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.
|Title of host publication||Identity struggles|
|Subtitle of host publication||evidence from workplaces around the world|
|Editors||Dorien van de Mieroop, Stephanie Schnurr|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam (NL)|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2017|
|Name||Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture|
- intercultural communication
- feminist poststructuralist discourse analysis
- subject positioning
Baxter, J. (2017). Coping with uncertainty: gender and leadership identities in UK corporate life. In D. van de Mieroop, & S. Schnurr (Eds.), Identity struggles: evidence from workplaces around the world (Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture ; Vol. 69). John Benjamins.