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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Jinhua Chen, Graeme Harrison and Lu Jiao

This paper examines how lateral accountability mechanisms may be used to address the unity–diversity tension in a large not-for-profit (NFP) inter-organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines how lateral accountability mechanisms may be used to address the unity–diversity tension in a large not-for-profit (NFP) inter-organizational partnership governed under a lead organization model.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was conducted in the New South Wales Settlement Partnership comprising 23 NFP organizations providing settlement services for migrants and humanitarian entrants. Multiple data sources included semi-structured interviews, proprietary and publicly available documents and observation.

Findings

The paper demonstrates (1) the usefulness of a strength-based approach that the lead organization adopts in enacting lateral accountability mechanisms, which enables a balance between unity and diversity in the partnership; and (2) the capability of the lead organization governance model to address the unity–diversity tension.

Research limitations/implications

The paper (1) identifies the importance of a strength-based approach in implementing lateral accountability mechanisms to address the unity–diversity tension; and (2) challenges prior research that advocates the network administrative organization governance model in addressing the tension.

Practical implications

For practice, the paper identifies a suite of lateral accountability practices designed to address the unity–diversity tension. For policy, it provides confidence for government in promulgating the lead organization governance model in “purchasing” public services.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates how lateral accountability mechanisms may be used to provide a balance between the objectives of preserving and leveraging the benefits of partner diversity and achieving unity. The strength-based approach (used in enacting the accountability mechanisms), while having a history in psychology and social work research, has not been recognized in prior partnership accountability and governance studies.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2014

Heather M.L. Wallace, Kristine F. Hoover and Molly B. Pepper

Responses to diversity management have resulted in disappointment to many organizations (Cox, 2001). Previous work has situated rational for diversity in deontological…

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2955

Abstract

Purpose

Responses to diversity management have resulted in disappointment to many organizations (Cox, 2001). Previous work has situated rational for diversity in deontological ethics by equality scholars, while the business case for diversity has commonly rested on utilitarian ethics (van Dijk et al., 2012). The purpose of this paper is to examine a possible shift in rational for diversity – to explore if and how the ethic of care has been utilized in the diversity statements of companies earning recognition as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in 2012.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilized visual rhetoric analysis and was designed to examine multiple elements of these diversity statements as published in the company web sites, including presence of the ethic of care, visual communication, and logistics.

Findings

Of note are the results of the presence of the ethic of care as a primary or secondary rationale in 70 percent of the statements studied. Statistically significant results were found in the number of images of people from diverse backgrounds, as well as levels pleasantness and activation of the tone of the ethics statements.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a better understanding of identifiable characteristics of these diversity statements at organizations which have been identified by their employees and the Great Place to Work Institute.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Iolo Madoc-Jones, Dawn Jones, Odette Parry and Sarah Dubberley

Drawing on the approach of Bourdieu (1977, 1986), and using language as an exemplar, the purpose of this paper is to engage in a “dangerous conversation” to explore how…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the approach of Bourdieu (1977, 1986), and using language as an exemplar, the purpose of this paper is to engage in a “dangerous conversation” to explore how and why issues of diversity were mobilised, ignored and leveraged in one particular service context.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research exploring the language choices of 25 service users who had been processed through the criminal Justice System in Wales in the last five years.

Findings

The argument is made that in some service contexts, a habitus obtains that renders reflexivity about diversity issues problematic and predicates against the critical reflection necessary to promote anti-oppressive practice.

Research limitations/implications

Small sample size, not generalisable.

Practical implications

The authors intend the paper to encourage greater reflection on instances when diversity issues are raised and to render simplistic any attempt to invalidate claims of discrimination.

Social implications

Encourage dialogue about claims of discrimination and greater reflection by service providers about the legitimacy of such claims.

Originality/value

Anti-oppressive theorising has, for the most part, constructed minority group members as passive victims within hierarchical power relationships. While acknowledging how power is unequally distributed, the paper challenges hierarchical models which designate minority group members as bereft of power.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Silvia Ravazzani

– The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of why and how companies implement diversity management in practice, and of factors that may explain their approach.

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12748

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of why and how companies implement diversity management in practice, and of factors that may explain their approach.

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes inspiration from existing typologies depicting organisation-wide perspectives on diversity management, and articulates them in more detail by applying practice-driven indicators and highlighting possible contingent factors at play. The resulting framework is used to investigate diversity management in Italy. Data from a survey conducted among 90 companies and two focus groups with experts and managers are presented.

