiveness are problematised through an examination of different strategies of resistance and negotiation (Swan and Fox 2010) used in and around the work. In this context, notions of actors and agency are seen as interlinked, bringing together political intervention and professional and personal positioning (Parsons and Priola 2012) in the practical equality work.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Vinnova , 2012. 239-269 p.
, VINNOVA rapport, ISSN 1650-3104 ; 2012:08
gender mainstreaming, implementation, organisational change and learning, change agents
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105202ISBN: 978-91-86517-71-7OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-105202DiVA: diva2:704569