Analyzing Gender Discourse in Corporate Blogs
using Content and Correspondence Analysis
José Esteves & Víctor Bohórquez
Instituto de Empresa Business School,
• Politics and strategies related with gender and diversity.
• Same opportunities within organizations.
• Proliferation of research studies related with how sexes differ in a variety of
ways in an organizational environment (e.g. Calas and Jacques, 1988).
Sociologists recognize that gender is an institutionalized system of social
g g g y
practices (Ridgeway and Correll 2000).
• According to the traditional gender stereotypes (Öngen 2006):
• Men: independent, competitive, assertive, aggressive, and masters of the
• Women: nurturing passive dependent warm and not aggressive
nurturing, passive, dependent, warm, aggressive.
• One-way communication vs. Bi-directional communication.
• Corporate blogging.
p gg g
• Companies have to take advantage of this new communication tool to
reach their target audience with the right message according to the
objectives of the company.
• Bloggers bypass the corporate media gatekeepers to say and show
practically anything they could think of to tens of millions of computer
users around the world
Gender roles vs.
Di in Communication Content Correspondence
Corporate Tool Analysis Analysis
Communication Strategy What Role? What topics? Relationships? Perceptual Maps?
• Fortune 100 corporate blogs.
• Classify Fortune 100 companies according to their communication strategy
and discourse shown in their corporate blogs.
• Sample: 17 corporate blogs from the Fortune 100.
• Periods analyzed: 2004-2007.
• Topics analyzed: related with gender.
Despite that this is a small number of corporate blogs; our sample covers the
complete population of the current corporate blogs in Fortune 100
• Corporate blogs posts represented a substantial amount of mostly qualitative
• Challenge: Identification of the main gender issues which could be used in
formulating a theory.
Th analysis was di id d i t steps:
l i divided in two t
• Content Analysis.
• Correspondence Analysis.
Content Analysis Step
• Structured Content Analysis is a useful technique to determine the meaning
and effectiveness of this information to its users and the research community.
• Collect all the posts and comments done in our sample of Fortune 100
• TextAnalyst software (Megacomputer, 2003) to obtain words frequency.
• Identify the relative importance of the words and word combinations in the
document being analyzed.
• Based on words frequency, we have identified specific gender roles in the
organization discourse and we obtained also their related topics considering
related words with higher frequencies
Correspondence Analysis Step
• Correspondence Analysis consists of the analysis of cross-classified
categorical, ordinal or mixed data to portray patterns of associations among
ro and col mn objects mapping that correspondence in a joint space
(Greenacre, 1984) and producing a visual representation of the relationships
between the row categories and the column categories in the same space;
therefore, f ili i i understanding.
h f facilitating its d di
• According to Remenyi (1992), there are two important results in this step:
inertia report and perceptual map.
• Inertia is defined as a measure of the total variability in the original data set
and is useful to determine the number of dimensions required to explain the
original data set.
• Perceptual map shows the relative position of the different concepts and the
different participating informants (in this case the corporate blogs of Fortune
100). IIMA 2008
Words Man Woman Son Daughter Dad Mom Boy Wife
Car 16 15 6 5 5 7 6 13
Child 10 56 - 6 12 10 - 12
College - 9 6 10 - 0 - -
Community - 8 - - - 9 - -
Company 7 46 7 - - 7 12 6
Customer - 11 - - - 5 - -
F il - 18 - 7 7 16 - 9
Life 6 16 - 9 - 5 - 8
y 12 6 6 7 - 5 - 7
Office - 7 - - - 0 - 5
System - - 6 - - 6 - -
Vehicle - 9 - - - - - 5
Correspondence table considering words related with specific gender roles.
CA table considering Fortune 100 related with
specific gender roles.
Company Man Woman Son Daughter Dad Mom Boy Wife
Boeing - 10 - - - - - -
Cisco - 22 13 12 9 8 - 13
Dell - 34 31 29 15 21 26 54
Ford 19 43 9 - 11 - - 13
- 6 - - - - - -
GM 31 85 19 18 44 19 39 74
Honeywell - - 6 - - 12 6 -
HP - - - - - 4 - -
IBM - - 9 - - 0 - -
Intel 7 8 - - - 0 - -
- - - - - 0 - -
Microsoft - - 16 - - 0 - 20
Motorola - 43 - - - 0 3 -
- - - - - - - -
- 19 19 - - 11 29 -
Verizon - 6 - - 7 - 7 10
Wellsfargo 24 43 20 18 19 19 19 26
Positioning of gender roles
and topics in dimensions 1
Positioning of gender roles
and topics in dimensions 1
Positioning of companies
and gender roles in
dimensions 1 and 2.
P iti i of companies i
and gender roles in
dimensions 1 and 3.
• The rationale behind our analysis is to consider gender as a social process.
Hence, organizations can contribute to shape gender identity
• Compared with previous studies, we have identified enactments of non-
traditional gender identities and behaviors
• This reversal may occur because:
• G d
Gender stereotypes may simply b weaker and l
t t i l be k d less t diti l
participants are simply reacting to them by behaving in a counter
stereotypical manner (Dijksterhuis et al., 1998; Kray et al., 2001).
• Might be this is a gender communication strategy (see our theoretical
Job and career
Work and family
P t research h di i i h d th i
h has diminished the importance of j b and career salience f
t f job d li for
women compared to family role salience (Marcinkus and Hamilton, 2006).
• They suggest that women experience a high important pressure to conform
or disassociate from traditional gender roles in order to reach their identity.
• The main theoretical issue here is to identify how much of political discourse
is within this new vision or whether it is a real change in gender vision.
• This line of discourse follows the new vision of contemporary managers.
• Contemporary managers are required to be caring and relationship-oriented.
Th traditional masculine/feminine hi
di i l li /f i i hierarchy of l i /
h f logic/emotion i b i
i is being
reshaped by the imperative to be ‘passionate’ in the workplace (Hatcher,
• From a conceptual perspective it will be interesting to evaluate if this new
gender discourse focuses more on changing the masculine vision of
management to a ‘feminization of management’ (Rosener, 1990), or in fact, it
attempts to establish a new real gender culture within organizations.
Implications for researchers
• Additionally, to the above theoretical contributions, it is important to highlight
the research methodology used.
• Content analysis is useful to analyze documents manuscripts speeches or any
type of communication.
• However, th challenge th f d i th analysis of th d t i such a way t
H the h ll then faced is the l i f the data in h to
establish principal concepts which could be used in formulating a theory.
• Correspondence analysis helps to identify clusters and to gain a greater
understanding of the data.
Implications for practitioners
• Organizations should understand their role in society as a form of gender
identity and that this new communication channel (corporate blogs) brings
benefits but also some hindrances.
• It is very critical to analyze and identify the message and discourse that these
companies want to share and disseminate.
• Ambiguous messages may cause wrong i t
A bi interpretations of corporate
t ti f t
• Companies should analyze their discourses not only in their corporate blogs
but also in the traditional media to convey the message that promoting non-
discrimination, diversity and inclusion is a corner stone in their
Directions for Further Research
• Test this exploratory theory using a larger sample and a more traditional
approach incorporating a survey and statistical measures
• Conduct in-depth interviews with people in charge of corporate blogs to
explore the motivations of their creation and b
l h i i f h i i d better understand their
d d h i
communication purpose from a gender perspective.
• If the suggested trend in our findings is confirmed, where companies are
changing their attitudes because in their discourses they relate women roles
with topics such as CEO, corporation, education, business and so on:
p , p , ,
Do the rest of Fortune 100 companies and other companies like SMEs will
adopt this attitude to follow Fortune 100 companies with blogs?