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The Global Integration of Diversity Management: a Longitudinal Case Study

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The Global Integration of Diversity Management: a Longitudinal Case Study Int. J. of Human Resource Management 18:11 November 2007 1895– 1916 The global integration of diversity management: a longitudinal case study Aulikki Sippola and Adam Smale Abstract Whilst the extant diversity management literature has provided a comprehensive array of theoretical frameworks and empirical studies on how organizations can and have approached the management of a diverse workforce, the same cannot be said about the literature on diversity in an international setting. Indeed, from a diversity management perspective we know surprisingly little about how multinational firms are responding to the increasing globalization of their workforce. This study seeks to contribute to this underresearched area through an in-depth longitudinal case study of TRANSCO, a well-known European MNC, which has been attempting to integrate diversity management globally throughout its worldwide operations. Adopting a Finnish host-country perspective, the study investigates what TRANSCO has been integrating, how it has tried to facilitate this and the challenges that have arisen throughout the process. The results indicate that TRANSCO has committed a considerable amount of resources to the global diversity management integration process, reflected in the myriad of integration mechanisms utilized. In terms of their integration strategy, it was evident that TRANSCO was able to achieve global consistency at the level of diversity philosophy, but was forced to rely on a more multi-domestic approach to implementing diversity policies and practices. The challenges encountered served to highlight the demographic, cultural and institutional embeddedness of diversity management when transferred into a non-Anglo-Saxon host context. Keywords Diversity management; multinational corporation; institutional theory; Finland. Introduction Although increasing workforce diversity and its far-reaching implications have only been slowly acknowledged amongst multinational firms (Florkowski,...
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