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    Organizational politics, gender and leader sensemaking

    MacKenzie Davey, Kate and Ward, A. (2013) Organizational politics, gender and leader sensemaking. In: 16th European Congress of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22nd - 25th May 2013, Muenster, Germany. (Unpublished)

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    Purpose This research is concerned with examining how managers make sense of their relationship with organisational politics (OP) over their leadership career. Past research has positioned OP both as a necessary skill and as a negative impact on organisations. Given the current ambivalence about OP this research focuses on the ways successful managers interpret political activity. My aim is to understand, rather than generalise or predict, how identity, ambition and engagement are shaped by perceptions of their own participation in – or withdrawal from - what has happened to them politically throughout their managerial development. The research focuses on when and how leaders first become aware of OP, their current perceptions and finally their own negotiations of a credible identity as a leader in the context they describe. Design/Methodology Semi structured interviews longitudinally with a mixed sample (20) of male and female leaders. A narrative analysis identifies the different stories managers tell about their relation to OP. Results Early findings show a range of complex, ambiguous and contradictory responses from a narrative to a politics free organisation, early shock at Op developing into later mastery and a continuing ambivalence about OP. The aim is to build on these analyses to explore the way in which this influences identity construction and the extent to which such processes are gendered. Limitations Generalizability of findings relating to gender differences identified. Research/Practical Implications. Deeper understanding of nature and impact of OP in the workplace. Originality/Value The study is the first to examine qualitatively how leader sensemaking & relation to OP evolves over an extended career time frame.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2016 15:12
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:21


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