SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

 
vol.44 issue1Incremental validity of work-related sense of coherence in predicting work wellnessDemands-abilities fit, work beliefs, meaningful work and engagement in nature-based jobs author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand

Article

Indicators

Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google

Share


SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200

Abstract

MAYER, Claude-Helene; TONELLI, Louise; OOSTHUIZEN, Rudolf M.  and  SURTEE, Sabie. 'You have to keep your head on your shoulders': A systems psychodynamic perspective on women leaders. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2018, vol.44, n.1, pp.1-15. ISSN 2071-0763.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v44i0.1424.

BACKGROUND: Women leaders within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in South Africa have increased in numbers over the past years and they have changed the dynamics in these institutions. Yet, it is a subject that has hardly been explored from the perspective of women leaders. AIM: The aim of this study is to explore the experiences of women leaders in HEIs from a systems psychodynamic perspective using the conflict, identity, boundaries, authority, roles, task (CIBART) model, a well-researched model to analyse systems psychodynamics and to gain a deeper understanding of (un)conscious dynamics within organisations. METHODS: This qualitative study is based on Dilthey's modern hermeneutics. Interviews were conducted with 23 women leaders from the Higher Education Resource Services South Africa, network across 8 HEIs. Observations were conducted in one organisation to support the data analysis and interpretation. Data were analysed through content analysis. FINDINGS: Findings show that women leaders re-evaluate and reconstruct themselves constantly within organisations. This continuous re-evaluation and reconstruction become visible through the constructs of the CIBART model. The findings reveal deeper insights into systems psychodynamics, which considers anxiety within the system where women leaders seem to contain such anxiety by mobilising specific defence mechanisms. Certain diversity markers, such as race, gender, mother tongue, position within the organisation and generational belonging play a role in creating the dynamics. Women leaders' experience of de-authorisation and role confusion impacts significantly on women leadership and their action towards ownership. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The study provides new, valuable and context-specific insights into women leadership seen through the lens of the CIBART model, highlighting unconscious dynamics that need practical attention in the HEIs to empower women leaders for gender-specific leadership training. ORIGINALITY OR VALUE: Findings provide a foundation for future research on women leaders and applied solutions to empower women leaders, whilst reducing anxiety within the system. The study provides complex insights, which should create increasing awareness in women leaders towards being containers of anxiety and creating new ways of empowered women leadership.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )

 

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License