Transparency in Academic Recruitment: A Problematic Tool for Gender Equality?
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Number of pages
SourceOrganization Studies (De Gruyter), 31, 11, (2010), pp. 1459-1483
Article / Letter to editor
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Organization Studies (De Gruyter)
Gender research has made a call for more transparency and accountability in academic recruitment and selection in order to overcome the inequality practices that have led to an underrepresentation of women among full professors. This paper provides insight into the multiple ways in which the notions of transparency and accountability are put into practice in academic recruitment and selection, and how this has enhanced — or hindered — gender equality. The methods employed consist of a qualitative content analysis of seven recruitment and selection protocols, interviews with 64 committee members, and an analysis of 971 appointment reports of full professors in the Netherlands. Our analysis contributes to the study of organizations in three respects. First, it shows that recruitment and selection processes are characterized by bounded transparency and limited accountability at best. Second, it explains that the protocols that should ensure transparency and accountability remain paper tigresses, because of the micropolitics and gender practices that are part and parcel of recruitment and selection. Third, it contributes to gender equality theory in organization theory by showing how a myriad of gender practices simultaneously increases and counteracts gender equality measures in academia.
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