Sara Louise Muhr
The Diversity and Difference platform works to consolidate, advance and disseminate research on diversity and difference in order to have an impact on society through strong partnerships with policy makers, business leaders, NGOs, and public organizations.
The platform brings together researchers from a broad range of disciplines, nationally and internationally, including organization studies, linguistic anthropology, cross-cultural management, philosophy, religion, sociology and economics. Our research engages with themes such as migration and integration, cultural and linguistic diversity in the workplace, women in management, sexuality and queer studies, inclusive leadership and diversity management.
As a Business in Society platform we focus on strengthening ties to businesses and public organizations, and dissemination and outreach are central aims of the platform. Our research aims at producing better and more inclusive solutions with and for collaborating organizations, such as leadership training, inclusion tool kits and innovative HR practices.
The BiS platform Diversity and Difference commenced its activities on 1 March 2018 and will run for a five-year period.
The research of the platform’s members covers the following thematic areas:
Inequalities based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, disability, and parental socioeconomic status, among others, persist—even among highly-skilled professionals and global elites. Similarly, leaders in all walks of life continue to represent certain sociodemographic categories disproportionately. Nonetheless, organizational leaders and high-skilled professionals have the power and therefore the responsibility to ensure diversity and equal opportunity in the organizational and professional spheres, and to take action towards positive transformative change in broader society. This theme explores the complexities of diversity and difference in leadership and the professions by attending equally to how diversity makes a difference for leadership and professional work, and to how leaders and professionals can work to make a difference for diversity.
Research shows that people in networks and teams often look like one another. This means that recruitment to and through network tend to reinforce inequalities with regard to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, disability, and parental socioeconomic status. With focus on networks based in prestigious or decision-making affiliations, this theme explores how and within what spheres and institutions the networks remains closed for outsiders and which areas become more open.
Doing international business and managing international organizations inevitably involves making decisions and communicating across cultures and languages. The internationalization of an organization is mirrored in the linguistic diversity of its internal and external communication. Linguistic diversity is a source of complexity, misunderstanding and ambiguities in organizations and many organizations respond by introducing a corporate language, thus setting normative linguistic standards with effects far beyond the intention. In the group concerned with linguistic diversity we are particularly interested in studying how language choice and corporate language policies affect the flow of information, the power structures, the identity of employees and managers, recruitment decisions and ultimately the inclusion of diverse language users, all aspects which have a fundamental bearing on organizational performance.
Gender and sexuality are two aspects of the human condition which are central to our identity formation, behavior and the structures of our societies. Understandings and embodiments of gender and sexuality shape our perceptions of self- and the other; our subjectivities, relationships and worldviews. This theme focusses on the conditions which shape gender and on the myriad of practices, experiences and desires which constitute human sexuality. It questions in which ways beliefs and norms about gender and sexuality enhance or constrain the possibilities that individuals and organizations have to flourish, to belong and to fully develop their talent and potential. The absence and limited representation of women – and other minorities – in specific occupations as well as in leadership positions is a problem affecting both organizations and wider society. In the same way, hegemonic forms of sexuality combined with social prejudice and stereotyping contributes to the alienation and abuse of specific groups. By engaging with the complexity of gender and sexuality in contemporary societies, this theme aims at fostering a constructive dialogue with leaders, minorities, scholars and students to develop policies, initiatives and tools for equal opportunities and inclusion.
Migration and Integration are wide and multifaceted phenomena related to different domains such as employment, housing, education, health, social relations, language and cultural knowledge. One such important domain is migrants´ integration into the labour market. With increasing migrant numbers in many European countries and “steadily high” unemployment levels among migrants, integration of migrant workers into the labour market have become pressing questions in Europe in recent years. These questions are accentuated due to recent refugee and asylum seeker inflows in Europe, which are popularly perceived and constructed as strains on European countries’ economies and welfare systems.
Despite the need for effective labour market integration in the wake of increasing internationalization and migration, there are few analyses of how integration of migrants takes places at organizational level. Extant research has primarily focused on the challenges migrants face in their labour market integration attempts, e.g., the existence of discrimination in regards to recruitment processes. However, we lack comprehensive knowledge on employers practices of integration, e.g. how host country organisations understand and facilitate migrants’ integration processes via concepts such as Diversity Management, and related practices, and how migrant workers relate to these practices, which will be the primary focus of this theme.
More to come
More to come