Sub-theme 04: (SWG) Diversity, Diversity Management and Identity in Organizations

Inge Bleijenbergh
Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Charlotte Holgersson
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Irene Ryan
AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand

Call for Papers

Bridging cultures, national, organizational, occupational and other, is an integral theme in the literature on workforce diversity. It suggests the need to recognize, support and utilize worker's cultural diversity and to consider how culture intertwines with other identity markers such as gender, age, disability and sexual orientation. But it also refers to organizations’ need to adapt to a multicultural context. The composition of the workforce changed during the last decades and organizations have to handle national and global cultural changes. Moreover, the historical and socio-political context of organizations embeds a peculiar local flavor to diversity management that diverges from the prevalent orthodoxies of universal diversity management. Different actors and groups may be able to use the concept of diversity management strategically to negotiate improvements in status, position or voice in organizations.

To grapple with such developments requires a critical examination of the concepts of diversity and identity and of diversity management practices. What does the concept of diversity entail (Konrad et al., 2006) and how does it relate to identity markers like gender, race, sexuality, nationality and religion? What does diversity management mean in different contexts (Klarsfeld, 2010) and how does it contribute to the recognition of diverse identities and the articulation of marginal voices? Differential power between social identity groups remains unacknowledged in the business case for diversity. In what way do diversity management practices address these power differentials and the simultaneity of processes of social identity (Holvino, 2010)?

Our aim is to make visible forms of discrimination, exclusion, resistance and empowerment and encourage a lively, critical discussion on diversity management issues to further develop the field's theoretical base.



Holvino, Evangelina (2010): 'Intersections: The Simultaneity of Race, Gender and Class in Organization Studies.' Gender, Work & Organization, 17 (3), 248–277.
Konrad, Alison M., Pushkala Prasad & Judith K. Pringle (eds.) (2006): Handbook of Workplace Diversity. London: Sage.
Klarsfeld, Alain (ed.) (2010): International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.


Inge Bleijenbergh is Assistant Professor at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her research interests include gender and organizational change, research methods and intervention methodology. She has published refereed articles in, among others, 'Social Politics', 'Quality & Quantity', 'Equality Diversity and Inclusion' and in several international books. In 2011, she gained a European Union FP7 grant for the project Structural Transformation on Gender Equality in Science (STAGES).
Charlotte Holgersson is Senior Researcher at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Her research is located in the field of gender and organization, in particular management, change and sexuality. She has published refereed articles in, among others, 'Gender, Work and Organization' and 'Scandinavian Journal of Management' and is co-author of several books. She is currently involved in a research project on the gendered conditions for management and a project on gender equality in an excellence centre in materials design, both funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA).
Irene Ryan is Senior Lecturer at AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests include gender and diversity, intersectionality, leadership and sport. She has published refereed articles in, among others, 'Journal of Management & Organization' and 'Gender in Management' and wrote several book chapters. In 2011, she gained a prestigious, New Zealand – Fast Start Marsden Award, to research the role of sport in male-dominated leadership cultures.