Alternative diversity management: Organizational practices fostering ethnic equality at work

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Articles and Special Issues
Janssens, M., & Zanoni, P. (2014). Alternative diversity management: Organizational practices fostering ethnic equality at work. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 30(3), 317-331. DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2013.12.006
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Taking a critical, performative stance, this study aims to advance our understanding of diversity management enhancing ethnic equality at work. Relying on a multiple-case study, we inductively identify organizational practices that foster the valuing of multiple competencies and the ability to express multiple identities, two key organizational markers of ethnic equality advanced in the gender and diversity literature. Our analysis indicates that ethnic equality is fostered by practices that broaden dominant norms on competencies and cultural identities, and avoid reducing ethnic minority employees to mere representatives of a stigmatized social group. In contrast to ‘classical’ diversity management practices which focus on individuals’ cognitive biases toward out-group members, these practices redefine what is ‘standard’ in the employment relationship, hereby structurally countering ethnic inequality within organizational boundaries.

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