chapter  4
18 Pages

Leadership and Management Issues for Professional Women in Organizational Structures

Leadership and management are now centrally important issues in both corporate

and academic life. The corporate restructuring of universities in the 1990s has

resulted in the ‘bottom line’ being as significant a variable in academic as in

corporate thinking. The language of the market and the global economy reached

its peak in the 1990s with the emergence of the global knowledge economy as

the motivating force for both academic and corporate life, and the designation of

academics among others as ‘knowledge workers’ (Jones, 2000; Brooks, 2001). The

language of business, corporate life and education fused in a way which redefined

the nature of academic life, and which left many academics redefining their roles

and identities (see Blackmore and Sacks, 2001). Others saw in the growth of new

technologies and the ‘new managerialism’ the opportunity for women to break

through into management and leadership in a way that had previously been denied

them. The corporate downsizing of academia and the increasingly harsh competitive

environment in which academics operate has shown that no breakthrough for women

in management has occurred (see Ramsay, 2001). Some now see the corporate

world offering more rewards and satisfaction to women who managed to break

through ‘the glass ceiling’. In addition senior academic women increasingly find

themselves confronted by a new corporate male managerialism that translates, not

only the language of management and leadership in academia, but also the nature of

knowledge itself (Brooks, 2001). This chapter considers the significance of women

in management and leadership and considers how women understand their position

within different organizational contexts. Organizational change frequently follows

legislative and policy changes and the direction of such debates is highly significant

for the future growth of global cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore and the

positioning of women in these debates.