Diversity goals: Reframing the debate and enabling a fair evaluation
While diversity has enjoyed significant popularity in the corporate world for the last two decades, researchers continue to put forward conflicting results regarding the business benefits of workplace diversity. Some say workplace diversity is good for businesses; others argue it is an undertaking full of challenges; and yet others assert that it doesn't really matter. With this in mind, we attempted to synthesize the research that evaluates the impact of workplace diversity on the organizational bottom line. We find an over-emphasis on demonstrating the business case of diversity in economic denominations, which--to some extent--has limited our understanding of the complex dynamics associated with diversity. We identify a lack of attention toward institutional forces as one of the reasons that has restricted our focus on mere economic gains. Overall, we recommend broadening our definition of goals that organizations have when adopting diversity initiatives by including 'gain of legitimacy' and 'creation of goodwill' as part of the essential consequences of diversity programs.
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