Publication Date

1998

Abstract

In this paper, the author illustrates the characteristics of various organizational strategies to incorporate gender aspects into international development programs. The author develops a case study of Oxfam America, a small non-governmental international development organization, through extensive internal document/literature reviews, supplemented by a series of interviews. Organizational strategies studied in the paper range from the creation of a gender unit, gender policy development, gendered strategic planning, and "value reinforcing" human agent management. The author reveals the limitations and strengths of each strategy and stresses the importance of strategic planning and management practices that emphasize gender aspects. The author concludes that a group of people, whose functions are internal gender advocates and gender advisers within their organizational structure, is vital for the institutionalization of gender. The creation of such a gender group/unit should be initiated by an organizational strategic plan, with stakeholders and the majority of staff members supporting the planning process. In addition, the author argues that a gender policy is a powerful tool to govern the direction of an organization leading toward a more gender-aware institution. However, the policy should not exist in isolation but be part of an organizational policy revision process in which management teams and staff members have extensive involvement. Finally, he attests that "becoming a learning organization" is an effective strategy when managing individual commitment and accountability toward gender, whose organization consists of staff members driven by the same values and sense of mission. Those who are trying to institutionalize gender perspectives successfully at their organizations will learn effective models and suggestions from the findings of this study.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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