Active representation and identity taxation: unintended outcome of representative labour?

Karen Johnston, Emily Laura Yarrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Drawing on the theory of representative bureaucracy, which shows that minority bureaucrats will actively represent the interests of minorities from the same socio-demographic group, we argue that institutions could use active representation for institutional performative goals through identity taxation resulting in an unintended outcome of representative labour. We contribute a novel conceptual model of representative labour, enhancing understandings of individual-organizational interface, through research involving thirty-five interviews with academics and professionals, who have a role in addressing gender inequality in British and Irish higher education institutions through an equality charter award scheme, namely Athena SWAN.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Management Review
Early online date6 Oct 2022
Publication statusEarly online - 6 Oct 2022


  • representative bureaucracy
  • identity taxation
  • representative labour
  • gender


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