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Attitudes towards diversity: Evidence from business school students from Norway, India and the Czech Republic

Laura Elizabeth Mercer Traavik (Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business school, Nydalsveien, Oslo, Norway)
Avinash Venkata Adavikolanu (Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour, BI Norwegian Business School, Nydalsveien, Oslo, Norway)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 1 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to investigate diversity attitudes of business school students across three national contexts Norway; India and the Czech Republic. These three countries are dissimilar from one another in terms of values, such as individualism and collectivism (Hofstede, 2001) self-expression and secular-rationalism (Inglehart and Welzel, 2010) and inequality. The authors wanted to explore similarities and differences in diversity attitudes of respondents from these countries.


Using the diversity attitude scale developed by De Meuse and Hostager (2001) the authors conducted comparative research and collected data from 234 business school graduate students.


The authors found that all groups were positive towards diversity, however, there were significant differences in diversity attitudes between the countries. The Czech Republic had the most positive diversity scores and India the least positive.

Research limitations/implications

This study used convenient samples of business students which might not be representative of the future management in these countries. However, the findings do suggest that attitudes towards diversity are generally positive across these very different national contexts.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that in today’s international context people are becoming more positive towards diversity – at least on the conceptual level and a bottom up approach from MNC to diversity management might be easier to implement than previously thought. The preliminary evidence from the study suggests that this first step of introducing diversity policies across national borders might not meet as much resistance as previously anticipated.

Social implications

The movement towards seeing and accepting different others is moving in the right direction.


To use this established diversity attitudes measure across three very different national cultures. In the literature there is a call for more comparative research on diversity management.



Traavik, L.E.M. and Adavikolanu, A.V. (2016), "Attitudes towards diversity: Evidence from business school students from Norway, India and the Czech Republic", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 450-466.



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