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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Jasmin Mahadevan, Katharina Kilian-Yasin, Iuliana Ancuţa Ilie and Franziska Müller

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the dangers of Orientalist framing. Orientalism (Said, 1979/2003) shows how “the West” actually creates “the Orient” as an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the dangers of Orientalist framing. Orientalism (Said, 1979/2003) shows how “the West” actually creates “the Orient” as an inferior opposite to affirm itself, for instance by using imaginative geographical frames such as “East” and “West” (Said, 1993).

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative interviews were conducted with the members of a German-Tunisian project team in research engineering. The interview purpose was to let individuals reflect upon their experiences of difference and to find out whether these experiences are preframed by imaginative geographical categories.

Findings

Tunisian researchers were subjected to the dominant imaginative geographical frame “the Arab world.” This frame involves ascribed religiousness, gender stereotyping and ascriptions of backwardness.

Research limitations/implications

Research needs to investigate Orientalist thought and imaginative geographies in specific organizational and interpersonal interactions lest they overshadow managerial theory and practice.

Practical implications

Practitioners need to challenge dominant frames and Orientalist thought in their own practice and organizational surroundings to devise a truly inclusive managerial practice, for instance, regarding Muslim minorities.

Social implications

In times of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in “the West,” this paper highlights the frames from which such sentiments might originate, and the need to reflect upon them.

Originality/value

The theoretical value lies in introducing a critical framing approach and the concept of imaginative geographies to perceived differences at work. For practice, it highlights how certain individuals are constructed as “Muslim others” and subjected to ascriptions of negative difference. By this mechanism, their inclusion is obstructed.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 March 2020

Jasmin Mahadevan and Anja P. Schmitz

This study shows how presumed “HR-trends,” such as the recent promotion of Employee Experience (EX) design, are never value-free ideas of a presumably objective “best…

Abstract

Purpose

This study shows how presumed “HR-trends,” such as the recent promotion of Employee Experience (EX) design, are never value-free ideas of a presumably objective “best practice”, but rather a vehicle for legitimizing HR in the organization, and investigate the implications.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is rooted in critical HRM studies. Our methodology is the critical discourse analysis (CDA) of online job postings concerning “EX-positions.”

Findings

EX is a new vehicle for HR's ongoing struggle for legitimacy. By repositioning HR managers as “EX-designers,” it promises to integrate the previously conflicting roles of HR as advocate of the individual employee and as strategic partner on the organizational level. Yet, it also raises the question of what is at stake for HR and might even decrease the organizational involvement of HR.

Research limitations/implications

This study highlights the relevance of a critical HRM perspective for moving beyond disciplinary blind spots. It shows the value of CDA for gathering insights into the hidden assumptions underlying HRM theory and practice.

Practical implications

EX design has been put forward as a new best-practice HR trend, promoting the relevance of HR in the organization. This paper shows that this trend is associated with potential gains as well as with potential losses. Practitioners need to be aware of these risks in order to increase the likelihood for a positive impact when implementing EX design.

Originality/value

The authors show how HR trends, such as EX, are manifestations of HR's ongoing struggle for legitimacy. Specifically, the authors uncover the legitimization agenda underlying EX, its implications for HR roles and responsibilities and the knowledge claims associated with it.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2018

Claude-Hélène Mayer, Sabie Surtee and Jasmin Mahadevan

The purpose of this paper is to investigate diversity conflict intersections and how the meanings of diversity markers such as gender and race might be transformed. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate diversity conflict intersections and how the meanings of diversity markers such as gender and race might be transformed. It highlights the resources of South African women leaders in higher education institutions for doing so.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proceeds from a social constructivist perspective, seeking to uncover narrated conflict experiences via a hermeneutical approach.

Findings

Women leaders in South Africa experience diversity conflict across multiple intersecting diversity markers, such as gender, race, ethnicity and class. They are united by inner resources which, if utilized, might bring about transformation.

Research limitations/implications

Intersectional approach to diversity conflict is a viable means for uncovering positive resources for transformation across intersecting diversity markers.

Practical implications

Practitioners wishing to overcome diversity conflict should identify positive resources across intersecting diversity markers. This way, organizations and individuals might bring about transformation.

Social implications

In societal environment wherein one diversity marker is institutionalized on a structural level, such as race in South Africa, diversity conflict might be enlarged beyond its actual scope, thereby becoming insurmountable. This needs to be prevented.

Originality/value

This paper studies diversity conflict intersections in a highly diverse societal environment in organizations facing transformational challenges and from the perspective of women leaders.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Jasmin Mahadevan and Jana Sibylle Zeh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how non-EU university graduates (third-country graduates, TCGs) experience the intended transition to the German labor market…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how non-EU university graduates (third-country graduates, TCGs) experience the intended transition to the German labor market. Through a critical analysis across multiple contexts, the authors intend to increase the reflexive scope of HRM research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The explorative study is based on social constructivism. It relies on qualitative data, specifically problem-centered narrative-biographical interviews with ethnic Russian TCGs at three different stages of transition. The authors interpret social identity processes and related ascriptions of strangerness critically and link them to wider contexts and dominant categories of identity.

Findings

Identity processes between social self and other require (dis-) identification with larger identity categories. TCGs as an example of skilled self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) face obstacles when seeking employment, yet, might utilize ascribed strangerness for reclaiming agency. To identify exclusive practices, individual career aspirations and organizational strategy and practice need to be linked to wider societal, institutional and national contexts.

Research limitations/implications

Through a critical analysis across multiple contexts, HRM research and practice is enabled to reflect upon its own implicit assumptions. To identify critical intersections between interpersonal identity-making and dominant identity-categories, HRM researchers need to differentiate between emic self-perception and etic ascriptions, to move beyond individual and organizational levels of analysis and to consider the interrelations between structure and agency.

