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Leaders can find more ‘surreptitious’ methods to promote diversity

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 23 July 2019

Issue publication date: 24 July 2019




The researchers wanted to find out if leaders could promote diversity in the workplace without even speaking about it. Their theory was that creating a more open, empathetic and positive environment reduced bias against minorities.


The authors asked 177 recruits to fill in questionnaires online. They analyzed the data to respond to two hypotheses. The first was that “informational justice, manageable job demands, equality in status and a clear vision of the future should foster openness to diversity”. The second hypothesis was split into two. One part suggested that meaning in life mediated relationships between workplace practices and openness to diversity. And hypothesis 2B suggested the same for clarity of the future.


After analyzing their data, the researchers said the results vindicated Hypothesis One. Hypothesis 2A, concerning meaning in life, was also confirmed. However, 2B, concerning future clarity, was not significantly associated with openness to diversity.


The value is in showing managers and leaders that there are effective alternatives to 'diversity' initiatives, which are often unpopular with dominant groups and promote defensive attitudes. Concentrating on improving the general culture of the workplace decreases suspicion towards minorities.



(2019), "Leaders can find more ‘surreptitious’ methods to promote diversity", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 25-26.



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