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Handbook of Gender, Work, and Organization by Patricia Yancey Martin, David Knights,, Emma L Jeanes

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Section Four

Diversity in/and Management and Organizations

Editorial Introduction

Many discussions of diversity in the management/organization literature focus on fairness and equality. A typical rationale asserts that a more diverse organization is a fairer organization. If decision-makers will use ‘objective qualifications’ rather than categorical distinctions such as gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, and so on when making decisions, they will create a more just organization when making decisions (cf. Kalev, Dobbins, and Kelly, 2006). Claims about fairness and justice are regularly made about gender diversity since women’s educational qualifications often equal or exceed those of men (as does their work experience) while they remain dramatically underrepresented in the higher ranks of management.1 Interpretations of this condition allege that women have been discriminated against due to their gender and diversity requires the presence of more women in powerful positions.

Diversity is discussed also in relation to creativity and innovation with the implication that diversity improves organizational performance, if managed properly (cf. Bassett-Jones, 2005). Bassett-Jones (2005) says organizations that operate in a ‘high-commitment context’ can ‘either seek to harness diversity in order to promote creativity and innovation or they can ignore the diversity dimension . . . If they are successful in embracing diversity, then organizational agility, founded upon ...

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