In this article, I contend that the multicultural view of diversity found in management diver sity literature and diversity training programs diminishes our understanding of diversity. It reduces diversity to differences and assumes that the goal should be including, bridging, accommodating, and managing these supposed differences. Diversity is psychologized, depoli ticized, and biopoliticized. It becomes merely a means to an end. The end being superior organi zational outcomes in terms of utility and functionality. I contend that an ecological perspective makes for a more constructive and expansive view of human diversity. I discuss the contours of this emergent perspective and the many ways in which it expands our understanding of human diversity. Ultimately, I contend looking at diversity from an ecological perspective makes for a richer understanding of the relationship between diversity and the human experience.
A consultant and lead client discuss the rationale and process for an organization-wide diversity initiative in a national political organization. Approaches and models used to address systemic organization change for racial inclusion in a social justice framework are reviewed. Discussion of initial results, including emerging cultural change and ancillary benefits of the initiative follow. The authors conclude with challenges and expectations for expanding the change into programmatic work and for sustainability.
A recent debate in identity studies is about gender of health care professions arguing that the feminization of health care professions will diminish diversity as well as status in the field. The paper argues that even in health care professions of many females, such as within public rehabilitation, there is still diversity in the creation of professional identity. This paper argues that the fundamental part the identity of rehabilitation professionals is not formed by educational values, gender and knowledge, but is created in the everyday work with patients and other professionals. Drawing on narrative interviews with rehabilitation professionals, the paper illustrates how rehabilitation professionals construct their identities and what kind of identity work is emerging. The findings illustrate hybrid identities and tensions in the attempts of becoming identities in the interaction with patients and colleagues.
This article discusses how the emerging trend of using literary arts and dialogue, along with reflective and creative writing, referred to by the author as transformative narratives, can be used to help unpack and re-script assumptions, attitudes, values, and biases of leaders as they operate in systems of privilege. When leaders read, write, and dialogue about their own and others’ cultural and social group identities, they increase self-awareness and improve interaction with others. These skills prove effective in building emotional intelligence that is linked to competencies of high performing leaders who create strong financial performance in their organizations. Specific applications are provided throughout the article.
This article examines whether organization development and diversity consulting have the capacity to foster and sustain systemic change for social justice in organizations in the United States. In a number of her speeches and essays, Audre Lorde made the powerful statement that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” My premise is that systemic racism and oppression in organizations (the “master’s house) was built with and continues to be maintained by the ideologies of materialism and white supremacy. My conclusion is that to achieve sustained systemic change for social justice we need to replace these ideologies and return to pre-existing belief systems of spirituality and interdependence so as to bring about true justice and equity.
In this essay, the author discusses the importance of self-work for diversity and social justice practitioners. In fact, she asserts that it is not only important for practitioners to increase their self-awareness; it is paramount to the success of the initiatives they are leading within any client system. As many organizations are still gripped by their fear of diversity efforts, the call for practitioners to embark on this in-depth exploration is loud and clear. Given the changed landscape from overt discrimination to covert forms of discrimination, this call to action includes being well versed in personal values, biases, assumptions, privileges and pain. The author articulates her point of view regarding these challenges as a scholar practitioner, in an attempt to renew diversity consultant’s commitment to their own personal development.
What does consulting and teaching look like from the sociopolitical spaces of privilege, ambivalence and oppression? Giving voice to visible social identities is explored through narrative exploration of teacher and student voices. Who can raise these issues and who cannot? Pedagogically, how can and should we as trainers address these issues? We discuss consulting and teaching about privilege and oppression across race, ethnicity and gender in psychology programs at urban universities in eastern and western United States. The three issues explored include: a) teaching about privilege and oppression from a visibly privileged social identity; b) acknowledging the ambiguities of privilege and oppression of minorities and immigrants from a sociopolitical space of ambivalence; and c) mentoring and modeling on issues of privilege and oppression from a visibly oppressed social identity. Consulting from this postmodernist perspective is different and more effective when members of all level of the organizations embrace readiness, patience and commitment toward organizational change. This approach is more aligned with the current shifts towards globalization and diversification occurring within organizations today.
The focus of this paper is the narrative construction of the nongovernmental organization (NGO) by the United Nations. How the NGO is conceptualized and communicated by a legitimate institution like the UN is critical for both the sustainability of NGOs and the social benefit created by them. This is because the allocation of resources to NGOs is directly affected by the understanding of what an NGO is. The data come from the 20 speeches of the 54th annual conference (2001) titled as ‘NGOs today: Diversity of the Volunteer Experience’ at the UN headquarters. The results of the study are derived from a critical reading of these 20 narratives. This is a procedure of reading the texts several times, back and forth. Through a participative process, the UN narratively constructs NGOs in terms of volunteerism, diversity, civil society, cooperation with governments, global problems, professionalism, and youth involvement. A preliminary theory of participative narrative construction is outlined.
Learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Australia appear to suffer from impoverished understandings of first and second language acquisition. In the name of accountability they are also caught up in arguable procedures for assessing literacy in classrooms widely characterised by linguistic, social and cultural diversity. Further, an alleged ‘Literacy Crisis’ exacerbates the facile model of literacy presented in policy. An examination of discourse in language and literacy policies suggests that a focus on ‘teaching the basics’ maintains existing distributions of power and knowledge within society. A regime of testing primarily aimed at accountability ultimately subjects education to market forces. Reporting the results of mass testing inevitably leads to comparison between schools, and hence enacts key doctrines of neo-liberalism: competition and individual choice. Neither of these doctrines serves indigenous Australians or immigrant and refugee families who are in the process of settling and have little voice. In such a context, is it possible to right policy wrongs and to write language rights into Australian policies that can satisfy the needs of all learners?
This paper explores and reflects upon how far clergy may act as entrepreneurial leaders in a faith-based organisation which values tradition and continuity, yet wishes to open its membership to a wider constituency. In spite of increased secularisation in Britain, religion and its role in people‘s lives refuses to disappear. Churches and other religious movements now frequently seek to adapt change management techniques to promote cultural diversity and thus appeal to a wider potential membership. At congregational level, clergy become responsible for implementing cultural change initiatives. Consequently, the clergy role may involve responsibility not just for spiritual and ministry issues, in the context of caring for church members‘ emotional needs, but also for management. If, as managers, clergy are responsible for promoting cultural change through management initiatives, it is but a short step to restory them as entrepreneurs, or at least entrepreneurial leaders. Indeed, strategic enterprise thinking is needed to achieve successful cultural change. The pressures on clergy to act as both spiritual ‗therapists‘ and to manage sophisticated corporate operations place a strain on their ability to be also ministers, and obvious anomalies exist. For example, congregations might value leadership behaviours in their clergy, but not when leadership involves acting as a catalyst for cultural change. The more enterprising clergy can experience frustration in bringing about even small innovations and change, and may experience role strain when required to balance the need for providing individual support to existing congregation members with an expectation of appealing to new sources of membership.
This article expands the hypothesis proposed by Peter F. Drücker and Dirk Baecker, that is, how the evolution of computer communication manifests and presses ahead the detemporization and poly-contextuality of information and therefore is said to be the driver for an unmanageable complexity within modern organizations. In order to do so, the article uses an illustrative case of Management by Objectives as it appears within the governmental programmes in Denmark associated with New Public Management. This case shows how this technology enables the production of a diversity of antagonistic images of the organization relative to its environment (polycontextuality) and in particular how these effects emerge due to different timebindings within organizations (organized temporality). As such the hypothesis is expanded in three ways: first of all, the hypothesis is expanded as polycontextuality is comprehended within the temporal dimension, that is, as the differences between timebindings. Second of all, the article renders probable these identity-problems of modern organizations but due to another technology which mediates communication: Management by Objectives. Thus, identity problems should be associated with other media of communication too, than the one of the computer communication. Third of all, the implications of identity problems of modern organizations are often associated with the impossibility of management or with a need for more complex ways of managing. The article is an attempt to specify this approach suggesting 2. order management as a matter of observing the observations enabled by management technologies. To these ends the article draws upon Luhmann´s system theory in order to direct attention to these organizational identity problems. This contribution is not conclusive. It is an attempt to expand a strong hypothesis in the need of further investigation
The paper advances two propositions. First, that organization theory (OT) comprises a heterogeneous body of knowledge which, in effect, is a history of the (on-going) power struggles that produce it. And, second, that OT harbours different concepts of power and associated value-orientations through which it is possible to interpret the diversity and development of OT. These propositions give priority to the politics and ethics of knowledge production, and not differences of ontology, epistemology or levels of analysis. Its pluralist stance accommodates value-orientations which prompt and justify knowledge oriented towards `rationalization’, `explication’ and `emancipation’.
International students (ISs) are important actors in higher education institutions (HEI) as they bring diversity, status and revenue. However, ISs stories of acculturative stress in HEI have remained untold in the current research. While there have been quantitative attempts to understand the links of such stress to negative symptoms affecting ISs, the current literature fails to address the emic aspects, origins, and occurrence of such symptoms. In response to this oversight, this paper presents the results of an ethnographic study. spearheaded by an international student sensitive to these acculturative stressors at a large land grant institution in the Southwestern United States. Based on field observations and semi-structured interviews, this article contributes to the literature by addressing existing gaps in three main ways. First, by providing insight on how sources of acculturative stress are produced. Second, by allowing for increased understanding of the prevalence of resulting symptoms. Finally, it provides insightful implications for HEI.