Findings

The most common approach among Italian companies focuses on addressing social expectations, seemingly shaped by isomorphic pressures and the need to secure legitimacy in their environment. Results also point to an understanding and practice of diversity management in Italy that also incorporate compliance and opportunity-oriented aspects, in an interplay between coercion and voluntarism that reflects local perspective and priorities.

Originality/value

This study makes an effort to address the paucity of studies linking approaches to managing diversity with managerial interventions and contextual factors. The research model connecting approaches with practice-driven aspects and explanatory factors shows descriptive and predictive potential, although it should be contextualised to the specific setting under investigation. This study also fills a research gap in Italy, where existing research primarily involves case studies and qualitative approaches and focuses on gender issues. Implications for research and practice drawn from this study can be useful to scholars and practitioners in other countries.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Stephen Frost

Conventional wisdom says that diverse organisations perform better. However, this is not always the case. Diverse teams that are not inclusive are unable to leverage their…

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1047

Abstract

Purpose

Conventional wisdom says that diverse organisations perform better. However, this is not always the case. Diverse teams that are not inclusive are unable to leverage their diversity, and thus will not reap its benefits. The purpose of this paper is to show that organisations that exhibit inclusive behaviour and inclusive leadership can leverage diversity to reap its multiple positive benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on various examples from different sectors, including Kodak, the US Armed Forces and NASA, to analyse the effects of sameness on teams. It also draws on the author’s own experience and the most recent peer-reviewed research to look at the effects of inclusive management, not just diversity.

Findings

This paper shows that there is ample evidence that diverse teams often perform better, and that they only perform better when led inclusively. The combination of diverse teams and inclusive management can lead to increased innovation and productivity and better decision-making.

Originality/value

This important reframing of the value of inclusion and not just diversity is insightful for the CEO and C-suite leaders, as well as essential for human resource managers or anyone who makes decisions about hiring, promotions or team composition.

Details

Strategic HR Review, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-4398

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Patrick F. McKay and Derek R. Avery

Over the past decade, the U.S. workforce has become increasingly diverse. In response, scholars and practitioners have sought to uncover ways to leverage this increasing…

Abstract

Over the past decade, the U.S. workforce has become increasingly diverse. In response, scholars and practitioners have sought to uncover ways to leverage this increasing diversity to enhance business performance. To date, research evidence has failed to provide consistent support for the value of diversity to organizational effectiveness. Accordingly, scholars have shifted their attention to diversity management as a means to fully realize the potential benefits of diversity in organizations. The principal aim of this chapter is to review the current wisdom on the study of diversity climate in organizations. Defined as the extent that employees view an organization as utilizing fair personnel practices and socially integrating all personnel into the work environment, diversity climate has been proposed as a catalyst for unlocking the full value of diversity in organizations. During our review, we discuss the existent individual- and aggregate-level research, describe the theoretical foundations of such work, summarize the key research findings and themes gleaned from work in each domain, and note the limitations of diversity climate research. Finally, we highlight the domains of uncertainty regarding diversity climate research, and offer recommendations for future work that can enhance knowledge of diversity climate effects on organizational outcomes.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Irene Hau-Siu Chow

This paper aims to identify the mechanisms through which cognitive diversity affects creativity. It explores how and in what ways cognitive diversity affects team members…

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1370

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the mechanisms through which cognitive diversity affects creativity. It explores how and in what ways cognitive diversity affects team members by examining the mediating roles of team learning and inclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire survey data were collected from matched supervisor and employee pairs from a direct sales company in the health-care industry in China. The final sample consisted of 216 employees from 48 teams, with a response rate of 90 per cent. Each employee’s immediate supervisor rated his or her creativity and in-role performance.

Findings

The empirical results indicate that team learning and inclusion mediate the effect of cognitive diversity on creativity.

Research limitations/implications

This study was conducted in a single organisation in China and used subjective self-reported measures.

Practical implications

The results suggest that diversity training reduces the negative consequences of team diversity and offer practical insights into the effectiveness of diversity management and the ways to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. The study should help human resource professionals to identify human resources strategies that stimulate an inclusive environment and leverage the benefits associated with higher levels of diversity.

Social implications

The findings have significant implications for developing and maintaining social harmony.

