Department heads enacting gender balance policies: navigating voices of ambiguity and concern
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonCritical Policy Studies. 2021, 1-19. 10.1080/19460171.2021.1991822
Local leaders in academia have been perceived as resisting the role as change agents for gender balance. Employing a concept of voices inspired by Bakhtin, we found that department heads has to negotiate ambiguous and blurred voices from the leadership as well as critical and concerned voices from employees which lead them to thread carefully when enacting gender balance policies. Thus, there is considerable space for leadership to facilitate department heads work with gender balance by allowing them more space for agency and provide support to give them more authority and legitimacy as change agents. This would also help department heads in their attempts of destabilizing a one-dimensional and simplistic view of meritocracy and their enactments of more radical interpretations of gender balance policies.