Sub-theme 45: Power, Inclusion and Intersectionality in Organizations

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Convenors:
Regine Bendl
WU – Vienna University of Business and Economics, Austria
Inge L. Bleijenbergh
Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Ahu Tatli
Queen Mary, University of London, United Kingdom

Call for Papers


Developing knowledge aimed at making organizations more inclusive may be a journey full of surprises. Moreover, embarking on research on organizations from equality and diversity perspectives, often means making unexpected discoveries about the nature of organizations, relationships, dynamics and processes that remained hidden from the view and unspoken of (Tatli & Ozbilgin, 2012a). For example, understanding organizations from a binary category of disadvantage such as gender (Bendl, 2008) may hide how exclusion is based on an intersection of different social relations including gender identity, race, sexual orientation, age and ability (Acker, 2012; Holvino, 2010).
 
Equality, diversity and inclusion research enables us to recognise the power-laden nature of the taken-for-granted, and pushes us towards unpacking and questioning key constructs we use such as worker, identity, management and organizations, merit, working time and space. Intersectional analysis of power, inclusion and exclusion is therefore fundamental to understanding the experiences of workers as well as practices of organizing. In this sub-theme, we aim to open up a conversation about intersectionality of identity categories such as gender, age, sexual orientation, race/ ethnicity, disability and so on, but also about the intersectionality of discursive and material domains of organizational processes.
 
Organizational power relations in turn are co-generated through layers of intersectionality at individual, structural, discursive and material levels. The subsequent dynamics of inclusion and exclusion are in turn interrelated and mutually reinforcing. For example, scholarly knowledge necessary for adapting the physical structures of organizations to disabled workers, needs to incorporate the discursive construction of the able bodied worker as well. And to fully understand the social construction of the able bodied workers, we need to incorporate the whiteness, masculinity and age dimension of this construction as well (Williams & Mavin, 2012).
 
Another example is the material dimension of the gender pay gap. Introducing policies to address this issue may not be possible without addressing underlying discursive dimensions of job value that also have heteronormative and racial dimensions. Finally, to fully understand inclusion and exclusion in organizations scholars may need to identify emergent and situated social categories of diversity as embedded in a specific time and place, rather than adopting pre-established social categories (Tatli & Ozbilgin, 2012b).
 
This sub-theme invites scholarly contributions that examine:

  • Power processes in organizations from the angle of inclusion and intersectionality

  • The intersection of multiple social categories, like gender, race, sexual orientation, age and ability in organizations

  • Development or evaluation of policies and interventions aimed at making organizations more inclusive

 
We welcome conceptual papers, empirical papers and reflections on the implementation of interventions aimed at supporting organizational inclusion.

 

References

  • Acker, H. (2012): “Gendered organizations and intersectionality: problems and possibilities.” Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 31 (3), 214–224.
  • Bendl, R. (2008): “Gender subtexts – reproduction of exclusion in organizational discourse.” British Journal of Management, 19, S50–S64.
  • Holvino, E. (2010): “Intersections: The Simultaneity of Race, Gender and Class in Organization Studies.” Gender, Work & Organization, 17, 248–277.
  • Tatli, A., & Özbilgin, M. (2012a): “Surprising intersectionalities of inequality and privilege: the case of the arts and cultural sector.” Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 31, 249–265.
  • Tatli, A., & Ozbilgin, M. (2012b): “An Emic Approach to Intersectional Study of Diversity at Work: A Bourdieuan Framing.” International Journal of Management Reviews, 14, 180–200.
  • Williams, J., & Mavin, S. (2012): “Disability as Constructed Difference: A Literature Review and Research Agenda for Management and Organization Studies.” International Journal of Management Reviews, 14, 159–179.

 

Regine Bendl is Professor and Head of the Institute for Gender and Diversity in Organizations of the VU – Vienna University of Business and Economics, Austria. She got national and international awards for her research and publishes in edited volumes and international peer reviewed journals like the ‘British Journal of Management’. Together with Inge Bleijenbergh, Elina Henttonen and Albert Mills, she edited the “Oxford Handbook on Diversity in Organizations” (Oxford University Press, 2015). Currently, she is Editor of ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’. She convened several EGOS sub-themes.
Inge L. Bleijenbergh is Associate Professor Research Methods at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She conducts research on partipatory action research, gender equality in academia and gender in decision-making. She applies a broad range of research methods like open interviewing, focus group interviews, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and Group Model Building (GMB) and published in edited volume and international peer reviewed journals such as ‘Social Politics’, ‘System Dynamics Review’ and ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion’. Together with Regine Bendl, Elina Henttonen and Albert Mills, she edited the “Oxford Handbook on Diversity in Organizations” (Oxford University Press, 2015). She convened several EGOS sub-themes.
Ahu Tatli is Professor of International Human Resource Management at Queen Mary, University of London, UK. She conducts research on intersectionality; inequality at work; diversity management and change in organizations. Ahu’s research contributed to the advancement of knowledge on eqality, diversity and inclusion at work culminating in over 100 journal and conference papers. She has published in edited collections and international peer-reviewed journals such as ‘Academy of Management Review’, ‘British Journal of Management’, ‘European Journal of Industrial Relations’ and ‘Human Relations’. Her recent books include “Global Diversity Management: An Evidence-based Approach” (2015, Palgrave) and “Pierre Bourdieu, Organisation and Management” (2015, Routledge).
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