Table of Contents

Managing Cultural Diversity in Asia

Managing Cultural Diversity in Asia

A Research Companion

Edited by Jawad Syed and Mustafa F. Özbilgin

This Companion provides an authoritative overview of how cultural diversity is managed in Asia. Although the Asian context appears at first sight to be irreconcilably divergent in terms of diversity management approaches, the contributing authors seek to explore thematic and geographical demarcations of the notions of cultural diversity and equality at work.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Diversity Management Travels to Underexplored Territories

Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Jawad Syed

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, business and management, asia business, diversity and management, human resource management, international business


Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Jawad Syed Not a believer inside the mosque, am I Nor a pagan disciple of false rites Not the pure among the impure Neither Moses, nor the Pharaoh Bulleh! to me, I am not known Not an Arab, nor Lahori Neither Hindi, nor Nagauri Hindu, Turk (Muslim), nor Peshawari Nor do I live in Nadaun Bulleh! to me, I am not known (Bulleh Shah, 1680–1757) Managing workforce diversity constitutes an important area of global corporate activity (Ferner et al., 2005), although it can be considered a relatively new organisational paradigm (Gilbert et al., 1999). Diversity management continues to fascinate management scholars as diversity promises advancement in knowledge, evolution and innovation (Härtel, 2004). However, the diversity management phenomenon remains underexplored in the Asian context. When we conceived the idea of co-editing this research volume two years ago, we were aware of and also motivated by the fact that the oft-cited studies of diversity, for example, Sanchez and Brock (1996) and Harrison et al. (1998), are limited to the English-speaking geographies. Furthermore, mainstream theorisation in the field has been rather anaemic in terms of contextual detail, namely relating theorisation on diversity to history and geography (see, for example, Harrison and Klein, 2007). Ignoring history and geography in building diversity theory bodes ill for understanding issues pertaining to diversity management in other contexts, that is, places and times that fall outside the mainstream focus in this field of study (Özbilgin, 2009; Syed and Özbilgin, 2009). Even studies...