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Article

Lotte Holck

The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the affective entanglement of both researcher and practitioners in a study of workplace diversity with a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically reflect on the affective entanglement of both researcher and practitioners in a study of workplace diversity with a transformative agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

Events and experiences related to interventions in a municipal center are presented. The study is embedded in critical diversity research and applies engaged ethnographic methods.

Findings

The researcher reflects on how interventions designed to challenge the status quo faced difficulties while considering the impact of the research entry point, efforts to mobilize organizational members in favor of a diversity agenda and the micro-politics of doing intervention-based research.

Practical implications

The study reflects on how “useful” research with an allegedly emancipatory agenda might not be considered favorable to neither majority nor minority employees. The notion of affectivity is applied to deal with the organizational members’ multi-voiced response to the change efforts, as well as how the researcher’s position as researcher-change agent critically shaped the fieldwork experiences and their interpretation.

Originality/value

Few critical diversity scholars engage with practitioners to produce “useful” research with practical implications. In doing so, this paper contributes to critical diversity methods by exploring why presumably emancipatory initiatives apparently did not succeed, despite organizational goodwill. This involves questioning the implied assumption of the inherent “good” of emancipation, as well as notions of “useful research.”

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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Article

Lotte Holck

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore why a diversity agenda in favor of equal opportunities failed despite apparent organizational support and commitment to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically explore why a diversity agenda in favor of equal opportunities failed despite apparent organizational support and commitment to diversity.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on data from a municipal center, this study inquire into how organizational dynamics of power and hierarchy influence change efforts to alter practices of inequality. The study is positioned within critical diversity research and structured around an analysis of the researcher’s fieldwork experiences.

Findings

The analysis examines into why change efforts failed despite organizational approval of a diversity agenda, open-mindedness toward change and legitimacy in regard to diversity. Paradoxically, change efforts designed to alter the status quo were, in practice, derailed and circumvented through power dynamics reproducing organizational inequality.

Research limitations/implications

A single case study in a particular type of organization constrains the generalizability but point to new directions for future research.

Practical implications

This study aims at sensitizing researchers and diversity practitioners alike to the organizational embeddedness of diversity initiatives. Accordingly, change efforts must necessarily address diversity in a situated perspective and as intersecting with key organizational power dynamics gaining impetus from macro discourses on diversity and difference.

Originality/value

Few critical diversity scholars engage with practitioners and reflect on the impact of their studies. In doing so, this paper contributes by developing diversity research, exploring the limitations and possibilities for increasing its relevance and impact.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article

Lotte Holck and Sara Louise Muhr

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the construction and everyday maintenance of racialized psychological borders in the Greenlandic Police Force reproduce a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the construction and everyday maintenance of racialized psychological borders in the Greenlandic Police Force reproduce a postcolonial hierarchy of knowledge, where Danish knowledge and perceptions of professionalism are constructed as superior to Greenlandic knowledge and perceptions of professionalism.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an ethnographic study comprising 5 days of observation of a training course for Danish police officers going to Greenland on summer assistance, 13 days of observation of police work in Greenland, 2 days of participatory observation of a leadership development seminar in Greenland, 26 interviews conducted in Denmark and Greenland with both Danish and Greenlandic officers and interventions in Denmark and Greenland.

Findings

The racialized borders create strong perceptions of “us” and “them”, which are maintained and reinforced through everyday work practices. The borders have damaging effects on the way police officers collaborate in Greenland and as the borders are maintained through (often implicit) everyday micro-processes, management has difficulty dealing with it. However, the way the racialized borders became visible through this research project created an awareness of – and sparked conversation about – the colonial stereotypes that have constructed and reinforce the borders. This awareness opens up possibilities of collaborative disruption of those borders.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows how racialized borders limit the way professionalism is understood in the Greenlandic Police Force. But it also shows that, because these borders are socially constructed, they can be contested. Making the implicit everyday discrimination explicit through vignettes, for example, offers the chance to contest and disrupt the colonial hierarchy otherwise deeply embedded in the work practices of the police force.

