Coping with uncertainty: gender and leadership identities in UK corporate life

Judith Baxter

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Within corporate contexts, senior leaders must construct credible leadership identities if they are to demonstrate effectiveness in achieving business goals. This is a particular challenge for women, who have struggled historically to gain senior leadership positions. This chapter explores the identity struggles experienced by Karen, a woman Human Resources director within a management meeting as she delivers bad news about ‘company restructuring’ to her colleagues. Using Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis (FPDA), I show how this leader struggles to maintain a professionally competent identity as she negotiates the bad news. The analysis reveals that despite the demands of her role, Karen demonstrates extraordinary linguistic competence in managing her team within a turbulent business world that continues to remain inhospitable to female leaders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIdentity struggles
    Subtitle of host publicationevidence from workplaces around the world
    EditorsDorien van de Mieroop, Stephanie Schnurr
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam (NL)
    PublisherJohn Benjamins
    ISBN (Electronic)978-90-272-65883-
    ISBN (Print)978-90-272-0660-2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

    Publication series

    NameDiscourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture
    PublisherJohn Benjamins


    • leadership
    • identities
    • gender
    • intercultural communication
    • discourses
    • feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis
    • subject positioning


    Dive into the research topics of 'Coping with uncertainty: gender and leadership identities in UK corporate life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this