Managing diversity or diversifying management?

Managing diversity or diversifying management? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to draw on postcolonial theorising on hybridity as a heuristic to explore current tensions described by managers in voluntary organisations engaging with diversity issues. Voluntary organisations are particularly valued for their innovative services developed in response to the needs of their constituents. However, managers describe increasing tension between their organisation's mission on behalf of marginalised and excluded groups and the increasing expectation that these organisations act as contractors to the state and as providers of professionally managed services. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on interviews with a range of key informants, including chief executives, specialist diversity managers and project workers, working in UK‐based voluntary organisations; the interviews explored diversity issues in a broad sense including campaigning and advocacy work as well as service provision. Findings – Evidence was revealed of innovative ways of working that respond to the needs of particular communities and constituencies – thereby supporting the rationale behind the “business case” for diversity. Also found was evidence of pressures from regulators and funders to standardise that make such innovation less likely; involving processes of undermining the efforts of organisations to manage and organise themselves independently, and of essentialising – fixing the subjects of diversity in an identity of difference and inferiority. The findings suggest that “managing diversity” is inherently problematic. Originality/value – There is little academic research that applies a critical perspective to voluntary organisations and less using postcolonial theory as a heuristic. However, voluntary organisations are central to both national and international anti‐poverty initiatives and programmes designed to facilitate community renewal. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png critical perspectives on international business Emerald Publishing

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/managing-diversity-or-diversifying-management-typxPf1q0b
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1742-2043
DOI
10.1108/17422040810870033
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to draw on postcolonial theorising on hybridity as a heuristic to explore current tensions described by managers in voluntary organisations engaging with diversity issues. Voluntary organisations are particularly valued for their innovative services developed in response to the needs of their constituents. However, managers describe increasing tension between their organisation's mission on behalf of marginalised and excluded groups and the increasing expectation that these organisations act as contractors to the state and as providers of professionally managed services. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on interviews with a range of key informants, including chief executives, specialist diversity managers and project workers, working in UK‐based voluntary organisations; the interviews explored diversity issues in a broad sense including campaigning and advocacy work as well as service provision. Findings – Evidence was revealed of innovative ways of working that respond to the needs of particular communities and constituencies – thereby supporting the rationale behind the “business case” for diversity. Also found was evidence of pressures from regulators and funders to standardise that make such innovation less likely; involving processes of undermining the efforts of organisations to manage and organise themselves independently, and of essentialising – fixing the subjects of diversity in an identity of difference and inferiority. The findings suggest that “managing diversity” is inherently problematic. Originality/value – There is little academic research that applies a critical perspective to voluntary organisations and less using postcolonial theory as a heuristic. However, voluntary organisations are central to both national and international anti‐poverty initiatives and programmes designed to facilitate community renewal.

Journal

critical perspectives on international businessEmerald Publishing

Published: May 2, 2008

Keywords: Voluntary organizations; Equal opportunities; Organizational analysis

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off