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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Menno Vos, Gürkan Çelik and Sjiera de Vries

The higher education sector has become increasingly aware of how the increasing diversity in society affects their institutions. The student population has become more…

Abstract

Purpose

The higher education sector has become increasingly aware of how the increasing diversity in society affects their institutions. The student population has become more diverse and future employers increasingly require trained students who are able to meet the demands of dealing with a more diverse market/clientele. In this regard, education institutions need to align their strategic approach to diversity within their organization. The purpose of this paper is to examine strategical reasons to diversify in different education teams in relation to two different diversity practices: attraction and selection of culturally diverse lecturers and utilization of cultural differences in team interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

In a qualitative study the authors conducted 19 interviews with educational professionals in six different education teams in a university of applied sciences.

Findings

Interviews with 19 members of six educational teams revealed that some teams acknowledge they need more diversity and exchange of knowledge and skills in order to meet the requirements of the labor market. Especially teams that prepare students for international careers foster this “Integration and Learning” perspective. Other teams, e.g. the Law team, notice less changes in labor market requirements. Still, these teams were open for recruiting diverse lecturers and found it important, especially to meet the needs of the diversity in students (access perspective). They also found value in the interaction and mutual learning in their team, but saw no extra value of diversity (colorblind perspective). Labor market demands for diversity seem to have more influence on the diversity perspective of teams than the diversity in the student population.

Practical implications

Since earlier research has shown that the diversity practices of organizations are more effective when they are in line with their diversity perspective, the differences between teams suggest that when dealing with diversity issues, universities can best work toward a common understanding of the importance of diversity but leave room for team differences in diversity practices.

Originality/value

Most studies on diversity management assume or argue that organizations adopt one diversity perspective. The present study shows that intra-organizational differences may exist with regard to the specific needs or concern for diversity management practices.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Wim J.L. Elving

Abstract

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2003

John Michael Montias

Abstract

Details

Economics of Art and Culture Invited Papers at the 12th International Conference of the Association of Cultural Economics International
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44450-995-6

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