Off the Edge of the Map: A Study of Organizational Diversity as Identity Work
Sammanfattning: “Diversify or die” is a recurring and rather dramatic call for organizations to recruit, retain and manage a demographically diverse workforce, advocated by the business case for diversity, also known as diversity management philosophy. Diversity management places diverse social identities at the heart of organizational success and has gained much attention from management consultants and managers in North America and Europe. Today, diversity management is a wide-spread organizational policy in many countries. However, existing research suggests that we need to examine organizational diversity beyond the policy level; national and organizational contexts as well as the shadow sides of diversity, such as conflicts and inequalities between social identity groups, need to be included in the analysis. “Off the Edge of the Map: A Study of Organizational Diversity as Identity Work” investigates organizational diversity as an institutional process, grounded in the Swedish context. The focus of this thesis is on how identity construction in a municipal school for adults, Multilex, is informed by discourses on ethnic and gender difference. A hierarchical view of gendered ethnicity is the underlying cultural rationality, which shapes Multilex’s identity work and institutionalized organizational practices. In effect, Multilex’s management of organizational diversity is at a distance from both the conventional notions of diversity management as well as locally defined ideas on pro-diversity work in the municipality.
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