A critical look at staff appraisal: the case of women in Scottish universities

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    An analysis of appraisal of women staff in Scottish universities reveals two 'Puzzles'. First, although there is a general decline in the use of appraisal schemes in these universities, women staff still have a strong sense of being subject to a disciplinary technology. Second, although appraisal and the broader disciplinary technology disadvantage women, they still want to be appraised. This article uses the critical literature on appraisal, and particularly a Foucauldian analysis of disciplinary power, to shed light on these apparent contradictions. Such an approach helps explain the first of these 'Puzzles' but a basic conundrum for women remains - although there are demands for appraisal and normalization in the name of fairness and equity, such processes of normalization tend to be gender-biased and hence should be resisted by women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-319
    JournalGender Work and Organisation
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


    • appraisal
    • women academics
    • disciplinary power


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