Marks and Spencer - waiting for the warrior: a case examination of the gendered nature of change management

AJ Rippin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose. This paper aims to explore the gendered narratives of change management at Marks and Spencer (M&S) and uses them as a lens to consider the gendered nature of the change process itself. Design/methodology/approach. Two extant stories: Sleeping Beauty and the Trojan War are taken, along with the cultural archetype of the American West gunslinger to explore the gender aspects of change. The Marks and Spencer case is analysed using the corollary patriarchal narrative of Sleeping Beauty, a story whose organising logic is revealed as one of concern for patriarchal lineage, and legitimate succession. The paper, draws on the Marks and Spencer principals' memoirs and biographies. Findings. Sleeping Beauty is shown as a narrative saturated in misogyny, aggression and violence. This violence, which is shown to characterise the Marks and Spencer case, is amplified in the second narrative, the Trojan War, in the highly personalised battles of the über-warriors of The Iliad. The paper concludes that violent, hyper-masculine behaviour creates and maintains a destructive cycle of leadership lionisation and failure at the company which precludes a more feminine and possibly more effective construction of change management.
Translated title of the contributionMarks and Spencer - waiting for the warrior: a case examination of the gendered nature of change management
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578 - 593
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Volume18 (6)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Emerald

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