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  • Workplace diversity and job satisfaction

    Purpose: This article estimates the empirical relationship between workplace diversity in terms of nationality and individual worker job satisfaction in the context of a multicultural country. It also examines the role of the level of communication between coworkers in moderating this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: Using merged survey and administrative data, the paper estimates OLS and ordered Probit regression estimates of the correlations between two measures of workplace diversity and self-reported job satisfaction. Findings: The relationship between nationality diversity and job satisfaction is negative. While there is some evidence of a nonlinear relationship, it depends on the specification and measure of diversity used. Contrary to expectations, the level of interaction between colleagues does not moderate this relationship. Practical implications: The research highlights the need for employers to actively manage the diversity within their firms. Originality/value: The paper adds to the diversity and job satisfaction literature by focusing on the nationalities of coworkers. It also is the first to measure the impact of the levels of interactions with coworkers on the diversity-satisfaction relationship.

  • “Reinventing the wheel over and over again”. Organizational learning, memory and forgetting in doing diversity work

    Purpose: One of the urgent questions in the field of diversity is the knowledge about effective diversity practices. This paper aims to advance our knowledge on organizational change toward diversity by combining concepts from diversity studies and organizational learning. Design/methodology/approach: By employing a social practice approach to organizational learning, the author will be able to go beyond individual learning experiences of diversity practices but see how members negotiate the diversity knowledge and how they integrate their new knowledge in their day-to-day organizational norms and practices. The analysis draws on data collected during a longitudinal case study in a financial service organization in the Netherlands. Findings: This study showed how collective learning practices took place but were insufficiently anchored in a collective memory. Change agents have the task to build “new” memory on diversity policies and gender inequality as well as to use organizational memory to enable diversity policies and practices to be implemented. The inability to create a community of practice impeded the change agenda. Research limitations/implications: Future research could expand our knowledge on collective memory of knowledge on diversity further and focus on the way employees make use of this memory while doing diversity. Practical implications: The current literature often tends to analyze the effectiveness of diversity practices as linear processes, which is insufficient to capture the complexity of a change process characterized with layers of negotiated and politicized forms of access to resources. The author would argue for more future work on nonlinear and process-based perspectives on organizational change. Originality/value: The contribution is to the literature on diversity practices by showing how the lack of collective memory to “store” individual learning in the organization has proven to be a major problem in the management of diversity.

  • Organizational diversity and inclusive boundary-work: the case of Israeli hospitals

    Purpose: The theoretical conceptualization of boundaries is proposed as a useful approach to study diversity in organizations. Design/methodology/approach: Two types of diversity in health-care organizations – functional diversity and social category diversity – are compared, drawing on two extensive studies of Israeli hospitals. One study addresses the boundary between the medical professions and complementary medicine and the other examines the boundary between Israel's Jewish ethnic majority and the Arab minority. Findings: With regard to functional diversity, boundary-work is used to draw, redraw, and maintain the boundary between biomedicine professionals and complementary medicine practitioners. With respect to social category diversity, boundary-work is employed to blur the boundary between Jewish and Arab professionals working within the organization and the ideal of professionalism is used as a boundary object to blur this ethno-national boundary. Originality/value: This typology is offered in the hope of providing greater theoretical insight into the study of organizational diversity in the context of power relations.

  • Mechanisms for hiring discrimination of immigrant applicants in the United States

    Purpose: Few studies examine how hiring discrimination can be an antecedent to the labor exploitation of immigrant workers. The main purpose of this paper is to advance the theoretical understanding of how the intersectionality of race and immigrant status affects differential hiring treatment, and how it affects job offers, job acceptance and hiring decision outcomes for immigrant job seekers. Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws from theories on status and intersectionality, and literature on immigration labor and racial hierarchy, addressing the unequal power relations that underlie race and immigration status affecting the hiring process, to advance critical understandings of why immigrant job seekers accept positions where they may be exploited. Findings: This paper provides a conceptual model to critically synthesize the complexity between race and immigrant status, and their effect on the experience of immigrant job seekers differently. Exploitation opportunism is introduced to better understand the mechanisms of hiring discrimination among immigrant job seekers to include the role of race, immigrant status, economic motivations and unequal power relations on the hiring process. Practical implications: The framework for exploitation opportunism will help employers improve the quality and fairness of their hiring methods, and empower immigrant job seekers to not allow themselves to accept subpar job offers which can lead to exploitation. Originality/value: The paper provides an original analysis of immigrant job seekers' experience of the hiring process that reveals the intragroup differences among immigrants based on race and status, and the decision-making mechanisms that hiring managers and immigrant job seekers use to evaluate job offers and job acceptance.

