Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 129–147 | Cite as

Building an Inclusive Diversity Culture: Principles, Processes and Practice

  • Nicola Pless
  • Thomas Maak
Article

Abstract

In management theory and business practice, the dealing with diversity, especially a diverse workforce, has played a prominent role in recent years. In a globalizing economy companies recognized potential benefits of a multicultural workforce and tried to create more inclusive work environments. However, “many organizations have been disappointed with the results they have achieved in their efforts to meet the diversity challenge” [Cox: 2001, Creating the Multicultural Organization (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco)]. We see the reason for this in the fact that while much attention has been paid to the strategic dimension of diversity policies, systems, and processes, much less thought has been given to the normative dimension, the norms and values involved. Given the fact that diversity is essentially about cultural norms and values, appropriate reflection work becomes a fundamental task to create a truly inclusive work environment where people from diverse backgrounds feel respected and recognized. Therefore, we focus in this article on the challenge of building an inclusive diversity culture showing that such a “culture of inclusion” has to be built on solid moral grounds. We present a conceptual framework of inclusion based on a moral theory of recognition and introduce the founding principles of reciprocal understanding, standpoint plurality and mutual enabling, trust and integrity. After revealing barriers that hinder a culture of inclusion from emerging we shed light on the process of developing such a culture which involves four essential transformational stages: The first phase focuses on raising awareness, building understanding and encouraging reflection. The second phase deals with the development of a vision of inclusion as an important step to define the change direction. In a third phase key management concepts and principles should be re-thought. This leads to the fourth, action-oriented phase, that focuses on an integrated Human Relations Management (HRM)1 system that helps implement change by doing both, translating the founding principles via competencies into observable and measurable behavior and fostering the development, reinforcement and recognition of inclusive behavior.

