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Title: Understanding and implementing managing diversity in organisations : a study in the retail sector
Author: Foster, Carley Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0001 2411 4721
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2003
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Managing diversity has multiple meanings. Nevertheless, there is some agreement in the literature relating to its broad principles. In particular, there is agreement that there are business benefits to be gained from adopting a managing diversity approach. In other words, an organisation can achieve certain advantages by treating people differently, rather than the same. In this sense, managing diversity is an alternative approach to equal opportunities because the main thrust for adopting an equal opportunities approach arose from a moral imperative. The rhetoric also implies that implementing a managing diversity approach is straightforward. However, this study argues that there is a considerable difference between the persuasive rhetoric of managing diversity and the approach in practice. Adopting a qualitative case study strategy, this study has explored how managing diversity is understood and implemented by different organisational groups. In addition, the study has considered how perceptions of 'fairness' inform and interact with the application of managing diversity and it has considered how realistic, in practice, the business case for managing diversity is. Materials have been obtained from three separate organisations within a large UK based retailer. This study argues that managing diversity requires a stronger theoretical underpinning since there are a number of conceptual flaws that exist within the literature. The case analysis also indicates that the business case for managing diversity is based upon naïve assumptions that frequently fail to consider the 'costs' of managing diversity. The findings additionally suggest that treating people differently in an organisational environment that emphasises procedural justice and treating people the same is highly problematic. Furthermore, implementation is dependent on multiple interrelated internal and external organisational factors that are given little consideration in the literature. These factors have been identified in a map which can help organisations to make sense of managing diversity. Managing diversity, therefore, is an approach that is 'easy to talk about' but 'difficult to do'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Procedural fairness