The Gay Male's Odyssey in the Corporate World

The Gay Male's Odyssey in the Corporate World

by John Dececco, Phd, Gerald V Miller
     
 
Learn how gay executives and managers can empower themselves within corporate America without giving up their dignity or their gay integrity. Presenting the first study specifically to address gays as managers and executives in Fortune 500 companies, this book explores the relationship between the American corporate culture and the gay male frame of reference. The

Overview

Learn how gay executives and managers can empower themselves within corporate America without giving up their dignity or their gay integrity. Presenting the first study specifically to address gays as managers and executives in Fortune 500 companies, this book explores the relationship between the American corporate culture and the gay male frame of reference. The corporate culture's low tolerance for diversity may create problems for gay males moving their way through corporate networks. The Gay Male's Odyssey in the Corporate World explores the workplace experiences of gay managers and executives, describing how they survived and thrived and how others can, too. Eye-opening chapters examine the coping, actualization, and manifestation dynamics of being a gay male and integrating one's self into the workplace.

Author Gerald V. Miller examines the stages of personal transition from powerlessness to empowerment that gay males move through when confronted with the issue of being a gay manager or executive. He asserts that “playing it safe” is the most dangerous thing a gay manager or executive can do, and provides a step-by-step action plan for being successful while maintaining dignity and integrity. Miller discusses six concrete developmental stages that gay men go through on their journey to empowerment and explores steps they can take to move away from reactive behaviors and toward proactive and coactive behaviors.

The Gay Male's Odyssey in the Corporate World explores answers to such questions as What have gay managers and executives experienced as members of straight business organizations? Does the model of transition from disempowerment to empowerment, formed from the author's own experience, hold true for others? What enablers permit gay managers and executives to move toward empowerment? Miller bases his book on information and data from:

  • a heuristic study of the author's personal experiences as a gay executive
  • a review of the scholarly literature in the fields of organizational psychology, empowerment strategies, and gay studies
  • the administration of a Pattern of Reactions survey to 200 gay males
  • in-depth interviews with 40 gay managers/executives

    This book is an enlightening and enriching guide for gay managers and executives striving to find their place in the workplace. The Gay Male's Odyssey in the Corporate World also serves as a revealing study for individuals involved in areas such as industrial/organizational psychology, college or university gay studies programs, human resource development departments, or gay business and professional organizations.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book explores the relationship between the American corporate workplace and the gay managers and executives within it. The author surveyed a sampling of gay men who work in high-level positions for Fortune 500 employers to ascertain how they got where they are, how they feel about it, and what sort of future career prospects they might have within their organizations. The results were used as a basis for the author's doctoral dissertation. Unfortunately, the transformation from academic tome to mainstream nonfiction has not been smooth. The text is laden with snippets of psychological concepts and rapid-fire quotations that help buttress the author's arguments but slow down the narrative flow. The prose is heavy going with run-on sentences. The bottom line is that the findings are not terribly revealing and have been reported elsewhere. In addition, the exclusion of lesbian employees is unfortunate and diminishes the discussion. For a better overall treatment of this topic, readers might consider James D. Woods and Jay H. Lucas's The Corporate Closet: The Professional Lives of Gay Men in America (LJ 9/1/93). Not recommended.Richard Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.
David Rouse
Ed Mickens' recent "100 Best Companies for Gay Men and Lesbians" (1994) points to growing opportunities in the workplace for "out" men and women. Nonetheless, corporate acceptance of gay employees still varies widely. Here organizational psychologist Miller's investigation, which is limited to gay males as members of straight business organizations, seeks to build a model of transition from corporate "disempowerment to empowerment" for gay men in managerial or executive positions. A large part of Miller's study relies on qualitative research: introspective heuristic analysis based on his own personal experience and 40 in-depth interviews with gay managers and executives. Miller's findings are laden with jargon from the field of organizational psychology and duplicate those of the much more readable "Corporate Closet" (1993) by James Woods and Jay Lucas. Each report that corporations are content that employees remain in the closet, and gays themselves are resigned to the fact that corporations feel that way. Miller adds that the way a gay male views his own homosexuality affects every aspect of his business life. Given the limited material on this topic, this book should be included in any business or gay studies collection.
Booknews
Miller draws on his own experience, a survey of 200 gay managers and executives of large companies, and 40 in-depth interviews to explore how gay men can move upward in the corporate structure while maintaining their dignity and identity. He shows the relationship between corporate culture and the gay male frame of reference, and suggests methods for overcoming the general fear of difference and outright bias. Paper edition (unseen), $14.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560249429
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
01/28/1995
Series:
Haworth Gay and Lesbian Studies Series
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.70(d)

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