Business principles Change management Corporate culture Diversity management Discourse ethics Ethics of recognition Business ethics Integrated personnel management system HRM 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allen, R. S. and K. A. Montgomery: 2001, ‘Applying an Organizational Development Approach to Creating Diversity’, Organizational Dynamics 30(2), 149–161.Google Scholar
  2. Baier, K.: 1958, The Moral Point of View (Cornell University Press, Ithaca).Google Scholar
  3. Catalyst: 1998, Advancing Women in Business: The Catalyst Guide (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  4. Calton, J. M. and N. B. Kurland: 1996, ‘A Theory of Stakeholder Enabling: Giving Voice to An Emerging Postmodern Praxis of Organizational Discourse’, in D.M. Boje, R. P. Gephart and T. J. Thatchenkery (eds.), Postmodern Management and Organization Theory (Sage, Thousand Oaks), pp. 154–177.Google Scholar
  5. Champy, J. A.: 1997, ‘Preparing for Organizational Change’, in F. Hesslebein, M. Goldsmith and R. Beckhard (eds.), The Organization of the Future (pmJossey-Bass, San Francisco), pp. 9–16.Google Scholar
  6. Cox, T. H.: 1991, ‘The Multicultural Organization’, Academy of Management Executive 5(2), 34–47.Google Scholar
  7. Cox, T. H.: 2001, Creating the Multicultural Organization (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  8. Cox, T. H. and R. L. Beale: 1997, Developing Competency to Manage Diversity (Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  9. Cox, T. H. and S. Blake: 1991, ‘Managing Cultural Diversity: Implications for Organizational Competitiveness’, Academy of Management Executive 5(3), 45–56.Google Scholar
  10. Dachler, H. P.: 1992, ‘Management and Leadership as Relational Phenomena’, in M. Von Cranach, W. Doise and G. Mugny (eds.), Social Representations and The Social Basis of Knowledge (Hogrefe, Go¨ tttingen and Huber, Bern), pp. 169–178.Google Scholar
  11. Dachler, H. P.: 1999, ‘Alternatives of Individual Conceptions of Global Leadership: Dealing with Multiple Perspectives’, in W. H. Mobley, M. Jocelyne Gessner and Val Arnold (eds.), Advances in Global Leadership, Vol. 1, (JAI Press, Stamford, CT), pp. 75–98.Google Scholar
  12. Dachler, H. P. and T. Dyllick: 1988, ‘“Machen” und “Kultivieren” – Zwei Grundperspektiven der Fu¨ h-rung’, Die Unternehmung 42(4), 283–295.Google Scholar
  13. Dachler, H. P. and D.-M. Hosking: 1995, ‘The Primacy of Relations in Socially Constructing Organizational Realities’, in D.-M. Hosking, H. P. Dachler and K. J. Gergen (eds.), Management and Organization (Aldershot, Avebury), pp. 1–28.Google Scholar
  14. Enderle, G. (ed.): 1999, International Business Ethics. Challenges and Approaches (University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame/London).Google Scholar
  15. Fortune: 1999, ‘Diversity Today: Developing and Retaining the Best Corporate Talent’, Fortune 139(12), Special Advertising Section (S2–S26).Google Scholar
  16. Friedman, S. D., P. Christensen and J. DeGroot: 1998, ‘Work and Life: The End of the Zero-Sum Game’, Harvard Business Review 76(6), 119–129, 196.Google Scholar
  17. Gergen, K. J.: 1995, ‘Relational Theory and the Discourses of Power’, in D.-M. Hosking, H. P. Dachler and K. J. Gergen (eds.), Management and Organization (Aldershot, Avebury), pp. 29–50.Google Scholar
  18. Gilbert, J. A., B. A. Stead and J. M. Ivancevich: 1999, ‘Diversity Management: A New Organizational Paradigm’, Journal of Business Ethics 21, 61–76.Google Scholar
  19. Gilbert, J. A., and J. M. Ivancevich: 2000, ‘Valuing Diversity: A Tale of Two Organizations’, Academy of Management Executive 14 (1), 93–105.Google Scholar
  20. Gilligan, C.: 1982, In a Different Voice (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA).Google Scholar
  21. Goleman, D.: 1995, Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ (Bantam Book, New York, etc.).Google Scholar
  22. Gouillart, F. J. and J. N. Kelly: 1995, Transforming the Organization (McGraw-Hill, New York).Google Scholar
  23. Habermas, J.: 1996, Die Einbeziehung des Anderen. Studien zur politischen Theorie (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main).Google Scholar
  24. Helgesen, S.: 1990, The Female Advantage: Women's Ways of Leadership (Doubleday, New York).Google Scholar
  25. Hofstede, G.: 1991, Cultures and Organizations: Software of The Mind (McGraw-Hill, London).Google Scholar
  26. Hofstede, G. and M. Bond: 1984, ‘Hofstede's Culture Dimensions’, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 15, 417–433.Google Scholar
  27. Honneth, A.: 1994, Kampf um Anerkennung (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main); English: Struggle for Recognition (MIT Press, Boston).Google Scholar
  28. Iannello, K. P.: 1992, Decisions Without Hierarchy (Routledge, New York, London).Google Scholar
  29. Kanter, R. M.: 1997, ‘Restoring People to the Heart of The Organization of the Future’, in F. Hesslebein, M. Goldsmith and R. Beckhard (eds.), The Organization of the Future (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco), pp. 139–150.Google Scholar
  30. Kanter, R. M.: 1977, Men and Women of The Corporation (Basic Books, New York).Google Scholar
  31. Kotter, J. P.: 1996, Leading Change (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA).Google Scholar
  32. Leach, J., B. George, T. Jackson and A. Labella: 1995, A Practical Guide to Working with Diversity (AMACOM, New York).Google Scholar
  33. Maak, T.: 1999, Die Wirtschaft der Bu¨rgergesellschaft (Haupt, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien).Google Scholar
