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Making equality work: Ambiguities, conflicts and change agents in the implementation of equality policies in public sector organisations
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, The Department of Gender Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this study is to contribute to knowledge about the implementation of equality policies in public sector organisations. This is achieved through the development of a theoretical framework of feminist implementation studies. It involves the study of influential factors that impact upon the implementation process, with the aim of contributing to an understanding of the outcome of implementation processes within the equality policy field. The methodology used is based on qualitative case study research combined with a meta-analysis that allows for comparisons across cases. Four initiatives in the implementation of gender mainstreaming strategy were studied in different contexts, namely, two local municipalities and one government agency in Sweden. The main questions asked are: How was gender mainstreaming implemented? What were the main factors influencing the implementation process and why? What was the impact of change actors working to implement gender mainstreaming? The case studies were conducted using an interactive research approach where the different dilemmas encountered by the gender mainstreaming practitioners are used as a starting point for developing a joint learning process. The thesis comprises an introduction and five published papers. The main findings of the study include how the implementation process developed over time and the impact of the micropractices of the “gender mainstreamers” involved. The study provides insights into the factors influencing the implementation process, and how these factors change over time. Different types and levels of conflict, together and interlinked with different ambiguities, affect the practical work where dilemmas inherent in the concepts of “gender”, “equality” and “change” become central. Overall, the study shows how the specific preconditions for implementation of gender mainstreaming make the local arenas of implementation crucial for understanding the outcomes.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med avhandlingen är att bidra till kunskapen om implementeringen av jämlikhetsstrategier i offentliga organisationer. Detta görs genom utvecklingen av ett teoretiskt ramverk för implementeringsstudier med ett feministiskt perspektiv. För att bidra till en ökad förståelse av de resultat som nås inom jämlikhetspolitiken studeras faktorer som påverkar implementeringsprocessen. Studien är baserad på kvalitativa fallstudier och en meta-analys som möjliggör jämförelser mellan fallstudierna. Fyra olika fall av implementering av jämställdhetsintegreringsstrategin har studerats utifrån olika kontexter; i två svenska kommuner och en statlig myndighet. Avhandlingens huvudsakliga frågeställningar är: Hur implementerades jämställdhetsintegreringsstrategin? Vilka var de huvudsakliga faktorer som påverkade implementeringsprocessen och varför? Hur påverkades processen av de förändringsaktörer som arbetade med att implementera strategin? Fallstudierna har genomförts med en interaktiv forskningsansats i vilken olika dilemman i det praktiska arbetet har använts som utgångspunkt för en gemensam lärandeprocess med de som arbetat med implementeringen av strategin. Avhandlingen är en sammanläggningsavhandling och består av en introduktion och fem publicerade paper. Avhandlingens huvudsakliga resultat inkluderar hur implementeringsprocessen utvecklades över tid och den påverkan som "jämställdhetsintegrerarnas" mikropraktik haft på implementeringen. Avhandlingen visar vilka faktorer som påverkar  implementeringsprocessen samt att dessa varierar över tid. Olika slags konflikter påverkar tillsammans och sammanvävt med jämställdhetsstrategiers mångtydighet det praktiska arbetet i vilket dilemman rörande betydelsen av "kön", "jämlikhet/jämställdhet" och "förändring" blir centrala. Sammantaget visar avhandlingen hur de specifika förutsättningarna för implementering av  jämställdhetsintegreringsstrategin gör det lokala implementeringsarbetet avgörande för att förstå resultaten.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 305 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 607
Keyword [en]
Change agents, equality, gender, gender mainstreaming, organisation, policy implementation
Keyword [sv]
Förändringsaktörer, genus, jämställdhetsintegrering, jämlikhet, implementering av politiska strategier, organisation
National Category
Gender Studies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105207DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-105207ISBN: 978-91-7519-401-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-105207DiVA: diva2:704692
Public defence
2014-03-28, TEMCAS, TEMA-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

The articles in this Ph.D. thesis are published in full text with kind permisson from Studentlitteratur (article I, II and V), TGV (article II) and VINNOVA (article IV).

Available from: 2014-03-13 Created: 2014-03-13 Last updated: 2014-03-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Implementing gender policies through gender training
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Implementing gender policies through gender training
2012 (English)In: Gender mainstreaming in public sector organisations: policy implications and practical applications / [ed] Kristina Lindholm, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012, 167-187 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Gender training is regarded as one of the more central features of gender mainstreaming Gender knowledge is considered necessary for investigating and analysing existing polices and processes and for the integration of a gender perspective. Training for staff and managers affected by the "new" gender mainstreaming policy has also been regarded as essential. Gender knowledge is required in order to understand what and why something should be done and which skills are necessary in order to put the proposed measures in place. Without this knowledge and these skills the process will be in danger of coming to a halt. Knowledge is also considered to minimise the risk of resistance to gender equality objectives. Major training efforts are therefore common in gender mainstreaming initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105198 (URN)978-91-44-07777-2 (ISBN)
Note

The main book Gender mainstreaming in public sector organisations: policy implications and practical applications is a translation of Jämställdhet i verksamhetsutveckling, Kristina Lindholm (ed.). ISBN: ISBN 978-91-44-06880-0. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2011.

Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2014-03-21Bibliographically approved
2. Gender equality and public services
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender equality and public services
2012 (English)In: Gender mainstreaming in public sector organisations: policy implications and practical applications / [ed] Kristina Lindholm, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012, 93-115 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years it has become more common to talk about gender equality in public organisations as part of the ambition to modernise the public sector in general. The purpose of the integration of a gender perspective is believed to create a better service for citizens. Also, in the Programme for Gender Mainstreaming, an outspoken ambition has been to "guarantee the quality of publicly financed activities" in order to ensure that the work "meets the conditions ofboth sexes and that high quality and good results are achieved for women, men, girls and boys" (application for fonds to support the gender mainstreaming oflocal authority activities, SALAR and government decision IJ2007/3277/JÄM).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105199 (URN)978-91-44-07777-2 (ISBN)
Note

The main book Gender mainstreaming in public sector organisations: policy implications and practical applications is a translation of Jämställdhet i verksamhetsutveckling, Kristina Lindholm (ed.). ISBN: ISBN 978-91-44-06880-0. Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2011.

Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2014-03-21Bibliographically approved
3. The Contradictory Work with Gender Mainstreaming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Contradictory Work with Gender Mainstreaming
2011 (English)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, no 2-3, 81-96 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses how the actors involved with integrating a gender perspective into mainstream organizational processes have to deal with many difficult-to-solve questions or dilemmas in their everyday work. The strategies used to implement gender mainstreaming rests on various and often contradictory understandings of gender, gender equality and change strategies. The article draws on two case studies in public organizations working with gender mainstreaming where qualitative interviews and reflection- and analysis- and reflection seminars have been conducted with actors involved in the project. The main aim of the article is to discuss an interactive research approach as a way to reflect on various understandings and underlying assumptions that different change strategies are based on. Theoretically the paper uses Michael Billig’s concept of ideological dilemmas as well as theories on gender equality, organizational change and interactive research. A central argument is that contradictions can be problematic if they are ignored but fruitful if used as a starting point for discussions about how future change strategies can be formed. Julia Nentwich’s notion of “playing around” is discussed as a way to reflect and develop strategies based on the specific dilemmas found in the cases studies. Different phases in the interactive approach is described and discussed; the problem orientation phase, the examination phase and the analysis- and reflection phase.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tema genus, Linköpings universitet, 2011
Keyword
gender mainstreaming, ideological dilemmas, interactive research, public administration, organizational change, genus, jämställdhetsintegrering, interaktiv forskning, ideologiska dilemman, offentliga organisationer, förvaltning
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105200 (URN)
Note

This article is an English translation of article first published in Tidskrift för genusvetenskap (TGV). No. 2-3:79-96, 2011.

Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Public Servants as Agents for Change in Gender Mainstreaming: The Complexity of Practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>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)
Abstract [en]

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
Series
VINNOVA rapport, ISSN 1650-3104 ; 2012:08
Keyword
gender mainstreaming, implementation, organisational change and learning, change agents
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105202 (URN)978-91-86517-71-7 (ISBN)
Funder
Vinnova, 2009-02191
Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2014-03-24Bibliographically approved
5. Effects from gender mainstreaming
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects from gender mainstreaming
2013 (English)In: Capturing effects: of projects and programmes / [ed] Lennart Svensson, Göran Brulin, Sven Jansson and Karin Sjöberg, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2013, 1, 199-219 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

An important issue in recent years in the gender equality field deals with effects produced by gender equality initiatives. Reports of difficulties such as resistance, obstacles and a lack of resources are common and have occurred for as long as gender equality work has been carried out. Other difficulties which have been highlighted are how gender equality work runs the risk of being reduced to technocratic methods rather than dealing with the content of policies applied (Squires 2007, Walby 2009, Rönnblom 2011). Another related discussion, has dealt with the fact that gender equality initiatives are often runas short-term projects in which good results can be achieved, but where the work ceases when funds run out, thereby limiting the scope for long-term effects (Lindholm 2011). Research hasat the same time shown that gender equality from an historical perspective has brought great progress in many areas of society (Hearn 2012, Walby 2009). This appears to be something of a paradox. Does gender equality development take place parallel with - or in spite of gender equality work? Or is there something in gender equality initiatives that we are unable to capture? In this chapter, on the basis of studies of practical work with gender equality, we wish to present and analyse attempts to solve the complex social problem that gender inequality represents.

The aim of this chapter is to deepen the reasoning concerning the question of what results and effects we can see from gender equality initiatives, what we cannot see, and the reasons for this. We take as our starting point a study of the work on following up results and effects from gender mainstreaming in an initiative on gender mainstreaming in Swedish municipalities and county councils. Can there be results and effects from gender mainstreaming which are not known, or which co-workers do not understand the importance of the so-called surprising and unexpected effects? We also want to study whether undesired results and effects take place, and how these can be managed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2013 Edition: 1
Keyword
Project management, Projektledning
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-105203 (URN)978-9-14409-300-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-03-12 Created: 2014-03-12 Last updated: 2014-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Callerstig, Anne-Charlott

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