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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Stella M. Nkomo

The purpose of this article is to share reflections about the progress toward the inclusion of race as a core analytical concept in MOS since the article. The emperor has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to share reflections about the progress toward the inclusion of race as a core analytical concept in MOS since the article. The emperor has no clothes: Rewriting “race in organizations” was published in the Academy of Management Review twenty-nine years ago.

Design/methodology/approach

I critically reflect upon the past and future of race in management and organizations studies drawing upon my own subjective position in what has transpired over the past twenty-nine years. Specifically, I reflect upon the past and future of the study of race in organizations and also offer some recommendations for theories that may help advance it as a core theoretical concept in MOS drawing.

Findings

Dethroning the “emperor” remains a challenge. There has been a lack of significant progress toward positioning race as a core analytical concept in MOS. There is still much to do to elevate race to a significant analytical concept in MOS. Post-colonial theory, whiteness and the literature on the sociology of race may assist scholars in making progress.

Research limitations/implications

I readily acknowledge that my subjective position as the author of an article declaring the significance of race in MOS and as a Black woman whose life and career has unfolded in a world of systemic racism shape my reflections. It may be time for to consider whether positioning race as a core analytical concept in MOS can be achieved under the diversity paradigm. Perhaps it is time for a new field of study – race in organizations.

Practical implications

Theorizing race in organizations is central to undoing the continuing effects of racism. Otherwise, it will be difficult to develop strategies that get to the roots of racial inequality in organizations.

Social implications

The confluence of resurgent white supremacy, the stark global racial inequalities revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic and calls to end anti-Blackness and systemic racism by the Black Lives Matter Movement underscore the immense importance of race in every aspect of society including organizations.

Originality/value

This essay is my first reflections on what has transpired since the publication of the article. The essay reveals my insights and experiences of writing the article and why rewriting race into MOS is a much larger project than the one envisioned in 1992.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Stella M. Nkomo

The purpose of this article is to provoke diversity scholars to think about the implications of the confluence of the racial disparities in the effects of the Coronavirus…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to provoke diversity scholars to think about the implications of the confluence of the racial disparities in the effects of the Coronavirus and the persistence of racial inequality for a new direction of theorizing in the field.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon three major analogies between the Coronavirus and the virus of racism, the author discusses their similarities as a means to think about why racism persists despite efforts to eradicate it. The history of racism in the United States forms a key part of the discussion.

Findings

The current theoretical tools diversity scholars primarily use to address racial inequality in organizations may only at best mitigate, not eradicate, racism in organizations. There is a need to direct theoretical development toward the concepts of racialization and deracialization.

Research limitations/implications

The views and proposals for new theorizing reflect the author's positionality and biases. It also relies on three of the many possible analogies that can be made between racism as a virus and the Coronavirus.

Practical implications

Understanding racism through the lens of racialization and deracialization can help organizations and the leaders of them to identify the structures that embed racism and also how to change them.

Social implications

Understanding racism and processes of racialization is critical to achieving racial equality. Organizations are one of the main societal institutions that shape and perpetuate the racism and inequality among African-Americans and other people of color experience. Awareness of the continuing effects of racism is critical to anticipating how virus pandemics increase the vulnerability of marginalized racial groups to greater health risks and precariousness.

Originality/value

This essay provokes diversity scholars to engage in reflexive discomfort about the current path of theorizing in the field. It suggests ways that the concept of racialization can be used descriptively and normatively to theorize racism in organizations. In addition, it proposes deracialization as a frame for supplanting the ideology of White supremacy and theorizing nonracial organizations.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2010

Lize A.E. Booysen and Stella M. Nkomo

Although Schein's gender role management stereotype hypothesis has been examined in many countries around the world, no studies specifically examine the combined effects…

Abstract

Purpose

Although Schein's gender role management stereotype hypothesis has been examined in many countries around the world, no studies specifically examine the combined effects of race and gender on this phenomenon. The purpose of this paper is to use an intersectional analysis to test the hypothesis among different race and gender groups in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The 92‐item Schein descriptive index was randomly administered to 592 black men, white men, black women, and white women managers. The degree of resemblance between the descriptions of men and successful managers and between women and successful managers was determined by computing intra‐class correlation coefficients.

Findings

Results confirm the think manager, think male hypothesis for black and white men but not for black and white women. Black and white men are less likely to attribute successful managerial characteristics to women. The hypothesis is more robust among black men than among white men. For black women, the resemblance between the characteristics of women in general and successful managers is significantly higher than the resemblance of men in general and successful managers. This represents only the second study globally to report a reversal of the usual pattern. White women perceived men and women to equally possess the requisite management characteristics.

