International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

Second Edition Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment

Elgar original reference

Edited by Alain Klarsfeld, Lize A.E. Booysen, Eddy Ng, Ian Roper and Ahu Tatli

The second edition of this important reference work provides important updates and new perspectives on the cases constituting the first edition, as well as including contributions from a number of new countries: Australia, Finland, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria and Russia. Countries that have been updated and expanded are Austria, Canada, France, India, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

Chapter 7: Moving societies and immobile organizational practices: the winding road of diversity management in Italy

Annalisa Murgia and Barbara Poggio

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, human resource management


In Italy, a concern with diversity management arose considerably later than in other western countries. This was due to various factors: Italy's particular productive system, which is largely made up of small and medium-sized enterprises, the belated onset of the internationalization and diversification of work, and probably cultural features specific to Italy (Bombelli, 2010; De Vita, 2010). It is mainly in the past decade that the concept of diversity management has spread beyond a narrow circle of experts and entered the broader academic debate and firms, where diversity-orientated personnel management initiatives have begun to gain ground, albeit sporadically and slowly, and to very different extents across the country (Barabino et al., 2001; Bombelli, 2003; Castellucci et al., 2009; Cocozza, 2010; Mauri and Visconti, 2004; Visconti, 2007). The main factors behind the diffusion of this approach have been: the growing presence of the multinationals and the spread of international cooperation agreements that imply intercultural management (Ambrosini, 2001; Decastri, 1993); the progressive feminization of the labour market and the growing female presence in traditionally masculine sectors (Bombelli, 2000; Gherardi and Poggio, 2007); the demands made by individuals of organizations regarding self-realization and a better balance between work and private life (Cuomo and Mapelli, 2007; Piazza et al., 1999); and the recommendations and financial support of the European Union (EU).

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