Let's talk about diversity & inclusion

Goals

Diversity and inclusion have become more important for corporations both from a social and economic perspective. Therefore, the research project at the University of Vienna focuses on the role of communications in strengthening diversity and inclusion concepts and their acceptance and support within corporations. The research project lays the focus on internal communication (management) concerning diversity and inclusion, which is an area that has been largely neglected in previous research.

Central questions:

  1. Which goals do diversity management and communication pursue? How can results be measured?
     
  2.  Which aspects of diversity are addressed? (E.g. gender, age, origin, etc.)
     
  3. Which communication strategies are used? Which communication measures are implemented?
     
  4. What kind of conflicts arise? How does communication try to solve them?
     
  5. How do employees perceive diversity and inclusion within their organization?
     
  6. How can internal communication create more acceptance of and support for diversity measures?

 

Approach

To answer the research questions, a multi-stage procedure is used, which is divided into the following steps:

  1. Literature review in the disciplines of communication studies, management and organizational studies, business ethics, psychology, and sociology as well as an analysis of practioner-oriented literature on D&I
     
  2. Semi-structured interviews with 84 employees to (a) investigate employees’ experiences gained with D&I-related measures and communication in their companies and (b) determine the extent to which organizational communication on D&I issues impacts the perceived inclusion/exclusion of employees
     
  3. Survey of 1,000 employed persons to ascertain the extent to which an organization’s handling of and communication about D&I issues impact employees’ identifi cation with the organization and subsequent behavior patterns
     
  4. Semi-structured interviews with 20 D&I experts about establishing D&I management, developing a D&I strategy and corresponding measures