(Trans)forming Gender Regimes in Saudi Arabia: Norms and Normativity in Organisations.

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    This article makes an original contribution to the theorisation of the inequality-(re)producing mechanisms that persist in justifying organisational gender regimes in Saudi Arabia, by studying how gender and religious norms intersect in structuring organising processes and practises related to women's integration in the labour force. Drawing on two focus groups and 33 semi-structured interviews with managers and government representatives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this research explores how managers have navigated the process of organising to integrate female employees. The findings show that the normative structure of gender and associated differences are legitimized due to their anchoring in Sharia principles, making changes in the bases of inequality difficult and contentious. Managers adopted three organising principles--you have to dance (norms as practise), playing it safe (inhabiting the 'ideal') and this is not a party (norms as 'law')--to make sense, negotiate, and give effect to these norms. The complex intersection between the culturally embedded understanding of norms as 'law' and norms as normativity functioned as a key mechanism in the (trans)formation of organisational gender regimes, shedding a critical light on how inequalities become entrenched in workplace cultures and interactions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-second Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
    EditorsSonja Taneja
    Number of pages1
    Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
    PublisherAcademy of Management
    Publication date2022
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022: Creating a Better World Together - Seattle, United States
    Duration: 5 Aug 20229 Aug 2022
    Conference number: 82


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2022
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address
    SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings

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