Sub-theme 04: (SWG) Paradigms and Methods of Diversity Scholarship

Inge Bleijenbergh
Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Lize A.E. Booysen
Antioch University, Yellow Springs, & Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, USA
Albert Mills
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada

Call for Papers

Diversity scholarship has become increasingly varied over the past two decades (Prasad et al., 2005). From a starting point of positivist and managerialist approaches (Prasad & Mills, 1997), the field has expanded to include subjectivist and inter-subjectivist paradigmatic approaches, with associated methods, epistemologies and ontological understandings. Examples can be found across the range of paradigmatic frameworks, including critical, feminist, poststructuralist, interpretivist, symbolic interactionist, postcolonialist, relational constructionism, and reflexive dialogism (Bendl et al., in press). While this has broadened the discussion in the field it has also – as the recent debates around intersectionality has shown – created some confusions about how to undertake diversity research.

In this sub-theme, we focus on the different paradigms in diversity scholarship and how they influence all phases of the research process like, for example, how to frame research questions, what research object to choose, which data sources to collect and analyze, how to assess the role of the researcher and finally, what contribution to make with the research in itself. Our overall aim is to provide both a space for paradigmatic debate and development as well as discussion on how to undertake different approaches to diversity management.


To that end we are looking for papers that address, but are not necessarily limited to the following topics:

  • Action research in the field of diversity management – A reflexive approach
  • Diversity scholarship – A critical perspective on the research process
  • Diversity scholarship from the margins – Postcolonialist perspectives
  • Doing diversity management – Challenges and solutions
  • Ethnographical approaches towards examining diversity in organizations
  • Examining intersectionalism – Methodological challenges
  • Managing your way through paradigmatic differences in diversity perspectives




  • Bendl, R., Bleijenbergh, I., Henttonen, E., & Mills, A.J. (eds.) [in press]: The Oxford Handbook of Diversity in Organizations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Prasad, P., & Mills, A.J. (1997): "From showcase to shadow. Understanding the dilemmas of managing workplace diversity." In: P. Prasad, A.J. Mills, M. Elmes & A. Prasad (eds.): Managing the Organizational Melting Pot: Dilemmas of Workplace Diversity. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, pp. 3–27.
  • Prasad, P., Pringle, J.K., & Konrad, A.M. (2005): "Examining the contours of workplace diversity." In: A.M. Konrad, P. Prasad & J.K. Pringle (eds.): Handbook of Workplace Diversity. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, pp. 1–22.


Inge Bleijenbergh is faculty member at the Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and a research methodologist specialized in gender and diversity research. She received the European Union 7th framework grants for the research projects EGERA (Effective Gender Equality in Research and Academia) and STAGES (Structural Transformation to Achieve Gender Equality in Science). Inge is co-editor of the "The Oxford Handbook of Diversity in Organizations" (with Regine Bendl, Elina Henttonen & Albert Mills) and is one of the coordinators of the EGOS Standing Working Group (SWG) on "Gender and Diversity in Organizations".
Lize A.E. Booysen is a core faculty on the PhD in Leadership and Change program at Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio, an adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), Greensboro, NC, USA, and an internationally recognized scholar in the field of diversity and leadership. She participated in the GLOBE leadership project and co-authored "Culture and Leadership across the World: The GLOBE Book of In-depth Studies of 25 Societies" (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007). Lize is the co-editor of "Understanding and Leading Across Differences: Cases and Perspectives (Pfeiffer, 2010) and of the "International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work: Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014).
Albert Mills is Director of the Sobey PhD (Management) at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He the author, co-author and co-editor of thirty five books and edited collections, including "The Oxford Handbook of Diversity in Organizations" (with Regine Bendl, Inge Bleijenbergh, & Elina Henttonen; Oxford University Press, 2014); "Business Research Methods" (with Alan Bryman, Emma Bell & Tony Yue; Oxford University Press, 2011); and "Sex, Strategy and the Stratosphere: The Gendering of Airline Cultures" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2006). He is the Co-Chair of the International Board for Critical Management Studies.