  • Diversity management as navigation through organizational paradoxes

    Purpose: Accumulated evidence suggests that efforts at diversity management (DM) yield mixed results or even fail in terms of promoting workforce diversity. Previous scholarly attempts to explain the mixed results of DM initiatives provided only partial understanding. This study applies a paradox perspective to better understand the challenges of DM from the vantage point of diversity managers, who play a central role in the promotion and implementation of diversity initiatives. Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interviews with diversity managers in large business organizations in Israel explored practitioners' conceptions of the challenges underlying the implementation of diversity initiatives. A grounded theory approach was utilized. Findings: The findings reveal the emergence of paradox: diversity initiatives generate organizational tensions that undermine their success and hence amplify the need for further diversity interventions. Three distinct paradoxes are identified: necessary change vs desire for stability; bureaucratic control vs flexible procedures; and long-term business gains vs short-term losses. Diversity managers utilize two opposing strategies to contend with these paradoxes. Research limitations/implications: This study does not represent voices of diverse employees or of top executives. The data focused on mid-level practitioners' descriptions of DM challenges and their methods of contending with them. Practical implications: The findings shed light on an effective strategy of contending with paradox. Recognizing paradox and navigating it properly may greatly advance the success of costly DM change interventions. Implications are suggested regarding the academic education and training of DM practitioners. Originality/value: Based on the paradox framework, which offers a novel vantage point for understanding the challenges of implementing DM, the findings contribute to the scholarly understanding of the limited success of DM interventions.

  • Selective incivility: an insidious form of discrimination in organizations

    Purpose: This article serves as an introduction to four articles featured in a special issue on selective incivility in the workplace. This collection of papers addresses pressing issues around unpacking and tackling selective incivility in organizations. Design/methodology/approach: This introductory article first highlights research in this area to date, provides a summary of the papers included in this special issue and ends with intriguing themes from the papers and ways in which they advance the field. Findings: These papers reveal contextual factors that help us better understand selective incivility: group processes, workplace gender composition, status and power and modality (in-person or online incivility). Originality/value: By bringing together four approaches to studying selective incivility, this special issue pushes the field forward, providing empirically based insights as well as compelling new research directions.

  • Who needs to be “more equal” and why? Doing gender equality in male-dominated industries

    Purpose: This study aims to deepen the understanding of inequality regimes in male-dominated industries, specifically in Swedish forestry and mining, by exploring how conceptions of gender, class and place are articulated and intertwined when doing gender equality in these organizations. Design/methodology/approach: The article draws on empirical material from four research and development projects inspired by a feminist action research methodology. Findings: This paper shows how gender equality works in these male-dominated organizations simultaneously constructing gender, class and place. When men are at the focal point of gender equality, our empirical findings suggest that blue-collar workers in rural areas are described as “being the problem” for gender inequality in these organizations. Addressing specific groups such as women or blue-collar workers in rural areas is not enough to challenge the inequality regimes that exist in these organizations, since a unilateral focus on certain groups leads to skewed problem formulations. Originality/value: Research on gender equality work and its relation to intersectionality in male-dominated industries is limited, and by focusing on men and masculinities, this paper contributes to knowledge concerning gender equality in male-dominated industrial organizations.

  • Relying on second opinions for potentially racist encounters

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how employees’ perceptions and the perceptions of others close to them influence employee reactions to perceived racial discrimination at work. Design/methodology/approach: Integrating the interactional model of cultural diversity (IMCD) with signaling theory, this study examines how others close to an employee can influence employee job satisfaction and turnover in response to potentially racist encounters. The research question is tested using a field study. Findings: Results from a field study of paired participants (surveying the employee plus a paired participant who knew them well) showed that employees’ reactions to perceived racial discrimination are influenced by the perceptions of others close to them. For employees who perceive low discrimination, job satisfaction is lower when others close to them perceive high discrimination against the employee. While the probability of turnover for employees who perceive low discrimination is similar whether paired participants perceive low or high discrimination, their probability of turnover is highest when both they and the other person perceive high racial discrimination against the employee. Research limitations/implications: Suggestions are provided to avoid the appearance and/or practice of discriminatory acts. Originality/value: This paper integrates the influence of others close to employees in the IMCD diversity climate, individual career outcomes and organizational effectiveness.

  • Representations of New Public Management in Australian Public Service gender equality policies

    Purpose: Governments have demonstrated a renewed interest in progressing gender equality for their workforces, including in Australia. This refocusing has resulted in a tranche of new gender equality policies being introduced into the Australian Public Service (APS). The purpose of this paper is to examine how New Public Management (NPM) is reflected in these gender equality policies and consider whether NPM may assist or hinder gender being “undone” or “redone” in APS organisations. Design/methodology/approach: A content analysis was conducted to assess the strategies contained within the gender equality policies of all 18 Australian government departments. Findings: The content analysis reveals that the policies strongly reflect an NPM framing, except in one important area – that of monitoring and evaluation. The lack of attention to this crucial element of NPM may hinder effective implementation of many of the policies. The authors also conclude that while good intent is evident in the policies, they may “redo” rather than “undo” gender in organisations. Practical implications: The paper will assist organisations which are developing and implementing gender equality policies. Even though NPM is specific to the public sector, the research highlights the potential and pitfalls when developing such policies in an environment focused on increasing efficiencies and reducing costs. Originality/value: While gender equality and public sector reforms occurred simultaneously in Australia, few researchers have examined the interactions between the two.

  • From me too to what now: advancing scholarship on sex harassment issue 1: a persistent problem

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