Practical implications

HRM practitioners performing a critical analysis across multiple contexts are enabled to reflect upon their own implicit assumptions. This allows for improved organizational strategies and practices when trying to identify and secure global talents.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in providing a multi-context critical analysis of TCGs seeking employment, thereby enabling HRM research and practice to reflect upon implicit assumptions, to move beyond dominant categories and to truly identify and secure global talents.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
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Abstract

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Jasmin Mahadevan

This article aims to suggest implementing an integrated approach – named intercultural engineering – at university level. Engineering today often takes place across…

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Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to suggest implementing an integrated approach – named intercultural engineering – at university level. Engineering today often takes place across cultures, locations and organizations. As a result, many companies have included cross-cultural training activities into their internal human resource development program. However, current practice neglects the engineering context and might enable sophisticated stereotyping.

Design/methodology/approach

This article presents the case of a German bachelor study program in International Industrial Engineering and the theoretical foundations of its design.

Findings

Engineering education needs to move beyond simplistic comparative cross-cultural management theory. It needs to acknowledge cultural complexity in engineering through an integrated development of competencies for utilizing the benefits of cultural diversity.

Originality/value

The contribution of this article lies in providing a practical example of how to develop integrated competencies for cultural diversity in engineering, as based on latest theory.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. 38 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Jasmin Mahadevan

This article seeks to analyze retrospective and emergent narratives in a changing organization. It aims to uncover the emic meanings of resistance to diversity change.

1973

Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to analyze retrospective and emergent narratives in a changing organization. It aims to uncover the emic meanings of resistance to diversity change.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is based on interpretative research in a German high‐tech company, informed by the anthropological frame of mind.

Findings

The organization studied needs to cope with an increasing number of foreign employees. As narrative analysis showed, English language and diversity are associated negatively with an organizational dark age. In the past, a focus on sameness and on German language has been a successful counter‐strategy. Yet, in the present, this strategy forces German and non‐German employees into a dichotomist relationship that hinders diversity change. Through narrative analysis, other values of the past, such as caring for each other, and the metaphor of organization as family, are discovered. These concepts are highly adaptable to the new present and should be supported and facilitated in order to create trans‐cultural sameness.

Research limitations/implications

The contribution of this article is to show how to utilize identity‐based resistance for organizational change, in this case diversity change. Emergent and retrospective narratives of the self are a viable tool of analysis.

Originality/value

Identity‐based resistance to change originates in the inability to link the past collective self to present conditions. This is often seen as an obstacle to change. This article uncovers the emic meanings of resistance, thereby utilizing it for diversity change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 April 2012

Jasmin Mahadevan

The purpose of this paper is to show the benefit of conceptualizing reflexive ethnographic writing as translation processes across circuits of power that involve…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the benefit of conceptualizing reflexive ethnographic writing as translation processes across circuits of power that involve researcher, field and audience. For this purpose, a model of translating nodes of power in the ethnographic triangle is developed.

Design/methodology/approach

The author reflects upon organizational ethnography theoretically.

Findings

Ethnographic meaning emerges between researcher, field and audience (the ethnographic triangle). The author conceptualizes their relations as relations of power and draws from Clegg's circuits of power to map these relations. The author argues that ethnographers need to conceptualize power in the ethnographic triangle as three interrelated circuits of power, namely episodic power relations, rules of practice and structures of domination. This approach advances previous work on reflexivity in three aspects. First, it goes beyond individual researcher‐field interaction and integrates agency, practice and structure from a power‐perspective; second, it incorporates exotextual influences; and third, it is also a viable reflexive path if researcher and field cannot establish cooperation.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides a processual model to interrogate reflexive ethnographic writing. However, this model cannot solve issues of temporal reflexivity.

Originality/value

Reflexive ethnographic practice is viewed as translating nodes of power across circuits of power. This view implies that innocent reflexivity is not possible. Still, it might enable the researcher by providing an alternative reading of ethnographic practice.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Jasmin Mahadevan, Iuliana Ancuţa Ilie and Franziska Müller

We examine dominant identity requirements of cross-cultural management (CCM) in complex organizational settings. In particular, we highlight how the norm of “being mobile”…

Abstract

We examine dominant identity requirements of cross-cultural management (CCM) in complex organizational settings. In particular, we highlight how the norm of “being mobile” as an expression of “being committed” advantages male and single individuals, the holders of a “favourable” passport, and those expressing “individualist” cultural orientations. Out of this follows the need for a power-sensitive CCM.

Details

Intercultural Management in Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-827-0

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Hélène Langinier and Deniz Gyger Gaspoz

The purpose of this paper is to understand the influence of the different relations of power embedded in social structures on the construction of nomadic identities at the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the influence of the different relations of power embedded in social structures on the construction of nomadic identities at the individual level.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a qualitative approach. The authors interview expatriates adjusting to an international audit firm in Luxembourg and young in geographical itinerancy. A multilevel analysis based on intersectionality let emerge macro- and meso-level influences on the construction of nomadic identities.

Findings

The authors differentiate three types of expression of nomadic identities thanks to the concept of intersectionality. The authors showed that power relations at the macro level of the society leads to cultural imperialism at the meso level of organizations thus shaping the identity construction of the individual.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative approach remains very specific and future research may focus on different contexts to generalize the results. The influence of gender on the construction of nomadic identities needs to be further investigated.

Practical implications

Diversity policies should be revisited to avoid cultural imperialism.

Originality/value

The authors go beyond the monolithic approach, explaining the development of nomadic identities through the lens of national culture only. The authors point out that the individual develops different social identities intersecting in his or her identity development.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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