Social relations in the ICT workplace : the gender dimension of social capital

Tattersall, AL 2010, Social relations in the ICT workplace : the gender dimension of social capital , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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This thesis is about social relations in the ICT workplace and the gender dimensions of social capital. The concept of 'social capital' has only recently been recognised in studies of organisations, yet its legitimacy is clear in terms of being an important tool for career success. The gender dimensions of social capital are also significant by their absence in analysis. How social capital is formed, utilised and accessed by groups differ and a lack of valued social capital lies at the heart of what prevents women moving up organisational hierarchies. I place gender firmly in the centre of investigating the experiences of women in the ICT labour market and how social capital shaped their careers. Underpinning and informing the research is that women working in the ICT labour market are in a 'token' or 'minority1 position, severely under-represented and facing a chilly organisational climate. Mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion within the ICT workplace are engrained in informal work practices. Taking a critical feminist approach I conducted 27 in-depth interviews between 2004 and 2007 and 195 respondents completed an on-line questionnaire in 2005. Findings are discussed using Kanter's framework of 'Visibility', 'Polarisation' and 'Assimilation' to understand the role of social capital for women in a minority position within ICT organisations. This framework is extended to centralise the issue of gender and social relations and how these are played out. My research reveals that women face problems with regard to heightened visibility, exclusion, isolation and stereotyping. The social relations formed are on the terms and conditions of the male majority and women are disproportionately underrepresented in terms of power, policy and decision making. I discuss a number of changes needed in policy IXand organisational practice, whilst making significant contribution to the under theorised area of social capital and the importance of gender dimensions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Richardson, HJ (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:24

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