Religious identity: a new dimension of HRM? A French view

Caroline Cintas (University of Rouen, Rouen, France)
Berangere Gosse (University of Rouen, Rouen, France)
Eric Vatteville (University of Rouen, Rouen, France)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Publication date: 30 September 2013



Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, human resource management (HRM) has entered into a somewhat strained relationship with religious diversity. In France, the need to deal with demands for recognition of faith practices has led to the compilation of new guides to the management of religious diversity. Is religious identity a new dimension of HRM in France?


The paper begins with an examination of some examples of these documents produced by large French companies. It is revealed that they contain a set of recommendations leading to differential management of the various religious identities.


Incorporating such a practice into an HRM strategy is a mixed blessing, bringing with it both hopes and risks. On the one hand, it may help to maintain equality and boost firms’ economic performance. On the other hand, however, it may also compromise group cohesion and disrupt social ties.


In view of these contradictory tendencies, the paper concludes by asking whether the principle of secularism should be extended to the management of HR.



Cintas, C., Gosse, B. and Vatteville, E. (2013), "Religious identity: a new dimension of HRM? A French view", Employee Relations, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 576-592.

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