Analysis of women's historical and contemporary role in American management.
M.W.F. 10:10 – 11:00 in Todd 303.
INSTRUCTOR: Maggie Reed PHONE: 335-3989
OFFICE: Todd Hall 440D E-MAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE HOURS: Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays 12:00 until 1:00, or by appointment.
I can usually also be found between 9:30 and 10:00 on M.W.F.
Kristoff, Nicholas D. & WuDunn, Sheryl. Half the Sky. 2009 Vintage Books
The reading schedule can be found in the Timetable at the end of the syllabus. Be aware that reading entails more than giving passing recognition to words. It requires comprehension and remembering what you have read, the ability to integrate it with other material from the class, and maybe even having an opinion about it. If memory is not your strong suit, take notes about what you read and bring them to class. Questions will be asked about the assigned readings. A correct response to such questions will not be, “I haven’t read it”, or, “I think I read it”, or, “I know I read it but I can’t remember any of it”. The Paul and Elder guide will help you with this and a Reading Preparation Sheet is attached to this syllabus. Additional readings may be assigned on an ad hoc basis and students are also recommended to keep up to date with current news, local, national, and international. Popular newspapers and periodicals (New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News and World Report, etc.), televised news programs, and business publications (Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Business Week, Working Woman, etc.) are all good sources and provide information which may be of use both in class and in some of the assignments.
The class is organized into the following sections:
I To begin, it is necessary to define some fundamental terms and concepts. For example, sex and gender, gender identity, stereotypes, and so on.
II Next, we need to understand what businesses are and what management and leadership involve: what do managers and leaders do; what are their responsibilities and what are our expectations of them; how do we measure their success; what traits, abilities and characteristics comprise a good and effective manager or leader? Research indicates that good managers and successful leaders all demonstrate identifiable skills and competencies which may not be gender-specific, but which tend to favor males rather than females. Understanding these characteristics is of central importance to women who wish to advance in the workplace. Understanding how women may be disadvantaged is also important to male managers and leaders who wish to maximize the human potential in their organizations.
History can provide us with numerous good examples of women who have excelled in positions of management and leadership both in this country and elsewhere in the world – women who have successfully led countries and armies, owned and managed businesses and households, formed, organized and run charitable endeavors and political causes, and women who have demonstrated entrepreneurial skills. Yet women are only just beginning to play a significant role in American business leadership, and still play no role in some parts of the world.
IV Businesses do not operate within a vacuum but within society, and can, indeed, be seen as constructs of society. Attitudes and behaviors which are encountered in society as a whole will also be present in the workplace. Thus, in order to more fully comprehend what takes place in business, it is necessary to understand the corresponding social mores.
Anthropologist Marjorie Shostak observed that despite the substantial differences in how women live and what they do in different parts of the world, one generalization can be made: in the overwhelming majority of societies, women have lower status than men – both by their own accounts and by observation of the culture as a whole – and their activities are less highly valued than men’s activities. Margaret Mead also recognized this when she wrote, “In every known society, the males’ need for achievement can be recognized. Men may cook or weave or dress dolls or hunt hummingbirds, but if such activities are appropriate occupations for men, then the whole society, men and women alike, votes them important. When the same occupations are performed by women, they are regarded as less important”. At the heart of these observations are gender roles, gender stereotyping, and gender stratification.
In this section of the class the origins of gender roles will be investigated together with the ways in which they have been justified and maintained over time. Although the terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, in actuality they refer to different (although related) conditions. It is necessary, therefore, first to understand the differences between sex and gender in order to permit an informed understanding of gender roles. Reference to gender categories and role expectations deriving from other societies and cultures can be helpful in this area.
VI In section six students will present their findings from a research project that they will have undertaken. In addition to sharing information, this also allows students the opportunity to practice another skill – effective communication – which is important in the workplace and necessary to career advancement.
By the end of the semester, students should be aware of the history of working women, women’s capabilities in the workplace and the obstacles that women continue to face in their careers.
Students should also have a greater understanding of the complexities of gender on our expectations of males and females and how those expectations are limiting to both sexes.
An appreciation of the gendered nature of world view should also be gained together with cross-cultural comparisons of the differing social expectations of women and men.
EVALUATION The workload for this class is as follows:
Individual Research Assignment 150 points Term Paper (a group/team assignment) 200 points Proposal for Term Paper 50 points
Class Contribution/Participation 100 points
Total 500 points
As will be discussed during the semester, the recognition of women’s contribution and advancement in the workplace can be hindered by differences in communication style between women and men; many females (and some males) have a reluctance to speak out, leading to a lack of recognition.
The belief that students should be active participants in their own education and that an interactive approach is more conducive to learning.
Get into the routine of contributing right from the outset; the habit of silence can be difficult to break and a missed opportunity to contribute is precisely that and will result in missing points that cannot later be recovered in full.
