A Diversity Perspective
Edited by Mine Karataş-Ozkan, Katerina Nicolopoulou and Mustafa F Özbilgin
Chapter 5: An underestimated factor of diversity in French companies: the case of ‘solidarity leave’
Nowadays French companies are looking for new kinds of differentiation. To this end, they create the conditions for their success through and with their employees. The variety of employees becomes a new asset to be exploited and can be considered from the point of view of human resources. In this chapter we explore their behaviours as a potential element of corporate social responsibility (CSR). We follow the definition taken from the Green Book of the Commission of the European Communities (2001, p. 5) CSR is the voluntary integration of the social and ecological concerns of the companies to their commercial activities and their relationships to stakeholders (shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and partners, human communities, etc.) and this in order to satisfy the applicable legal obligations and to invest in the human capital and the environment. More precisely, the CSR implications for communication are stated. The concept of diversity is not only based on the employee’s physical characteristics (age, sex, etc.), but also on his or her own story (work experience, etc.). Why is management as a discipline not really concerned with the latter point? Up to now, professional life and private life have been clearly delimited. But in fact professional work and personal experiences are connected, and their borders have become permeable. Work experience is not independent of personality and private life. Indeed, it ensues from past behaviours influenced by personal and environmental elements (family, culture, etc.).
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