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Companies are increasingly required to reflect the diverse social images in their own teams:
The concept of diversity in organizations refers to the (sociodemographic) differences among people in an organization on grounds of:
Three aspects have to be considered when organizations genuinely want to foster an inclusive work environment (Downey et al., 2015; Mor Barack, 2017):
… is the strategic coordination of practices that bring a diverse society into the organization and ensures that all employees, no matter how “different” they may be, feel included.
„For me, diversity and inclusion mean equal opportunities. That is, regardless of a person’s ethnic background, religion, gender, or age – everyone must be given the same opportunities. At the same time, diversity should be consciously perceived and used, because heterogeneous teams have better problem-solving skills and innovative strength.”
Theresia E. Pircher, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, PORR AG
To establish veritable D&I management, organizations should highlight the economic
advantages as well as addressing employees’ wants and needs:
The business case stresses the economic benefits from a diverse workforce, e.g., increased creativity and innovative power or adapting to a diverse clientele. Research findings indicate that D&I management can increase sales revenue, invite more customers, and generate a greater market share (Herring, 2009).
However, the impact of D&I management on the bottom line is considered rather multicausal and often mediated by psychological variables. For this reason, the organizational context, as well as employees’ wants and needs, must always be considered when establishing D&I management.
The justice case emphasizes the social responsibility of companies to treat all (prospective) employees equally and to enable them to develop their full potential.
Even though the dichotomy of business and justice is often emphasized, our findings clearly show that the two cases are interdependent in that economic rationales and resources pave the way for a company’s involvement in social justice issues.
--> Only when D&I management is perceived as authentic does it have a positive impact on employees.
The research project was led by Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller and Daniel Wolfgruber, University of Vienna. It is divided into four sub-studies:
Companies that participated in the semi-structured expert interviews – a selection:
The research project was conducted by Dr. Sabine Einwiller and Daniel Wolfgruber at the University of Vienna from 2020 to 2021: