Consistency and Variability in Talk about "Diversity": An Empirical Analysis of Discursive Scope in Swiss Large Scale Enterprises

Anja Ostendorp


Traditionally discussions of "diversity" in organizations either refer to an ideal "management" of a diverse workforce or to specific concerns of minorities. The term diversity, however, entails a growing number of translations. Highlighting this diversity of diversity, the concept cannot be merely conceived of as either social-normative or economic-functional. Therefore, the present study empirically scrutinizes the current scope of diversity-talk in Swiss large scale enterprises from a discursive psychological perspective. First, it provides five so-called interpretative repertoires which focus on: image, market, minorities, themes, and difference. Second, it discusses why and how persons oscillate between consistency and variability whenever they draw upon these different repertoires. Finally, it points out possibilities to combine them. This empirical approach to diversity in organizations offers new aspects to the current debate on diversity and introduces crucial concepts of a discursive psychological analysis.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs090218


consistency; variability; interpretative repertoires; discursive psychology; diversity; large scale enterprises; Switzerland


Copyright (c) 2009 Anja Ostendorp

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