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Den (o)lönsamma mångfalden: Om forskningens, marknadsekonomins och den funktionella dumhetens roll i organisationers olikhetsskapande
University of Skövde, School of Business.
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The (un)solid business case of diversity management : The role of researchers, functional stupidity and market economy in the construction of essentialist categories of human differences in organizations. (English)
Abstract [sv]

Bakgrund: Mångfald som begrepp introducerades i Sverige under 1990-talet med den amerikanska ledningsstrategin Diversity management som förebild, där man i slutet av 1980-talet började tala om anti-diskriminering i termer av organisationsnytta. Insikten om vikten av diversifierade arbetsstyrkor som kan generera effektivitet och kundanpassning beskrivs tillsammans med den demografiska utvecklingen ha gjort mångfald till en etablerad managementfråga. Begreppet konceptualiseras emellertid på en mängd olika sätt - en normativ managementlitteratur tenderar att framhäva mångfaldens fördelar, medan en omfattande kritik mot mångfald som managementstrategi vuxit fram i den akademiska sfären.

Syfte: Studien syftar till att studera hur mångfaldsbegreppet konstrueras i olika svenska organisationer samt att förstå villkoren för dessa konstruktioner.

Metod: Studien har genomförts med en kvalitativ metod genom semistrukturerade intervjuer med elva respondenter i tio organisationer inom offentlig och privat sektor.

Slutsats: Människors olikheter utgör själva utgångspunkten för konstruktionen av mångfaldsbegreppet och ses som en förutsättning för organisationers prestationsförmåga. En funktionalistiskt orienterad forskning betraktas som sann och objektiv och olika normativa element i den institutionella omgivningen beskrivs prägla organisationernas konstruktion av begreppet. Mångfaldsfrågan förstås som frikopplad från praktiken och starka institutionella krav på ekonomisk rationalitet i den organisatoriska kontexten beskrivs vara avgörande för begreppets konstruktion. Genom att betona den särartsideologi som utgör själva förutsättningen för diskriminering beskrivs vidare konstruktionen av den lönsamma mångfalden bidra till att skapa och upprätthålla maktrelationer och social ojämlikhet.

Abstract [en]

Background: Diversity management was introduced in Sweden during the 1990s along with its desirable arguments which stresses the importance of diversified workforces in order to ensure organizational efficiency and customization. These assumptions along with demographic changes in the Swedish labour force has led to diversity being described as an established issue for management. However, the concept can be conceptualized in a variety of ways – a functionalistic orientated management literature tend to highlight the benefits of diversity in organizations, while extensive criticism of diversity as a management strategy has emerged in the academic sphere. 

Purpose: The purpose is to study how the concept of diversity is constructed in Swedish organizations. Furthermore to understand the conditions of these constructions.  

Method: The study was conducted with a qualitative research method,  through ten semi-structured interviews in both public and private organizations.

Conclusion: Human differences constitute the very basis of the construction of diversity management and is seen as a prerequisite for organizations' performance ability. A functionalist-oriented research is regarded as true and objective and various normative elements in the institutional environment are described as important for the construction of diversity. However, the issue of diversity management is understood to be decoupled from practice and strong institutional requirements for economic rationality in the organizational context are described as crucial for the concept's construction. By emphasizing the specific ideology that constitutes the very premise of discrimination, the construction of diversity as a business case is further described to contribute to creating and maintaining power relations and social inequality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 64
Keywords [en]
Diversity management, legitimacy, functional stupidity, reflexivity, discourse
Keywords [sv]
Mångfald, legitimitet, funktionell dumhet, reflexivitet, diskurs
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-17179OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-17179DiVA, id: diva2:1326866
Subject / course
Business Administration
Educational program
Human Resources, Organization and Leadership
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-21 Created: 2019-06-18 Last updated: 2019-06-21Bibliographically approved

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