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Managing the Maternal Body: A Comprehensive Review and Transdisciplinary Analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date03/2011
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Journal number1
Volume13
Number of pages16
Pages97-112
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper comprehensively reviews transdisciplinary and critical perspectives on the employed maternal (pregnant and post-birth) body in the context of management studies. It highlights the disparities between equal opportunities policies and everyday management practices in relation to pregnancy and new motherhood. In so doing, the review examines the contradictions between equal opportunities policies aimed at protecting pregnant and newly maternal employees and the discouraging treatment that such women receive in practice at work. In analysing the disparity between policy and practice, the review identifies gaps within the field of research on the employed maternal body. It then shows how perceptions about the pregnant and newly maternal body are based more on myth than on evidence. In keeping with policies encouraging family friendly working practices and aimed at enhancing parental health, the paper argues that research on the maternal body is integral to management studies.