Equal Opportunities International

ISSN: 0261-0159

Article publication date: 1 April 2006



Özbilgin, M.F. (2006), "Editorial", Equal Opportunities International, Vol. 25 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/eoi.2006.03025caa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


I am pleased to introduce the third issue of the year and the second issue of this editorial group. In this issue, we have three research papers, three conference reports, one book review and two editorial commentaries.

The number of submissions in the last few months to the journal has been increasing at a steady rate. It is also pleasing to see that the manuscript submissions are broadly international and cover all strands among the strands of equality and diversity. Despite these positive developments, review feedback suggests some common patterns and identifies gaps across the current stock of submissions. The review feedback suggests that there is need for paper submissions, which offer creative and innovative approaches to equality and diversity in organizational settings. This includes creative and innovative ways, we can examine inequality and discrimination, such as solutions to problems of theory, methods, policy and implementation in the fields of equality and diversity at work. Furthermore, some of the strands of equality and diversity including sexual orientation, religion, belief, social background and age remain relatively underrepresented in current sets of manuscript submissions. Although some submissions investigate multiple strands of equality and diversity in order to explore issues of intersectionality, there is growing need to recognize intra group heterogeneity.

There are also certain areas of research which the journal would benefit from publishing. These include the temporal dimension of equality and diversity. How does foresight operate for equal opportunities, diversity officers as well as all workers to tackle issues of inequality, discrimination and disadvantage in a progressive manner? What are the counter-intuitive aspects of equality and diversity? What methods could be used to explore them? What does progressiveness mean in terms of policy making and implementation in terms of equality and diversity? What are the new forms of backlash and set backs that hinder equal opportunities efforts in organizational settings? Is linear progress towards equality a myth?

The multidimensional and multiconstituent nature of equality debate also deserves further attention. What is the interplay between national, institutional and individual politics and practices of equality and diversity? What frames the agency of the individual in the context of their struggle for equality? Who are the key constituent groups and stakeholders that shape the provision of equality and diversity in organizational settings? What happens to equal opportunities efforts when the state policy adopts a conservative approach rather than a progressive one? How should the academic researchers and policy makers capture dissident voices across diverse stakeholder groups?

There is international promulgation of tools, measures and diagnostic checks for equality and diversity. However, there are very few scholarly papers on the processes and outcomes of national and organizational level efforts at diagnostic checks and respective action proposals. How effective are the commonly used diagnostic checks and measurement tools? Does a diagnostic check ensure a successful means of ensuring organizational change towards equality? Do voluntary measures for equality and diversity work? What should the role of state be in offering diagnostic checks and monitoring equality and diversity?

It is argued that internationalisation of legal frameworks of equal opportunities has not generated full and extensive improvements in equal opportunities. Is it possible to migrate knowledge and machinery of equal opportunities across national borders? What are the limits to internationalisation of equal opportunities law and organizational practices? What are the patterns of convergence and divergence in terms of equal opportunities and diversity management across countries and regions? To which countries do practitioners turn for examples of progressive policies on equality and diversity?

Answers to some of the above questions are sought in the forthcoming special issues of the journal:

  • "Gender Inequality" in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET), guest edited by Pooran Wynarczyk pooran.wynarczyk@ncl.ac.uk, paper submission deadline: 31 July 2006

  • Gender, Management and Governance in the Public Sector, guest edited by Jim’Barry j.j.barry@uel.ac.uk, Elisabeth Berg elisabeth.berg@ltu.se and John Chandler j.p.chandler@uel.ac.uk, paper submission deadline: 31 August 2006

  • Equality and Diversity in Marketing, guest edited by Finola Kerrigan finola.kerrigan@kcl.ac.uk and Anja Schaefer a.schaefer@open.ac.uk, paper submission deadline: 1 September 2006

  • Equality and Inequality in Work and Employment, in conjunction with the British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA), guest edited by Hazel Conway hazel.conley@uwe.ac.uk, paper submission deadline: 29 September 2006

  • The Politics of Equality: Professionals, States and Activists, guest edited by’Shona Hunter s.hunter@lancaster.ac.uk and Elaine Swan e.swan@lancaster.ac.uk, paper submission deadline: 3 September 2006

  • Diversity and Relational Perspectives to the Study of Global Knowledge Workers, guest edited by Katerina Nicolopoulou kn3@soton.ac.uk, Mine Karata-Özkan mko@soton.ac.uk and Ahu Tatl a.tatli@qmul.ac.uk, paper submission deadline: 1 December 2006

Further particulars of the forthcoming special issues are available at: www.emeraldinsight.com/eoi.htm.

There are three research papers in this issue. Drawing on an extensive data set of 110 indepth interviews with current and past workers at Wal-Mart in the USA, Yasemin Besen and Michael S. Kimmel explore the significance of daily gendered acts in sustaining sex discrimination in the workplace. The paper reveals that whilst daily acts and statements which are underpinned by gendered assumptions are often left unchallenged as harmless or even supportive acts, they are indeed the key mechanisms through which sex discrimination is sustained in Wal-Mart.

In her conceptual paper, Birgit Schyns examines explicit leadership theories and their role in the performance systems. The paper contributes to our understanding of’careers of leaders by investigating the match and dissonance between the beliefs’held’by supervisors and followers about how leaders should be and the subjective perceptions that these supervisors and followers have of the actual leaders in question.

In their paper on workaholism among a sample of Australian women graduates, Ronald J. Burke, Zena Burgess and Barry Fallon reveal that workaholism among this group of women only partly concurred with the patterns identified by earlier research with men. The paper suggests that workaholism may contribute to the reasons why women withdraw from the corporate life, should this mean that they find it difficult to combine work and life.

In this issue, there are also three conference reports (further details of which are given in the Professional Insights section) and a review by Nicolina Kamenou of the book, Diversity Dynamics in the Workplace by Kecia M. Thomas.

Mustafa F. Özbilgin

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