“Some Like it Hot!”: Interpreting and Responding to Diversity Issues and Initiatives: Implications for Global Leaders
Published on Jan 1, 2012
· DOI :10.1108/S1535-1203(2012)0000007010
Although there is growing acknowledgment of the business case for diversity, efforts to recognize diversity as a strategic issue and to implement diversity initiatives have often been thwarted. We note that diversity is a “hot” issue not only because of the increasing attention being paid by both academics and practitioners, but also because of its potential to evoke strong emotions. We argue that “diversity” makes salient different identities (organizational, group, and individual) leading to different interpretations that can evoke specific emotional and behavioral reactions. This may help to explain whether top management teams identify and invest in diversity as a strategic issue, and whether diversity initiatives are supported or resisted by different groups and individuals throughout the organization. Thus it is important for global leaders to understand the role of identities in how diversity as a strategic issue may be interpreted and responded to by key decision-makers as well as those concerned with the implementation of diversity initiatives.