WBRC Seminar: Critical Perspectives on Diversity in Organisations - Why They Matter, and What the Options Are

Dr. Thomas Calvard, University of Edinburgh Business School. discusses workplace diversity and the effects it has on employees and teams.

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Decades of investigations into diversity in the workplace have created mixed answers about what kinds of effects it has on employees and teams, and whether or not it can be managed effectively to generate positive outcomes for organizations. In contrast to mainstream work from management and psychology, critical views on workplace diversity have emerged that seek to grasp more fully the messy social and political realities of workplace diversity as they operate in context.  The recently published book, Critical Perspectives on Diversity in Organizations (2021, Routledge) therefore seeks to review, integrate and build upon critical perspectives on workplace diversity that have emerged to help give a fuller understanding of how employee differences affect workplace interactions, relationships, employment, inequality, culture, and society. Critical perspectives help to fill in and openly recognize many of the more far-reaching issues that pure management and psychology approaches can leave out – issues of power, inequality, politics, history, culture, and lived experiences. If organizations do not try to take these issues into account and critically reflect on them, then diversity management is likely to remain a relatively blunt instrument or worse, a hollow piece of rhetoric.  

About the speaker

Dr. Thomas Calvard is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Organisation Studies at the University of Edinburgh Business School. His research focuses on how organisations and actors make sense of social perspectives, viewpoints, limits and boundaries, with an emphasis on identity, diversity, technology and ethics. He has published his work in Management Learning, Organization Science, Gender, Work and Organization, Journal of Business Ethics, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, and Work, Employment & Society. 

If you have any questions please email Chia-Huei at c.wu4@leeds.ac.uk.