Implementing diversity strategies

Vinita P. Ambwani (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)
Louise Heslop (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)
Lorraine S. Dyke (Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Publication date: 3 May 2011



The purpose of this paper is to identify and explain barriers to differentiation for minority focused advertising agencies and propose modification to the existing framework of agency selection process.


Multiple semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews were conducted with key industry personnel. The data from these were augmented with proprietary research conducted by the relevant organizations and extensive review of the literature.


Few advertising agencies differentiate themselves by specializing in campaigns targeting minority populations. Several barriers to differentiation exist which can be explained using Institutional Theory and Economic Detour Theory. Rational Goal model and the Learning and Effectiveness Paradigm of diversity are used to suggest modification to current approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should test the validity of the proposed framework.

Practical implications

The proposed framework for agency selection will lead to differentiation opportunities for advertising agencies and potential business for clients.


The paper identifies the theoretical drivers of the barriers that exist for minority focused advertising agencies. The modified framework proposed uses theoretical rationale to addresses these barriers.



Ambwani, V., Heslop, L. and Dyke, L. (2011), "Implementing diversity strategies", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 332-349.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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