Browsing by Subject "diversity"

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  • Bairoh, Susanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008-02-06)
    This paper discusses various theoretical approaches to diversity management, analysing their similarities and differences. I start with a review of certain previously presented classifications, and then proceed to describing the different approaches in more detail. In this paper, I propose that the various viewpoints can be categorized into three groups: 1) practitioner/consultant approach, 2) mainstream approach, and 3) critical approaches. Although there are differences within these groups, in particular regarding the critical approaches, these differences appear less significant than those between the groups. Those representing the first group are mainly interested in how to get most out of a diverse workforce, while those in the second group focus on the effects of diversity on performance or work group functioning. While some of the mainstream writers can be rather critical towards earlier research, they hardly ever discuss or even recognize the wide ranging criticism put forward by critical scholars. The critical researchers, then, remain a rather scattered group who do not always share much more than a conviction that the mainstream research keeps missing highly significant issues. Nonetheless, in order to increase our understanding of how different persons can and do work together, more dialogue is required between the varying standpoints.
  • Louvrier, Jonna (Hanken School of Economics, 2013-08-27)
    In many countries diversity management has become an increasingly common way of treating differences between people in the world of work. Companies may sign diversity charters to show their engagement in promoting diversity, design and implement diversity management programmes, and communicate about their diversity initiatives to internal and external stakeholders. But what does diversity in the workplace mean? Who is defined as being different? And what do those defined as being different think about diversity and difference in work? By addressing these questions this book sheds light on the complex meanings of diversity management. The meanings of diversity management have long been developed and discussed in relation to equality and anti-discrimination policy and practice. A key question has been whether diversity management is a better way to enhance equality between organisational members or, on the contrary, is it diluting the results of equality approaches. The scope of this study is broader and shows that meanings of diversity management are constructed by drawing on not only knowledge about equality and anti-discrimination, but also understandings of society, the organisation, the individual, and the nature of differences. The study is informed by poststructuralist theory and based on interview data produced with 23 diversity managers and 52 ethnic minority employees in diversity promoting organisations in Finland and France. The findings contribute to the field of diversity management in several ways. First of all, the results show that there is no unitary meaning of diversity, difference and diversity management, but a number of discourses together forming the complexity and variety of what diversity management can come to mean in a given context and at a given point of time. Secondly, the findings challenge the idea that diversity management initiatives would be based solely on essentialist views of difference. However, the findings also show that even when differences are seen to be socially constructed, the organisation is not seen as participating in the construction of differences and in the production of related inequalities. Thirdly, the findings show that ethnic minority employees rarely draw on their differences as positive resources in work, and that they often are left alone to manage challenging situations related to difference, even in organisations promoting diversity. Lastly, the study highlights the importance of being attentive to national societal context, as discursively constructed, throughout the research process.
  • Vaara, Eero; Tienari, Janne; Koveshnikov, Alexei (2019-06-13)
    There is a paucity of knowledge of one key aspect of diversity in and around international organizations: national identity. This is especially the case with research on multinational corporations (MNC) that has focused on cultural differences instead of processes of national identification or national identity construction. Drawing on a critical discursive approach, this paper offers four perspectives that can help to advance this area of research. First, MNCs can be viewed as sites of identity politics, within which one can study ‘us vs. them’ constructions and the reproduction of inequalities. Second, MNCs can be seen as actors engaged in identity building and legitimation vis‐à‐vis external stakeholders, and the analysis of the discursive dynamics involved illuminates important aspects of identity politics between the organization and its environment. Third, MNCs can be viewed as part of international relations between nations and nationalities, and analysis of discursive dynamics in the media can elucidate key aspects of the international struggles encountered. Fourth, MNCs can be seen as agents of broader issues and changes, which enables us to comprehend how MNCs advance neocolonialism or promote positive change in society.
  • Peltokorpi, Vesa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003-11-28)
    The benefits and drawbacks of homogeneity and heterogeneity have been debated at length. Whereas some researchers assert that heterogeneity is beneficial for groups that are engaged in complex problem solving, the other researchers emphasize the potential costs associated with diversity. The inconsistency is a result of the incomplete measurement of diversity and focus one or two types of diversity. Most research concentrates on the readily detected/visible characteristics, making the assumption that such characteristics are related to underlying attributes (e.g., attitudes and values). In many cases, the demographic characteristics do not covary perfectly with the psychological attributes. Thus both types of attributes need to be utilized to fully understand the impact of diversity. The present research with four essays takes into account both types of attributes and tests their impact on social integration in cross-cultural settings. The results indicate that: (1) readily detectable- and underlying attributes are not related; (2) diversity has overall a negative impact on social integration; (3) socio-cultural context potentially influences the salience of diversity; and (4) diversity and social integration influences the formation of social cognition in form of transactive memory directories. The limits of research and managerial implications are discussed.