This article analyses texts on diversity produced in 25 interviews with Flemish human resource (HR) managers from a critical discourse analysis and rhetorical perspective. Following critical discourse analysis, we analyse how HR managers define diversity, how their diversity discourses reflect existing managerial practices and underlying power relations, and how they reaffirm or challenge those managerial practices and power relations. Specifically, we examine how power enters HR managers’ local discourses of diversity through the very micro-dynamics of language by analysing the rhetorical schemes they use and the grand Discourses they draw from. This critical, text-focused approach to diversity discourses contributes to the development of a non-essentialist reconceptualization of diversity that acknowledges power.
This study analyses how minority employees engage with control in organizations. Differently from most critical studies of diversity management, which focus on how minority employees are discursively controlled, we approach (diversity) management as a constellation of both identity-regulating discourses and bureaucratic controls. We assume that minority employees are agents who actively resist and/or comply with the constellation of controls they are subject to. Based on qualitative data collected in a technical drawing company and a hospital, the specific constellation of controls in each organization is first reconstructed. Four interviews with minority employees are then analysed in depth, showing how their engagement with material and discursive controls creates both constraints and possibilities of micro-emancipation.
2This article introduces translation studies in order to theorize about the ways in which multiple languages in international companies can be combined. Its purpose is to develop different language strategies based on different theoretical perspectives within translation studies. Considering the historical developments in this discipline, we identify three perspectives each with a different conception of translation and language use. These conceptions are the theoretical basis on which we develop three language strategies: a mechanical, cultural and political language strategy. For each strategy, we discuss the selection of language(s), the role of translators and the validation method, and formulate proposition about the types of texts being produced. These propositions indicate that, through their international communication process, international companies become scripted as a particular type of multilingual organization, be it a uniform, a culturally sensitive or a hybrid text. & Johansen, 1994). Second, consumers in countries where the primary language is not English expect information and support in their local languages, as will business partners (Tayeb, 2000). Third, at the societal1eve1, as countries outside the Western sphere continue their economic resurgence, other major languages will be studied in school. People from different cultures will use these languages with each other and English speakers will find more resistance to the expectation that they use English with them, as well (Huntington, 3 1996).These trends all indicate that international companies are multilingual organizations in which multiple languages not only coexist side by side but also are in combination with each other.The purpose of this article is to increase our understandings of the ways in which multiple languages can be combined. Specifically, we address the question which language strategies can be chosen by international companies to organize their international communication process. A language strategy refers to several components: the decision which language(s) can be spoken, the role of translators in creating multilingual texts, the method used to validate the translation process and, consequently, the types of texts that are expected to be produced. To develop different types of language strategies, we rely on insights from translation studies. We have turned to this discipline for three reasons. First, the focus of this discipline is to theorize on the use of multiple languages. This discipline represents a whole tradition of thinking, reflected in different conceptions of translations which draw on particular assumptions on language and culture (Venuti, 2000). We rely on these theoretical conceptions and assumptions to develop different types of language strategies.
Contrary to current definitions of diversity as a set of a priori sociodemographic characteristics, this study re-conceptualizes diversity as an organizational product. Through the analysis of qualitative data from four service organizations, we show that organization-specific understandings of diversity are based on the way employees' sociodemographic differences affect the organization of work, either contributing to it or hampering it. Such understandings of diversity, in turn, shape organization-specific approaches to diversity management. From our empirical results, we further inductively derive two dimensions of service processes that appear to play a central role in shaping diversity (management) in service organizations: customers' proximity versus invisibility and diversity-customized versus profession-customized service. We conclude the article on a more critical note, reflecting on how specific constellations of work/understanding of diversity/diversity management enable and/or constrain employees' agency, including the possibility to challenge existing power relations. K E Y WO R D S customers diversity diversity management power servicesDiversity studies generally define diversity by referring to one or more employees' socio-demographic traits such as gender, race, ethnicity and age, and subsequently examine the effects of these differences on a variety of
This qualitative study aims to explore the processes underlying subtle discrimination in the workplace. Based on 26 in-depth interviews with minority professionals of Turkish or Maghrebi descent in Flanders, we argue that subtle discrimination in the workplace is characterized by three important elements. First, subtle discrimination is ambiguous, and often involves disempowerment through apparent empowering behavior. Second, subtle discrimination is based on processes of power — normalization, legitimization of only the individual, legitimization as the Other and naturalization — which subtly, through everyday incidents, disempower minority individuals. Third, subtle discrimination in the workplace is linked to societal structures and discourses, which permeate the workplace through, and are reproduced by, workplace encounters.
In this Counterpoint, we build on Paauwe's suggestions to take the field of HRM and Performance further. Rather than aiming for a synthesis or proposing a radical alternative, we argue that R(econstructive)-reflexivity is needed for theorizing HRM. In particular, we bring in insights from critical studies on the notion of HRM, on the notion of performance, and on the theoretical relationship between them as a way to open up new research avenues and lines of interpretation. For each of these three aspects, we indicate how studying the employment relationship can be reframed. In particular, we emphasize practice-oriented research as one possible research path for the field of HRM as it allows for an examination of HRM as a set of practices, embedded in a global economical, political and socio-cultural context. We end our counterpoint by reflecting on reflexivity, proposing three practices that can guide HRM scholars in becoming reflexive in the ways they study HRM.
The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the existence of particular types of psychological contracts. We take a feature-oriented approach towards psychological contracts, which allows more generalizability across settings than content-oriented assessments. In defining the types of psychological contracts, we rely on 10 dimensions that indicate the employees' expected entitlements as well as their expected obligations towards their employer. We assess the existence of types of psychological contracts based upon an economy-wide, representative sample. The analysis indicates the existence of six types of psychological contracts, all having different patterns of mutual expectations: an instrumental psychological contract, a weak psychological contract, a loyal psychological contract, an unattached psychological contract, an investing psychological contract and a strong psychological contract. Based on the profiles of the six types and its number of respondents, we conclude that the so-called transformation from traditional employment relationships towards 'new deals' is restricted to a very small group of young and highly educated professionals and managers.
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