Diversity Management’s Paradoxical Negation of Diversity

By Joseph Matthew Beer.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

There has been a development over the past twenty years of focused organizational strategies to address increased levels of workplace diversity in order to improve opportunities for diverse ‘others’. This focus has seen the development of the ‘business case’ for managing diversity and the claim that diversity has a long list of potential benefits for organisational performance and profitability. However little questioning has been developed around what this means for organisational functioning and the experience of those labelled ‘diverse’. This paper questions these processes by raising certain paradoxes within the diversity management literature. Its argument is that without addressing underlying assumptions of power within an organisational context, which pervades the literature itself, diversity management runs the risk of undermining, rather than increasing, opportunities for the diverse.

Keywords: Organisational Diversity, Diversity Management, Discrimination, Post-colonial Theory

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 628.721KB).

Joseph Matthew Beer

PhD Candidate, Department of Management and International Business, The University of Auckland Business School, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

I have nine years experience teaching in the area of organisational studies. I am currently in the beginning stages of my PhD which is in the area of Organisational Sociology focusing on Diversity Management. The general question i have is around the institutionalisation of ethnic stereotypes at a social level around the value of behaviours minority ethnic groups which negates their ability to both gain viable employment or to successfully participate within organisations once employed. My contention is that diversity management literature has restricted the ability of a broader discusion to be had around discrimination and exclusion of immigrant ‘others’.


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