Resolving a gender and language problem in women’s leadership: consultancy research in workplace discourse

Judith Baxter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article considers the contribution that consultancy research might make to resolving communication problems that women have identified in their leadership practices. Within the intersecting fields of gender and language and workplace discourse, consultancy research-that is, practitioner-commissioned research to resolve work-related, communication problems-is still uncommon. This article presents a study of Monika, a senior leader in an engineering company, who commissioned me to find out why she was experiencing communication problems with her teams. By using interactional sociolinguistic analysis, I was able to show Monika how her authority was being resisted on gendered, linguistic grounds. In making the case for more consultancy research, I discuss how we might use insights from discourse analysis to offer guidance to practitioners seeking our help.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-159
Number of pages19
JournalDiscourse and Communication
Volume11
Issue number2
Early online date15 Mar 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • communication
  • consultancy research
  • gender and language
  • leadership
  • practitioner
  • problem-solving
  • workplace discourse

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