Originality/value

Thanks to unique access to Greenland’s police force, this paper offers exclusive in-depth insights into current processes of racialization and colonialization in a contemporary colonial relationship.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Book part

Lotte Holck and Iben Sandal Stjerne

Talent management (TM) is widely seen as a key organizational challenge necessary to sustain competitive advantage. While academia has mostly focused on HRM practices…

Abstract

Talent management (TM) is widely seen as a key organizational challenge necessary to sustain competitive advantage. While academia has mostly focused on HRM practices associated with exclusive TM targeting organizational high performers at higher managerial levels, there are reasons why organizations should consider a more inclusive talent management (ITM) approach. They include the growing diversification of organizations and the global workforce caused by demographic changes and mobility across borders, overall talent scarcity and hard to predict market dynamics which all make future talent needs hard to anticipate. Issues such as employee perceptions of organizational justice and fairness are also important. Moreover, existing HRM orthodoxy concerned with investing in the company’s human resource and the wellbeing of employees pushes companies to invest in ITM as a path to a better working environment characterized by openness, trust and overall well-being. Few TM researchers, however, pay sufficient attention to the problems of organizational inequality and social segregation that exclusive TM might occasion and thus disregard how social exclusion and economic inequality continue to characterize many organizations. The ambition of this chapter therefore is to contribute to the development of an inclusive approach to TM. We add to the notion of ITM by bringing in literature on inclusive organizations which is absent from current theoretical development. Building on current conceptualizations in particular by Swailes et al. (2014) and Meyers and Woerkom (2014), we ask: How can literature on organizational inclusion contribute to developing more fair and equal organizations through inclusive TM practices?

Details

Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-094-3

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Book part

Laurence Romani, Lotte Holck, Charlotte Holgersson and Sara Louise Muhr

This chapter presents the principal interpretations that took place in Denmark and Sweden regarding the discourse on ‘Diversity Management’. We organise our presentation…

Abstract

This chapter presents the principal interpretations that took place in Denmark and Sweden regarding the discourse on ‘Diversity Management’. We organise our presentation around three major themes that are central to the local Scandinavian context: gender equality, migration and moral grounds. This chapter shows the important role of gender equality work practices and how these practices now tend to be progressively incorporated in a broad Diversity Management construct, possibly leading to a less radical stance. Moreover, the comparison between Denmark and Sweden reveals the political associations with Diversity Management and migration in Denmark, but not in Sweden. Our third contribution unveils the tensions between the value of equality, which remains strong in the Scandinavian welfare state model, and the actual practices of Diversity Management.

Details

Management and Diversity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-550-8

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Article

Lotte Holck

The purpose of this paper is to apply a spatial approach to organizational inequality to explore why unequal opportunity structures persist in an organization despite its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply a spatial approach to organizational inequality to explore why unequal opportunity structures persist in an organization despite its commitment to diversity and employing highly skilled ethnic minority employees.

Design/methodology/approach

The (re)production of inequality is explored by linking research on organizational space with HRM diversity management. Data from an ethnographic study undertaken in a Danish municipal center illustrates how a substructure of inequality is spatially upheld alongside a formal diversity policy. Archer’s distinction between structure and agency informs the analysis of how minority agency not only reproduces but also challenges organizational opportunity structures.

Findings

The analysis demonstrates how substructures of inequality stabilize in spatial routines enacted in an ethnic zoning of the workplace and ethnification of job categories. However, the same spatial structures allows for a variety of opposition and conciliation strategies among minority employees, even though the latter tend to prevail in a reproduction rather than a transformation of the organizational opportunity structures.

Research limitations/implications

The reliance on a single case study restricts the generalizability of the findings but highlights fruitful areas for future research.

Practical implications

The study sensitizes HRM practitioners to the situated quality of workplace diversity and to develop a broader scope of HRM practices to address the more subtle, spatially embedded forms of inequality.

Originality/value

Theoretical and empirical connections between research on organizational space and HRM diversity management have thus far not been systematically studied. This combination might advance knowledge on the persistence of micro-inequality even in organizations formally committed to diversity.

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Article

Lotte Holck, Sara Louise Muhr and Florence Villesèche

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the identity and diversity literatures and discuss how a better understanding of the theoretical…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the identity and diversity literatures and discuss how a better understanding of the theoretical connections between the two informs both diversity research and diversity management practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review followed by a discussion of the theoretical and practical consequences of connecting the identity and diversity literatures.

Findings

The authors inform future research in three ways. First, by showing how definitions of identity influence diversity theorizing in specific ways. Second, the authors explore how such definitions entail distinct foci regarding how diversity should be analyzed and interventions actioned. Third, the authors discuss how theoretical coherence between definitions of identity and diversity perspectives – as well as knowledge about a perspective’s advantages and limitations – is crucial for successful diversity management research and practice.

Research limitations/implications

The authors argue for a better understanding of differences, overlaps and limits of different identity perspectives, and for a stronger engagement with practice.

Practical implications

The work can encourage policy makers, diversity and HR managers to question their own practices and assumptions leading to more theoretical informed diversity management practices.

Originality/value

The theoretical connections between identity and diversity literature have so far not been reviewed systematically. The work foregrounds how important it is for diversity scholars to consider identity underpinnings of diversity research to help further develop the field within and beyond the three streams the authors discuss.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Managing Talent: A Critical Appreciation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-094-3

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

Management and Diversity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-550-8

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