Students are encouraged to speak up and overcome any reticence they may have about voicing their opinions and ideas or asking questions, and to take the opportunity to practice a behavior which will be expected of them in the workplace. Paul and Elder’s book on Critical Thinking should be helpful with this. Be aware, also, that active participation provides you with the opportunity to have some control over what goes on in class. Points will be awarded based on students regularly taking a meaningful part in class discussion, (as opposed to chatting with your friends), responding to questions, offering opinions, and actively engaging in other class activities. The emphasis is on contribution, i.e. offering something salient, pertinent, insightful, and worthwhile to class discussions, and not simply rambling on about the irrelevant or otherwise making noise. Do not mistake attendance or listening for participation; no matter how good your attendance record or how attentively you listen to others, being present but remaining silent will not earn you contribution points. However, attendance is a prerequisite for contribution, and a poor attendance record will have a negative effect on participation.
Bear in mind that contribution is a behavior that will be expected of you from your future employers; this class provides you with a good opportunity to practice. Participation also gives students a chance to take some initiative in directing class discussion and, hence, to make this more of an interactive experience.
94% - 100% A 80% - 82.99% B- 65% - 69.99% D+
90% - 93.99% A- 77% - 79.99% C+ 60% - 64.99% D
87% - 89.99% B+ 73% - 76.99% C Below 60% F
83% - 86.99% B 70% - 72.99% C-
Grades will not be "curved" (i.e., made fit to a pre-specified distribution) nor will the cutoff points be adjusted downward, thereby raising student grades. Neither will grades be “adjusted” to accommodate individual need or sense of what is deserved.
Your work will be graded according to output. While this may be associated with input, remember that the two are not always equivalent; effort and hard work do not always produce results of a high standard.
Requirements to earn specific grades (letter-grade equivalencies such as, numerical scores for an A, B, C, D, or F or other grading criteria to determine student progress and grades) can be found at http://www.registrar.wsu.edu/Registrar/Apps/Acadregs.ASPX/#90).
EXPECTATIONS This is an elective class and consequently my expectations of students are high. Anyone who is not prepared to give the class their full attention and best effort should closely examine their reasons for being enrolled. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a civil and appropriate manner. Anyone engaging in conversations, reading non-class related material (either electronically or in hard copy), sleeping or other forms of unacceptable behavior will be asked to leave. Repeated occurrences of such behavior will result in an F for the class.
The fact that there are no tests or quizzes does not mean that the class is an easy option.
Some students may be tempted to think that skipping class, not taking notes, and/or not keeping up with the readings is acceptable behavior. It isn’t. The assignments are a method of testing and I expect to see material from lectures, discussion, videos, and so on incorporated into and applied to the written assignments. Hence the importance of getting notes for any class you may miss. Equally, I expect students to be up to date with the readings, have knowledge of and opinions about what they have read and be able to respond to questions about the material during class discussions. This, also, is a form of testing. If it becomes evident that students are not completing the assigned readings, tests or pop quizzes will be introduced as an incentive. It is the individual responsibility of students to ensure that they remedy deficits resulting from missing a class. To this end, I suggest that you establish an arrangement with a fellow student who can provide you with notes for any class you miss.
I expect classes to start and finish on time. If you must arrive late or leave early please find a seat near the door and avoid interrupting the class. I can, and will, take action to the detriment of anyone who, in my opinion, consistently disrupts the class; I will lower her/his final grade by one full letter grade, e.g. from a B to a C.
Commit yourself to attending class, keeping up with the readings, and participating in class exercises and discussions. Approach the class with a positive attitude as this will help you both to get more out of the experience and make it more pleasurable for you and for the rest of us. You, and you alone, are in control of this.
If you are unsure about any aspect of the class it is your responsibility to ask for clarification or further information. Do not rely on the omniscience of the instructor to anticipate your every need.
Academic integrity is the cornerstone of the university. Any student who attempts to gain an unfair advantage over other students by cheating, will fail the assignment and be reported to the Office Student Standards and Accountability. Cheating is defined in the Standards for Student Conduct WAC 504-26-010 (3).
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. For more information contact a Disability Specialist on your home campus: Pullman or WSU Online: 509-335-3417, http://accesscenter.wsu.edu, Access.Center@wsu.edu
SAFETY ON CAMPUS:
Washington State University is committed to enhancing the safety of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It is highly recommended that you review the Campus Safety Plan (http://safetyplan.wsu.edu/) and visit the Office of Emergency Management web site (http://oem.wsu.edu/) for a comprehensive listing of university policies, procedures, statistics, and information related to campus safety, emergency management, and the health and welfare of the campus community.”
H&M = Heim & Murphy
K&W = Kristof & WuDunn
I & II
1, 2*, 3 Introduction to the class. Topics to be covered,
expectations and assignments.
Basic terminology (sex, gender, stereotypes, metrics, etc.)
*Monday, 19th January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Class will not meet.
4, 5, 6* Management & Leadership H&M Intro.
What managers & leaders do
Characteristics of good managers and leaders
Existing research on the subject
7, 8, 9 Gender inequality in the workplace H&M Chs. 1-5
*Monday, 16th February is Presidents’ Day. Class will not meet.
10 Spring Break
11, 12, 13 Gender roles and stereotypes - origins, justifications, K&W All
History and changes.
The views of different disciplines
14 -16 Differences in female and male communication. H&M Chs.6-11
As you will see, this is an outline timetable. If the class is to be interactive, we need some degree of flexibility to accommodate your input.