Originality/value

The uniqueness of this study is its simultaneous investigation of diversity and inclusion and how they lead to creativity.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Yuka Fujimoto and Charmine E.J. Härtel

To overcome the shortcomings of diversity training programs, the purpose of this paper is to conceptualize an organizational diversity-learning framework, which features…

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7620

Abstract

Purpose

To overcome the shortcomings of diversity training programs, the purpose of this paper is to conceptualize an organizational diversity-learning framework, which features an organizational intervention for employees’ joint decision-making process with other employees from different statuses, functions, and identities. Borrowing key principles from the diversity learning (Rainey and Kolb, 1995); integration and learning perspective (Ely and Thomas, 2001; Thomas and Ely, 1996), and the key practices informed by deliberative democratic theories (Thompson, 2008), the authors develop a new organizational diversity learning framework for behavioral, attitudinal, and cognitive learning at workplaces. They conclude with directions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper first presents an overview of key shortcomings of diversity training programs in relation to their group composition, design, content and evaluation. Second, it borrows the key principles of diversity learning (Rainey and Kolb, 1995); integration and learning perspectives (Ely and Thomas, 2001; Thomas and Ely, 1996), and the key practices informed by deliberative democratic theories (Thompson, 2008) to delineate the organizational diversity learning framework. Third, it presents a table of the approach contrasted with the shortcomings of diversity training programs and discusses practical and theoretical contributions, along with directions for future research.

Findings

This paper conceptualizes an organizational diversity-learning framework, which features an organizational intervention for employees’ joint decision-making process with other employees from different statuses, functions, and identities.

Research limitations/implications

The organizational diversity learning framework developed in this paper provides an inclusive diversity learning paradigm in which diversity learning rests in the experience of the learner. As stated by experiential learning theory, this framework encourages workers to heuristically learn about diverse perspectives in a psychologically safe environment, to reflect on different perspectives, and to create a new awareness about learning from others. As the participants learn to apply new repertoires for interacting with others in their daily work interactions (e.g. listening to different perspectives shared by unfamiliar social group members), it proposes that their behaviors may create a ripple effect, changing other colleagues’ attitudes, behaviors, and thinking patterns on working with diverse coworkers.

Practical implications

This paper provides detailed instructions for practitioners to facilitate diversity learning. It highlights a few key practical implications. First, the framework provides a method of organization-wide diversity learning through intersecting networks within the workplace, which is designed to reduce the elitist organizational decision making that mainly occurs at the upper echelon. Second, unlike other stand-alone diversity initiatives, the framework is embedded in the organizational decision-making process, which makes employees’ learning applicable to core organizational activities, contributing to both employees’ diversity learning and organizational growth. Third, the framework provides a preliminary model for transferring employees’ diversity learning in daily work operations, nurturing their behavioral learning to interact with different social groups more frequently at work and inclusive of their colleagues’ perspectives, feelings, and attitudes.

Social implications

Workforces across nations are becoming increasingly diverse, and, simultaneously, the gap and tension between demographic representation in the upper and lower echelons is widening. By joining with other scholars who have advocated for the need to move beyond diversity training programs, the authors developed the organizational diversity learning framework for meaningful co-participation of employees with different statuses, functions, and identities. By inviting minority perspectives into the organizational decision-making process, top managers can explicitly send a message to minority groups that their perspectives matter and that their contributions are highly valued by the organization.

Originality/value

There has not been a conceptual paper that delineates the diversity inclusive decision-making process within a workplace. The authors established the organizational diversity learning framework based on the diversity learning, organizational diversity integration and learning perspectives, and deliberative democracy practices. The proposed framework guides organizations in structural interventions to educate employees on how to learn from multiple perspectives for better organizational decision making.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 October 2017

Maria Giuseppina Bruna, Jean-François Chanlat and Mathieu Chauvet

The sociological and demographic reality of recent decades has meant that western companies have seen an evolution towards greater diversification among their staff…

Abstract

The sociological and demographic reality of recent decades has meant that western companies have seen an evolution towards greater diversification among their staff members. The implementing of a diversity policy in a company cannot be reduced to a managerial fashion or fad, to professional rhetoric or to a set of superficial or illusory initiatives, but it can aim at social transformation. That is why, in this chapter, the authors have chosen to portray the deployment of such an approach from the standpoint of an organisation-changing process, which can, at the same time, alter the language, the standards and the practices of the organisation and led them at the end to identify three managerial levers capable of transforming team diversity into performance enhancers.

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