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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

Sandra E. Cha, Stephanie J. Creary and Laura Morgan Roberts

Black people, as members of a historically underrepresented and marginalized racial identity group in the workplace, are often confronted with identity references – face-to-face…

Abstract

Purpose

Black people, as members of a historically underrepresented and marginalized racial identity group in the workplace, are often confronted with identity references – face-to-face encounters in which their race is referenced by a White colleague in a comment, question or joke. Identity references can be interpreted by a Black colleague in a variety of ways (e.g. as hostile and insulting or well-intentioned, even flattering). Identity references can derail the building of relationships across difference, but under certain conditions may open the door for deeper understanding and connection. The conceptual framework in this article delineates conditions under which an identity reference may elicit an initial negative reaction, yet, when engaged directly, may lead to generative experiences and promote higher connection and learning in relationships across difference.

Design/methodology/approach

This article builds theory on identity references by incorporating relevant research on race, identity, diversity, attribution and interpersonal relationships at work.

Findings

The framework identifies a common precursor to identity references and three factors that are likely to influence the attribution a Black person makes for a White colleague's identity reference. It then describes how, based on that attribution, a Black person is likely to respond to the White referencer, and how that response is likely to affect their interpersonal relationship over time.

Originality/value

By explicating how a single identity reference can have significant implications for relationships across difference, the framework deepens understanding of how race affects the development of interpersonal relationships between Black and White colleagues at work. In doing so, this article advances research on race, diversity, workplace relationships and positive organizational scholarship.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Tina Opie and Laura Morgan Roberts

Overwhelming evidence suggests that black lives have not and do not matter in the American workplace. In fact, disturbing themes of black labor dehumanization, exploitation and…

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Abstract

Purpose

Overwhelming evidence suggests that black lives have not and do not matter in the American workplace. In fact, disturbing themes of black labor dehumanization, exploitation and racial discrimination appear throughout history into the present-day workplace. Yet, curiously, organizations and organizational scholars largely ignore how racism and slavery have informed management practice (Cooke, 2003) and contemporary workplace racism. The authors address this gap, using the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as a platform. BLM is a social justice movement created in response to the pervasive racism experienced by black people. The purpose of this paper is to accomplish five goals, which are summarized in the following sections.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the authors outline historical themes of black labor dehumanization, exploitation and racial discrimination, providing specific examples to illustrate these themes and discussing their contemporary workplace implications. Second, key challenges that may arise as organizations seek to make black lives matter in the workplace are discussed. Third, the authors provide examples of organizations where black lives have mattered as an inspiration for how workplaces can affirm the humanity and self-actualization of black people.

Findings

Fourth, the authors provide organizations with helpful tools to truly make black lives matter in the workplace, using restorative justice as a framework to remedy workplace racism. Finally, while the paper is largely focused on business organizations, as two management scholars, the authors felt compelled to briefly articulate how academic scholarship might be influenced if black lives truly mattered in management scholarship and management education.

Originality/value

This paper begins to articulate how black lives matter in the workplace. The goal is to intervene and upend the exploitation of black workers so that they are finally recognized for their worth and value and treated as such. The authors have provided historical context to illustrate that contemporary workplace racism is rooted in the historical exploitation of black people from enslavement to contemporary instances of labor exploitation. The authors offer a restorative justice framework as a mechanism to redress workplace racism, being careful to outline key challenges with implementing the framework. The authors concluded with steps that organizations may consider as they work to repair the harm of workplace racism and rebuild trust amongst employees. Specifically, the authors discuss the benefits of organizational interventions that provide intergroup contact with an emphasis on perspective taking, and present a case example and suggested key indicators that black lives matter in today’s workplace.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

For any student of political philosophy, they are taught there are three types of justice delivered to deserving criminals. Retributive justice, which is based on a punishment that may – or may not in some cases – fit the crime. Then there is distributive justice, which focuses instead on the rehabilitation of the offender and will also include treatment rather than punishment. Finally, there is retributive justice which despite its relative newness as a term has been referred to and used on a small scale all the way back to biblical times and beyond.

Practical implications

The paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 September 2020

Courtney L. McCluney, Danielle D. King, Courtney M. Bryant and Abdifatah A. Ali

The purpose of this essay is to highlight the urgent need for antiracism resource generation in organizations today.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this essay is to highlight the urgent need for antiracism resource generation in organizations today.

Design/methodology/approach

This essay weaves together popular press articles, academic writings and the authors' lived experiences to summarize, clarify and extend the work needed inside of organizations and academia to dismantle systemic racism.

Findings

We define antiracist resources as personal and material assets that counteract systemic racism through informing and equipping antiracist actions, and identify three resources—adopting a long-term view for learning the history of racism, embracing discomfort to acknowledge racist mistakes and systematically assess how organizational structures maintain white supremacy—for organizations to address systemic racism.

Research limitations/implications

While there is a critical need for more antiracism research, there are standards and guidelines that should be followed to conduct that research responsibly with antiracism enacted in research design, methodology decisions and publication practices.

Practical implications

The authors call for organizations to directly counter-racism via antiracism resources and offer examples for how these resources can inform and equip companies to create equitable workplaces.

