How is co-leadership enacted in the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand : a 152.800 thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Management at Massey University

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Massey University
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This research report explores the enactment of a gender-balanced co-leadership throughout the organisation of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. This small-sized political organisation has had representatives in parliament since 1996. Its experimental model of a male and a female sharing positions arose out of the social movements of the baby boomer generation. Gender-balanced co-leadership was devised as an exception to the norm of a single leader (frequently presented as a heroic man). The metaphor of theatre is used to frame a description of the stage-managed performance of Green Party political co-leaders. I show how co-leaders have been portrayed over the life span of the party as if they were characters in play. The re-presentation of co-leaders is illustrated by images, primarily taken from the party magazine. Experiences of the enactment of this co-leader model are interpreted through five interviews with key informants who have all held formal positions of authority within the organisation. I provide an auto-ethnographic account as a party insider illustrated by snapshots. The Green Party’s co-leadership model has endured over 25 plus years. By virtue of longevity it has demonstrated a viable way of sharing position power between two genders in a political party. Sharing positions in this organisation requires a significant investment of effort to maintain the desired presentation of the relationship. The lead actors are constrained to conform to the stage-setting. Parliamentary politics imposes isomorphic forces of order and hierarchy. The enactment of co-leadership has become increasingly gender stereotypical. Gender-balanced co-leadership is an experiment that has become a conventional routine.
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Management, Political leadership, New Zealand, Teams in the workplace, Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Business and economics::Business studies