Gendered Contradictions: Managers and Women Workers in Self-Managed Teams
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Organizational literatures stress the empowering effects of worker participation programs. The case of a Mexican garment factory is used to examine the contradictory location of women in self-managed teams. While self-managed teams require independent and assertive workers, women workers are hired specifically for their docility. I argue that managers provide the tools and mechanisms for workers to be autonomous decision-makers, while at the same time they gender teams in ways that assure continued female disadvantage. Placed in this contradictory location, women workers both reproduce and resist gender subordination by carving out spaces of independent action, using the language of traditional womanhood.
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Worker Participation: Current Research and Future Trends