Horseplay, care and hands on hard work: gendered strategies of a project manager on a construction site

Raidén, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-7176-1139, 2016. Horseplay, care and hands on hard work: gendered strategies of a project manager on a construction site. Construction Management and Economics, 34 (7-8), pp. 508-521. ISSN 0144-6193

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The discourse of managerial expertise favours rational analysis and masculine ideals but contemporary management literature also recognises the value of well-being and employee voice in the workplace. Drawing upon narrative analysis of interview data, we share unique insights into the lived experiences of Laura, one female project manager who recently managed a construction site in the Midlands in the UK. In contrast to previous research which indicates that female managers tend to conform to quite a traditional set of gender behaviours, Laura embraces a range of workplace appropriate gendered strategies, such as hard work and horseplay, together with sensitivity and caring. She draws from this mix of gendered strategies in negotiating between two different discourses of construction; one professional and one tough and practical. Her behaviour both reproduces the masculine ideals (through horseplay and heroic management) and opens up possibilities for modernising construction management (by caring). It is this combination of strategies that is at the heart of tacit expertise for Laura. Theoretically, the discussion adds to the development of a more nuanced understanding of management expertise as situated and person specific knowledge that draws on both the explicit and tacit. Specifically, the centrality of gendered strategies beyond the masculine ideals to success on site is highlighted.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Construction Management and Economics
Creators: Raidén, A.
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 16 May 2016
Volume: 34
Number: 7-8
ISSN: 0144-6193
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 18 Jul 2016 15:10
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:04

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