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Management Controls and Gendering: The Case of eHealth Projects in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1272-4068
2019 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2Nd International Conference on Gender Research (ICGR 2019) / [ed] Paoloni, P Paoloni, M Arduini, S, Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019, p. 417-423Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The paper reports a qualitative study regarding the possibilities and roles for men and women to participate in the project group when a county council develops and implements eHealth services for citizens in Sweden. We know from previous feminist studies that there are inequalities in the work place. We need to know more about the relationship between management controls and these inequalities. The present paper explores, on a foundation of feminist theory and the notion of the gendered workplace, through a lens of management controls (direct, indirect, and internalized controls), what happens with gender at work, and the inequalities between sexes, when the involvement of women increases in IT based implementation projects. Research questions: How are participants' activities and roles (re-)produced and explained as gendered practice, and how are organizational controls involved in these processes, in eHealth projects in healthcare? Eight interviews were performed with three men and five women coming from three separate eHealth project groups, each from its own county council in Sweden. The study uses qualitative content analysis to explore and interpret the processes. Findings show that since respondents regarded healthcare hierarchy to be the only source for inequalities, gender inequalities were deemed irrelevant. However, respondents experienced that men in search of challenges in healthcare become managers, but that this path was less open to women. Women instead can get involved in development projects, sometimes in the role of project leader. The high complexity of the projects made all three types of management controls unclear and fuzzy. Actors were mainly guided by their curiosity (internalized controls). Rules (direct controls) played less role than recruitment of appropriate project members (indirect controls). Women project members generally contributed with internal healthcare expertise. IT experts were foremost male recruits. To avoid conflicts, county councils adopted variations of a cooperative implementation strategy. Together with the mode of recruitment, this kept back individual female opposition. Despite a big number of participating women, the feminine identity, gendered practices and power relations were reproduced. To reduce gender inequalities, it is important to actively make use of management controls in support of women agency. More research is needed in this field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2019. p. 417-423
Keywords [en]
eHealth implementation, gender, healthcare, implementation projects, inequalities
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-390018ISI: 000471634700053ISBN: 978-1-912764-16-7 (electronic)ISBN: 978-1-912764-15-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-390018DiVA, id: diva2:1340186
Conference
2nd International Conference on Gender Research (ICGR), Roma Tre Univ, Ipazia Sci Observ Gender Issues, Rome, Italy, April 11-12, 2019
Available from: 2019-08-02 Created: 2019-08-02 Last updated: 2019-08-02Bibliographically approved

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Myreteg, Gunilla

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