What is going on?
Inquiries into the contradictions of leading cultural diversity
Leading cultural differences and diversity in large organisations is quite a successful theme today and rests on well established theoretical and empirical tools and models to leverage this cultural diversity. Yet, some researchers have recently advanced evidence that the management of differences is not as successful as it seems, despite scholars and practitioners’ best intensions. These researchers are preoccupied with understanding power structures in organisations and processes of social change, in the spirit of ‘critical management studies’. They point to empirical evidences and theoretical considerations indicating that the definition and management of differences are done in ways that can reproduce power inequalities and thus undermine the entire purpose of diversity and cross-cultural management. This means that the way cultural diversity management addresses its own fundamental questions and endeavour is said to undermine its raison d’être. Worse, some argue that cross-cultural and diversity management are dehumanising employees and thus, are unethical.
How is this possible? We aim to investigate this state of affairs, this interconnection between an active leadership of cultural diversity and the alleged reproduction of inequalities and unethical practices. How can cultural diversity management theories and practices be said to contribute to something which so opposite to their endeavour? We aim at an in-depth (ethnographic) investigation of current practices of ‘diversity management’ in order to better understand ‘what is going on’ and to contribute to the further development of ethical inclusive leadership.
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Laurence Romani, Katharina Pilhofer, Lotte Holck and Julie Lorenzen (CASL), Charlotte Holgersson (KTH & CASL), Sara Louise Muhr and Annette Risberg (Copenhagen Business School)
Barmeyer, C. Romani, L and Pilhofer, K. (Forthcoming 2016), Welche Impulse liefert interkulturelles Management für Diversity Management? , in P. Genkova and T. Ringeisen (Eds), Diversity Kompetenz, Spinger.
Benschop, Y., Holgersson, C., van den Brink, M., and Wahl, A. (forthcoming 2016) Future challenges for practices of diversity management in organizations, in Bendl, R. et al (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Diversity in Organization. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Holgersson, C. and Tienari, J. (2015) “This is just the way it is”: Executive Search and Gendered Careers, in A. Broadbridge and S. Fielden (Eds.) Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management: Getting in, Getting on, Getting out. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Holck, L, Muhr, S.L. and Villesèche, F (2015, forthcoming): Identity, diversity and diversity management: On theoretical connections, assumptions and implications for practice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
Pilhofer, K. and Holgersson, C. (forthcoming 2015). Review article: Diversity at Work – The Practice of Inclusion, B. M. Ferdman, B. R. Deane, Scandinavian Journal of Management,
Romani, L. and Holgersson, C., (forthcoming 2016) Inclusive leadership for sustainable work practices, in L. Zander (Ed.) Research Handbook of Global Leadership: Making a difference, Edward Elgar, UK.
Romani, L. Holck, L. Holgersson, C and Muhr, S.L (Forthcoming 2016), Diversity Management and the Scandinavian Model: Illustrations from Denmark and Sweden, in J.F Chanlat and M. Özbilgin (Eds.) Management & Diversity: Main constatations in different countries. London: Emerald.
Romani, L., Primecz, H. and Barmeyer, C. (in preparation) Cross-cultural management studies: state of the field in the four research paradigms, International Studies of Management and Organization.
Holck, L. The politics of intervention-based critical ethnography when studying diversity in organizations, paper at the 2015 EGOS annual conference, Athens, July 1-4th, Greece.
Ashcraft, K. L. and Muhr, S. L. (2014) Masculinist Metaphor and Military Practice: Unsettling the Gender Binaries of Leadership Studies, paper presented at the 2014 EGOS annual meeting in Rotterdam.
Financed by the Ragnar Söderberg foundation 2014-2017