International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment

Elgar original reference

Edited by Alain Klarsfeld

Managing and developing diversity is on the political and business agenda in many countries; therefore diversity management has become an area of knowledge and practice in its own right. Yet all too often it is referred to as a unifying concept, as if it were to be interpreted uniformly across all cultures and countries. The contributors to this volume expertly examine the relationship between diversity management and equality legislation within the different participating countries’ national contexts. They advocate that such separation and sequencing between equality at work and diversity management is far from natural.

Perspectives from 16 Countries on Diversity and Equal Treatment at Work: An Overview and Transverse Questions

Alain Klarsfeld

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour

Extract

Alain Klarsfeld Managing and developing diversity is on the political and business agenda in many countries. Diversity management has become an area of knowledge and practice in its own right in a number of countries. Yet all too often, it is referred to as a unifying concept, as if it were to be interpreted uniformly across cultures and countries. Much of the diversity literature is written by US or Anglo-Saxon scholars and suggests that diversity management represents a break from equality and equal opportunities at work. The purpose of this book is to restore diversity to its national contexts, and in particular to assess its relationship with equal employment legislation when such legislation exists. Countries covered by this volume are Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK and the USA. Although it must be acknowledged that diversity may be a topic in the absence of such legislation, one particular question of interest to the authors of this book is to examine whether an equal employment legislation and ‘diversity management’ labelled as such existed at all in the different participating countries, and whether this ‘diversity management’ represented a break from equality concepts such as equal opportunity and affirmative action, as has been argued for about twenty years (Thomas, 1990; Thomas and Ely, 1996; Jain et al., 2003). The following chapters suggest that diversity management has not emerged as a concept in all participating countries, and where it has, a distinction...