Second Edition Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment
Edited by Alain Klarsfeld, Lize A.E. Booysen, Eddy Ng, Ian Roper and Ahu Tatli
Chapter 7: Moving societies and immobile organizational practices: the winding road of diversity management in Italy
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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