Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

(Managing) Diversity

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_52-1



The division of the workforce into distinct categories that (a) have a perceived commonality within a given cultural or national context and that (b) impact potentially harmful or beneficial employment outcomes such as job opportunities, treatment in the workplace, and promotion prospects – irrespective of job-related skills and qualifications (Mor Barak 2014, p. 136).


Organizations have become more diverse over the past decades, among others, due to globalization and women entering the labor force. The increasing reliance on teamwork and loosening of hierarchical boundaries have further created an increase in the extent to which individuals who differ from each other work together. Another main impetus for diversity in organizations was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the USA, which prohibited all employment practices that discriminated on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (age and disability were...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Benschop Y, Verloo M (2011) Gender change, organizational change, and gender equality strategies. In: Jeanes EL, Knights D, Martin PY (eds) Handbook of gender, work, and organization. West Sussex, Wiley-Blackwell, pp 277–290Google Scholar
  2. Dwertmann DJ, Nishii LH, van Knippenberg D (2016) Disentangling the fairness & discrimination and synergy perspectives on diversity climate moving the field forward. J Manag 42(5):1136–1168Google Scholar
  3. Eagly AH (2016) When passionate advocates meet research on diversity, does the honest broker stand a chance? J Soc Issues 72:199–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ely RJ, Thomas DA (2001) Cultural diversity at work: the effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Adm Sci Q 46(2):229–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Graham HD (1998) Unintended consequences: the convergence of affirmative action and immigration. Am Behav Sci 41:898–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kelly E, Dobbin F (1998) How affirmative action became diversity management: employer response to antidiscrimination law, 1961 to 1996. Am Behav Sci 41:960–984CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kochan T, Bezrukova K, Ely R, Jackson S, Joshi A, Jehn K, Leonard J, Levine D, Thomas D (2003) The effects of diversity on business performance: report of the diversity research network. Hum Resour Manag 42:3–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Leslie LM, Mayer DM, Kravitz DA (2014) The stigma of affirmative action: a stereotyping-based theory and meta-analytic test of the consequences for performance. Acad Manag J 57:964–989CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lorbiecki A, Jack G (2000) Critical turns in the evolution of diversity management. Br J Manag 11:17–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Loyd DL, Wang C, Phillips K, Lount R (2013) Social category diversity promotes premeeting elaboration: the role of relationship focus. Organ Sci 24(3):757–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McKay PF, Avery DR (2015) Diversity climate in organizations: current wisdom and domains of uncertainty. Res Pers Hum Resour Manag 33:191–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Mor Barak ME (2014) Managing diversity: toward a globally inclusive workplace, 3rd edn. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  13. Mor Barak ME, Lizano EL, Kim A, Duan L, Rhee MK, Hsiao HY, Brimhall KC (2016) The promise of diversity management for climate of inclusion: a state-of-the-art review and meta-analysis. Hum Serv Organ Manag Leadersh Gov 4:305–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nishii L (2013) The benefits of climate for inclusion for gender-diverse groups. Acad Manag J 56(6):1754–1774CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Nishii L, Mayer DM (2009) Do inclusive leaders help to reduce turnover in diverse groups? The moderating role of leader-member exchange in the diversity to turnover relationship. J Appl Psychol 94:1412–1426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Noon M (2007) The fatal flaws of diversity and the business case for ethnic minorities. Work Employ Soc 21:773–784CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pendry LF, Driscoll DM, Field CT (2007) Diversity training: putting theory into practice. J Occup Organ Psychol 80:27–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Plaut VC (2010) Diversity science: why and how differences makes a difference. Psychol Inq 21:77–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pless MM, Maak T (2004) Building an inclusive diversity culture: principles, processes and practice. J Bus Ethics 54:129–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pletzer JL, Nikolova R, Kedzior KK, Voelpel SC (2015) Does gender matter? Female representation on corporate boards and firm financial performance – a meta-analysis. PLoS One 10(6):e0130005. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Post C, Byron K (2015) Women on boards and firm financial performance: a meta-analysis. Acad Manag J 58(5):1546–1571CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rhode D, Packel AK (2014) Diversity on corporate boards: how much difference does difference make? Del J Corp Law (DJCL) 39(2):377–426Google Scholar
  23. Shore LM, Randel AE, Chung BG, Dean MA, Ehrhardt KH, Singh G (2011) Inclusion and diversity in work groups: a review and model for future research. J Manag 37:1262–1289Google Scholar
  24. Srikanth K, Harvey S, Peterson R (2016) A dynamic perspective on diverse teams: moving from the dual-process model to a dynamic coordination-based model of diverse team performance. Acad Manag Ann 10:453–493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Tomlinson F, Schwabenland C (2010) Reconciling competing discourses of diversity? The UK non-profit sector between social justice and the business case. Organization 17:101–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. van Dijk H, van Engen ML, van Knippenberg D (2012a) Defying conventional wisdom: a meta-analytical examination of the differences between demographic and job-related diversity relationships with performance. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 119:38–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. van Dijk H, van Engen ML, Paauwe J (2012b) Reframing the business case for diversity: a values and virtues perspective. J Bus Ethics 111:73–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. van Dijk H, van Engen ML, Meyer B, Loyd DL (2017) Microdynamics in diverse teams: A review and integration of the diversity and stereotyping literatures. Acad Manag Ann 11:517–557Google Scholar
  29. van Knippenberg D, De Dreu CKW, Homan AC (2004) Work group diversity and group performance: an integrative model and research agenda. J Appl Psychol 89:1008–1022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zanoni P, Janssens M, Benschop Y, Nkomo S (2010) Unpacking diversity, grasping inequality: rethinking difference through critical perspectives. Organization 17:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Organization StudiesTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Karianne Kalshoven
    • 1
  1. 1.Amsterdam Center for Integrity and LeadershipAmsterdamThe Netherlands