Diversity Perspective on Management: Towards more complex conceptualizations of diversity in management studies

Call for Papers

An International Conference Sponsored by Journal of Management Studies & Society for Advancement of Management Studies

18th-20th April, 2018

Babson College, USA

Diversity is a particularly pertinent issue due to a combination of established long-term trends and sudden political events. Organizations, their stakeholders, and communities face more forms and levels of diversity than before because of many societal developments, such as mass migration, aging populations, changing career patterns, same sex marriage legislation, and new generational life-styles and preferences. There are many more ‘others’ to take account of and this affects organizational issues ranging from career structures and HR strategies to customer expectations, investor relations, and strategy formulation. However, recent political events such as Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump’s election in the US have generated increasing calls for cultural cohesiveness, the celebration of ‘nativist’ and dominant identities as well as increase in the nationalistic rhetoric. As such, whilst diversity on the ground may be increasing, it is simultaneously confronted by new discourses of cohesiveness, coherence, nationalism and integration that emphasize local interests, values and identities.

This conference seeks to help establish a foundation for further development on our knowledge about diversity. We hope that research on both the forces towards and against diversity will be addressed by scholars. Furthermore, we hope that, by bringing together new theoretical and empirical contributions, the conference will (1) elucidate more comprehensively how diversity affects individuals, groups, networks, organizations, fields and the “nested complexity of real organizational life,” (2) develop pertinent and highly applicable insights for practice; and (3) set an agenda for a new wave of diversity research.

Whilst there is little doubt that this is a particularly timely juncture to be concerned with diversity, existing scholarship presents significant conceptual and methodological limitations. For instance, existing theories tend to focus on a single level of analysis, on a limited range of usually Anglo-Saxon research settings, and despite the agenda around intersectionality, on a relatively narrow range of types of diversity. Diversity research has tended to prioritize visible forms of diversity, such as racial or gender diversity, with less emphasis on diversity in culture, values and attitudes or even ideological orientations. This is particularly important as ideological differences, such as the distinction between liberals and conservatives, is likely to become an increasingly important source of conflict within and across organizations, communities, and societies. This also poses distinctive methodological challenges in terms of identifying new data sources, measures and approaches, which could account for a fuller range of diversities. Furthermore, whilst the literature has tended to focus on evaluating the outcomes of diversity, we know much less about the mechanism through which diversity impacts various stakeholders and how different factors or conditions support or hinder the beneficial or detrimental effects of diversity within and across organizations.

In line with the broad mandate of Journal of Management Studies as a general management journal, the conference aims to embrace a broad, multilevel view of diversity. At an individual level, diversity can be conceptualized as an intra-person phenomenon; at the group or team level it captures composition of the unit in terms of differences along meaningful characteristics (e.g., demographics, culture). At the organizational level, diversity may refer to cultural, demographic, ideological, or strategic differences between different stakeholders. Furthermore, at the network or inter-organizational/inter-unit level—including, but not limited to phenomena, such as alliances, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, outsourcing, multinational companies—inter-organizational diversity captures differences in the backgrounds, strategies, and resources of the organizations or units. Finally, diversity is also a relevant construct at a field, industry, institutional, national, or even supra-national level.

We seek empirical and conceptual papers, which address a diverse set of issues that include, but are not limited to:

• How is the role of diversity changing within and across organizations?

• How does diversity influence individual, group, organizational, and inter-organizational outcomes and what are its mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions?

• What are the societal forces for and against diversity and how do they affect organizational policies and practices?

• How are the discourses and narratives for and against diversity socially constructed, and what is the role of the media?

• How can we incorporate intellectual diversity and ideological diversity in our theories of management studies?

• How does diversity impact business and entrepreneurial activities?

• In what ways do conceptualizations and appreciation of diversity differ or agree between East and West, North and South?

• How can corporations incorporate diversity in their strategies?

To begin answering questions like the ones above, we encourage the development of new frameworks; theory building based on current phenomena or tensions (e.g., Brexit, America First); the levelling up and levelling down of diversity concepts and constructs; multi-level and cross level theory development; the integration of diversity theory with theory from other fields; efforts to improve taxonomies of diversity; rich work that improves our understanding of diversification processes; as well as syntheses and reviews of existing diversity literatures. We are open to quantitative, qualitative, theoretical papers, reviews, and meta-analyses.

Keynote Speakers

Nancy DiTomaso is Distinguished Professor of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick. Her research addresses issues of diversity, culture, and inequality. Her 2013 book, ‘The American Non-dilemma: Racial Inequality without Racism’ (NY: Russell Sage) won the C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems; the Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility Section Distinguished Book Award from the American Sociological Association; was Runner Up for the George R. Terry Award given by the Academy of Management; and received an Honorable Mention for the Max Weber Award for Best Book from the Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section of the ASA. Professor DiTomaso won the 2016 Sage Award for Scholarly Achievement given by the Academy of Management Division on Gender and Diversity. She has co-authored or co-edited five other books and has had articles published in such journals as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Annual Review of Sociology, Research in Organizational Behavior, Leadership Quarterly, and California Management Review among other journals. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served as department chair, vice dean for faculty, and as doctoral director at various times while at Rutgers Business School.

Eero Vaara is a Professor of Organization and Management at Aalto University School of Business, a Permanent Visiting Professor at EMLYON Business School, and a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Lancaster University, UK. His research interests focus on strategic processes and practices, organizational and institutional change, culture and identity, and methodological issues in management research. He has worked especially on discursive and narrative approaches. His research has been published in most of the leading organization and management journals. He has previously served as the Chair of European Group of Organizational Studies (EGOS) and as representative-at-large of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management. He is now a board member of the European Institute for Advanced Studies of Management (EIASM) and Scandinavian Consortium of Organizational Research (SCANCOR). He received the first Roland Calori Prize for the Best Paper published in Organization Studies (2002) and the OMT Best Published Paper Award 2014 among other awards. He is serving as an Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Journal.

Call for Papers

An abstract of up to 1,000 words should be submitted by 16.00 GMT, 31st October 2017 by email to Margaret Turner at business.jms.

Acceptance of abstracts will be notified by 8th December 2017.

Full papers are to be submitted for circulation by 16.00 GMT, 16th March 2018.

Authors of papers presented at the conference will be invited to submit their papers for possible publication in a special issue of the Journal of Management Studies related to the topic of “Diversity Perspective on Management”. Presentation at the conference does not guarantee publication of the article nor will submissions to the special issue be limited to those that present at the conference.

Call for Participation

There is no conference fee, and we encourage a variety of modes of participation, from presentation of academic papers to the contribution of debate by taking on the role of discussant.

In addition to leading academics in the field of management studies, the conference will also bring together promising new researchers. Limited support for travel and accommodation will be offered to outstanding doctoral students.

Conference Organizing Committee

The conveners of the conference are Daniel Muzio, Corinne Post and Riikka Sarala and the editorial management team of Margaret Turner, Jo Cheseldine, Marianne Spence and Gemma Parkinson.

Joanne Cheseldine
JMS Editorial Coordinator

Journal of Management Studies
Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB, UK

tel: +44 (0) 191 334 5411

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JMS Conference 2018 Call for Papers.pdf