Practical implications

Intersectionality is capable of revealing the ways in which race and gender simultaneously influence perceptions of managerial characteristics.

Originality/value

The paper provides a race and gender intersectional analysis that compares the perceptions of the think manager – think male hypothesis in contrast to the dominant gender only analysis that may mask important differences in the stereotyping of managerial characteristics. It is also the first study of its kind in South Africa.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Stella M. Nkomo and Akram Al Ariss

– The purpose of this paper is to trace the genealogy of ethnic (white) privilege in US organizations and its continuing significance in organizations today.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace the genealogy of ethnic (white) privilege in US organizations and its continuing significance in organizations today.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper relies upon the historical literature on work, culture, and society found primarily in the fields of labor history and sociology. It also references contemporary organization studies and sociological literature to illustrate the continuing significance of ethnic (white) privilege in the workplace.

Findings

There is an inexorable link between European global expansion and colonization, industrialization, and the racialization/ethnicization of nineteenth and twentieth century US organizations. Furthermore, the particular manifestations of ethnic (white) privilege today must be understood within its historical development and the new meanings whiteness has acquired within the workplace if scholars and practitioners are to be successful in creating inclusive workplaces.

Research limitations/implications

The focus in this paper is on the USA and ethnic (white) privilege to the exclusion of other forms of difference and contexts. Suggestions for future research are provided along with managerial implications.

Originality/value

This paper provides historical insight into the formation of white privilege in organizations and constitutes a prelude to fully understanding its contemporary manifestations in the workplace. These insights suggest ways to disrupt inequality and create inclusive organizations that do not privilege one ethnic or racial group over another.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Romie F. Littrell and Stella M. Nkomo

This research was undertaken to investigate the differences in preferred managerial leadership behaviour among genders and racial groups in South Africa.

Abstract

Purpose

This research was undertaken to investigate the differences in preferred managerial leadership behaviour among genders and racial groups in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from part time MBA students in South Africa, and subjects' preferences for explicit leader behaviour was assessed by the Leader Behaviour Description Questionnaire XII, with samples of Asian[1], black, coloured[2], and White South Africans further categorized by gender.

Findings

Coloured sample subjects were most dissimilar from the other samples as to preferred leader behaviours. The most similar grouping was black males with white males and females.

Research limitations/implications

Different results were obtained than predicted by past studies comparing only black and white subjects. Studies comparing only those two racial groups could yield misleading interpretations of the actual managerial leader race and gender dynamics in South Africa. Owing to the small samples obtained for coloureds and Asian women, a follow‐up study is underway to increase these sample sizes.

Practical implications

Implications of this study for practice are that programmes of managerial leadership development and practice need to consider that the race and gender dynamics in South Africa extend beyond the majority blacks and whites, and need to be more inclusive of all groups.

Originality/value

The results tend to contradict the interpretations of past studies of management and leadership that have indicated significant differences between the behaviours of blacks and whites in the business environment. These two groups were found to be most similar in preferences.

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 20 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Sylvia Maxfield

Abstract

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1996

B. Wayne Rockmore and Foard F. Jones

This study examined the relationship between 130 firm's business investment strategy and their firm performance, as measured by return on investment (ROI) and earnngs per…

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between 130 firm's business investment strategy and their firm performance, as measured by return on investment (ROI) and earnngs per share (EPS). ROI was used as the accounting performance measure and EPS was used as the market‐based performance measure. Results indicate that the accounting performance measure (ROI) may be more appropriate for firms pursuing share‐increasing and turnaround business investment strategies. Whereas both accounting (ROI) and market‐based (EPS) measures may be more appropriate for firms pursuing less risky profit‐oriented business investment strategies.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 22 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Spero C. Peppas

States that as managing a culturally diverse workforce has become increasingly important to business and government, organizations across the USA have focused considerable…

Abstract

States that as managing a culturally diverse workforce has become increasingly important to business and government, organizations across the USA have focused considerable attention on diversity and diversity training. Highlights that, despite this emphasis, there is little data in terms of the attitudes of specific subcultures as related to management values. Compares the attitudes of individuals from Afro‐American and euro‐American cultures with respect to 18 value statements related to management. Suggests that there were no significant differences.

Details

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7606

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

Su Olsson

Abstract

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Stella Nkomo and David B. Zoogah

Abstract

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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