Writing through the labyrinth: Using l'ecriture feminine in leadership studies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Metaphors enable us to understand organisations in distinctive ways and explain the paucity of women in leadership positions, and yet, when gender discrimination is addressed via metaphor, women's responses, resistance and agency are rarely included in such analyses. In this article, I employ a narrative writing practice inspired by the work of Helene Cixous as a way of exploring how we might research and write differently in leadership studies. Cixous invites women to reclaim their sexuality and subjectivity through a feminine mode of women's writing and what she defines as l'ecriture feminine can be interpreted as a liberating bodily practice that aims to release women's repressed creative agency and transform phallogocentric structures. Using the Greek mythology of the Minotaur and the Labyrinth, this article weaves together these seemingly disparate concepts of myth, metaphor and feminist writing practices with leadership discourse to explore the ways in which academic women experience the university organisation as a labyrinth, how they navigate pathways to promotion and practice leadership. This creative analytic operates as a metanarrative that offers new ways of researching and writing leadership studies from the body, and reveals how myths continue to influence present experiences and structures in unexpected ways.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)64-80pp
    JournalLeadership
    Volume13
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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