  34. McFall, L.: 1992, ‘Integrity’, in J. Deigh (ed.), Ethics and Personality. Essays in moral Psychology (The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, London), pp. 79–94.Google Scholar
  35. Milliken, F. J. and L. L. Martins: 1996, ‘Searching for Common Threads: Understanding The Multiple Effects of Diversity in Organizational Groups’, Academy of Management Review 21, 402–433.Google Scholar
  36. Morgan, G.: 1997, Images of Organization (Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA).Google Scholar
  37. Moorthy, R. S., R. T. De George, T. Donaldson, W. J. Ellos, R. C. Solomon and R. B. Textor: 1998, Uncompromising Integrity. Motorola's Global Challenge (Motorola University Press, Schaumburg, IL).Google Scholar
  38. Nemeth, C. J.: 1985, ‘Dissent, Group Process and Creativity: The Contribution of Minority Influence’, in E. Lawler (ed.), Advances in Group Processes (JAI Press, Greenwich, CT), pp. 57–75.Google Scholar
  39. Nemeth, C. J. and J. Wachtler: 1983, ‘Creative Problem Solving as a Result of Majority vs. Minority Influence’, European Journal of Social Psychology 13, 45–55.Google Scholar
  40. Pfeffer, J.: 1981, Power in Organizations (Pitman, Marsh-field, MA).Google Scholar
  41. Phillips, R.: 2003, Stakeholder Theory and Organizational Ethics (Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  42. Pless, N.: 1998, Corporate Caretaking: Neue Wege der Ges-taltung Organisationaler Mitweltbeziehungen (Metropolis, Marburg).Google Scholar
  43. Post, J. E., L. E. Preston and S. Sachs: 2002, Redefining the Corporation. Stakeholder Management and Organizational Wealth (Stanford University Press, Stanford).Google Scholar
  44. Prahalad, C. K. and R. A. Bettis: 1986, ‘The Dominant Logic: A New Linkage Between Diversity and Performance’, Strategic Management Journal 7, 485–501.Google Scholar
  45. Rehg, W.: 1994, Insight and Solidarity. The Discourse Ethics of Ju ¨rgen Habermas (University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles).Google Scholar
  46. Robinson, G. and K. Dechant: 1997, ‘Building a Business Case for Diversity’, Academy of Management Executive 11, 21–31.Google Scholar
  47. Sandel, M.: 1982, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne).Google Scholar
  48. Schein, E.H.: 1985, Organizational Culture and Leadership (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  49. Sennett, R.: 1998, The Corrosion of Character. The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism (W.W. Norton, New York).Google Scholar
  50. Sharp Paine, L.: 1997a, ‘Integrity’, in P. H. Werhane and R. E. Freeman (eds.), The Blackwell Encyclopedic Dictionary of Business Ethics (Blackwell, Malden, MA: Oxford), pp. 335–337.Google Scholar
  51. Sharp Paine, L.: 1997b, Cases in Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Integrity. A Strategic Perspective (Irwin/ McGraw-Hill, Boston, MA et al.).Google Scholar
  52. Shaw, J. B. and E. Barrett-Power: 1998, ‘The Effects of Diversity on Small Work Group Processes and Performance’, Human Relations 51, 1307–1325.Google Scholar
  53. Sheridan, J. H.: 1994 (Sept. 19), ‘Dividends from Diversity’, Industry Week, 23–26.Google Scholar
  54. Shotter, J.: 1993, Conversational Realities (Sage, London).Google Scholar
  55. Smircich, L.: 1983, ‘Organizations as shared meanings’, in L. Pondy et al. (eds.), Organizational Symbolism (JAI, Greenwich, CT), pp. 160–172.Google Scholar
  56. Solomon, R. C.: 1999, A Better Way to Think About Business. How Personal Integrity Leads to Corporate Success (Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford).Google Scholar
  57. Solomon, R. C. and F. Flores: 2001, Building Trust in Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life (Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York).Google Scholar
  58. Srivastva, S. and D. L. Cooperrider: 1986, ‘The emergence of the egalitarian organization’, Human Relations 39, 683–724.Google Scholar
  59. Svendsen, A., The Stakeholder Strategy (Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  60. Thomas, D. A. and J. J. Gabarro: 1999, Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA).Google Scholar
  61. Thorne LeClair, D., O. C. Ferrell and J. P. Fraedrich: 1998, Integrity Management (University of Tampa Press, Tampa, FL).Google Scholar
  62. Ting-Toomey, S.: 1999, Communicating Across Cultures (Guilford Press, New York, London).Google Scholar
  63. Ulrich, P. and T. Maak: 2000, ‘Business Ethics – The Founding Principles’, in European-Business Forum (3), Autumn, 19–23.Google Scholar
  64. Weisinger, H.: 1998, Emotional Intelligence at Work (Jossey-Bass, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  65. Wheeler, D. and M. Sillanpa¨a¨: 1997, The Stakeholder Corporation (Pitman, London).Google Scholar
  66. Williams, R. S.: 1998, Performance Management. Perspecitves on Employee Performance (International Thomson Business Press, London).Google Scholar
  67. Wright, P., S. P. Ferris, J. S. Hiller and M. Kroll: 1995, ‘Competitiveness Through Management of Diversity; Effects on Stock’, Academy of Management Journal 38, 272–287.Google Scholar
  68. Zadek, S.: 2001, The Civil Corporation. The New Economy of Corporate Citizenship (Earthscan, London, Sterling, VA).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Pless
    • 1
  • Thomas Maak
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Business EthicsUniversity of St. GallenCHSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations