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Eastern Academy of Management 2019

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A Theoretical Approach to Using Organizational Narratives as a Tool for Inclusion in Leadership

For decades, researchers have explored both the intentional and unintentional consequences of using narratives within organizations. Despite the extensive body of research that has developed in this area, there are still many potential unintended consequences of narrative use that have gone unexplored. One potential consequence is the effect that narratives have on the underrepresentation of females in leadership positions. In this paper, we integrate the narrative literature with leadership categorization theory to develop a theoretical model as to how organizational narratives influence the acceptance of a male leadership prototype. We propose that the gender of characters in the narrative, frequency of references to gender, and embracement of gender stereotypes in narratives all play an important role in this process.

William Obenauer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
United States


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