Originality/value

This essay offers: (a) an updated, timely perspective on effective responses to systemic racism (e.g. police brutality and COVID-19), (b) a detailed discussion of antiracism resources and (c) specific implications for antiracism work in organizational research.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Working Deeply
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-424-8

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 17 May 2017

Abstract

Details

Developing Leaders for Positive Organizing
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-241-1

Abstract

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Book part
Publication date: 22 November 2012

Susan E. Parker

The Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins suffered catastrophic flooding as the result of a historic rain storm and flood that swept through the town on July…

Abstract

The Morgan Library at Colorado State University in Fort Collins suffered catastrophic flooding as the result of a historic rain storm and flood that swept through the town on July 28, 1997. This study examines this single library's organizational disaster response and identifies the phenomena that the library's employees cited as their motivation for innovation.

Purpose – This study provides an example of a library where a pre-disaster and post-disaster organizational environment was supportive of experimentation. This influenced the employees’ capacity and motivation to create a new tool meant to solve a temporary need. Their invention, a service now called RapidILL, advanced the Morgan Library organization beyond disaster recovery and has become an effective and popular consortium of libraries.

Design/methodology/approach – This is an instrumental case study. This design was chosen to examine the issues in organizational learning that the single case of Morgan Library presents. The researcher interviewed employees who survived the 1997 flood and who worked in the library after the disaster. The interview results and a book written by staff members are the most important data that form the basis for this qualitative research.

The interviews were transcribed, and key phrases and information from both the interviews and the published book were isolated into themes for coding. The coding allowed the use of NVivo 7, a text analysis software, to search in employees’ stories for “feeling” words and themes about change, innovation, motivation, and mental models.

Three research questions for the study sought to learn how employees described their lived experience, how the disaster altered their mental models of change, and what factors in the disaster response experience promoted learning and innovation.

Findings – This study investigates how the disruptive forces of disaster can influence and promote organizational learning and foster innovation. Analysis of the data demonstrates how the library employees’ feelings of trust before and following a workplace disaster shifted their mental models of change. They felt empowered to act and assert their own ideas; they did not simply react to change acting upon them.

Emotions motivate adaptive actions, facilitating change. The library employees’ lived experiences and feelings influenced what they learned, how quickly they learned it, and how that learning contributed to their innovations after the disaster. The library's supervisory and administrative leaders encouraged staff members to try out new ideas. This approach invigorated staff members’ feelings of trust and motivated them to contribute their efforts and ideas. Feeling free to experiment, they tapped their creativity and provided adaptations and innovations.

Practical implications – A disaster imposes immediate and often unanticipated change upon people and organizations. A disaster response urgently demands that employees do things differently; it also may require that employees do different things.

Successful organizations must become adept at creating and implementing changes to remain relevant and effective in the environments in which they operate. They need to ensure that employees generate and test as many ideas as possible in order to maximize the opportunity to uncover the best new thinking. This applies to libraries as well as to any other organizations.

If library leaders understand the conditions under which employees are most motivated to let go of fear and alter the mental models they use to interpret their work world, it should be possible and desirable to re-create those conditions and improve the ability of their organizations to tap into employees’ talent, spur innovation, and generate meaningful change.

Social implications – Trust and opportunities for learning can be central to employees’ ability to embrace change as a positive state in which their creativity flourishes and contributes to the success of the organization. When leaders support experimentation, employees utilize and value their affective connections as much as their professional knowledge. Work environments that promote experimentation and trust are ones in which employees at any rank feel secure enough to propose and experiment with innovative services, products, or workflows.

Originality/value – The first of its kind to examine library organizations, this study offers direct evidence to show that organizational learning and progress flourish through a combination of positive affective experiences and experimentation. The study shows how mental models, organizational learning, and innovation may help employees create significantly effective organizational advances while under duress.

An original formula is presented in Fig. 1.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-313-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 April 2022

Corinna Sabrina Guerzoni

Surrogacy is a practice that requires the participation of multiple social actors: sperm and/or egg donors, intended parents (IPs) and gestational carriers (GCs). The data were…

Abstract

Surrogacy is a practice that requires the participation of multiple social actors: sperm and/or egg donors, intended parents (IPs) and gestational carriers (GCs). The data were collected during a research on US surrogacy conducted in Southern California between September 2017 and January 2020. The study involved IPs, GCs and the clinical and hospital staffs of a fertility clinic and six hospitals. In this contribution, I will read surrogacy as a sophisticated interweaving of relationships (Berend, 2016a) that is activated thanks to the support of artificial reproductive technologies (ARTs). I will analyze the surrogacy pregnancy not exclusively as an organic process, but, following Elly Teman (2009) and Zsuzsa Berend (2016a) insights, I will read it as a choral project shaped by all the actors directly or indirectly involved in it. I will show which rituals are practiced during the surrogacy pathway, and in particular, I will pay attention to some specific aspects that are invested by particular meaning such as ultrasounds, rooming-in, breastfeeding and the ‘skin-to-skin’ practice.

Details

Reproductive Governance and Bodily Materiality
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-438-0

Keywords

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