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The Concept of ‘Diversity’ among Swedish Consultants


  • Leiva, Alejandro

    () (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)


This paper examines Swedish diversity consultants’ definition of ‘diversity’ and its management. While research from the USA and the UK asserts a tension between the concepts of ‘diversity’ and legal ‘equality’, studies on continental Europe and Scandinavia tend to posit their reconciliation. This paper adds to research by using the case of Swedish diversity consultants. While confirming previous reports from the USA on diversity rhetoric’s ‘managerialization of law’, the essay’s interpretative approach brings insight into the strategic ambiguity and the subjective motives underpinning diversity rhetoric. The examination suggests that the same diversity rhetoric that creates managerialization may be used to further other than typically managerial interests. In particular it is suggested that what might be seen, from the researcher’s perspective, as a weakening of legal ideals, may simultaneously be seen by the actors themselves as an extension of legal ideals beyond the limits of antidiscrimination law.

Suggested Citation

  • Leiva, Alejandro, 2011. "The Concept of ‘Diversity’ among Swedish Consultants," SULCIS Working Papers 2011:7, Stockholm University, Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sulcis:2011_007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Holvino, Evangelina & Kamp, Annette, 2009. "Diversity management: Are we moving in the right direction? Reflections from both sides of the North Atlantic," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 395-403, December.
    2. Gabriel N. Toggenburg, 2005. "Who is Managing Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in the European Condominium? The Moments of Entry, Integration and Preservation," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 717-738, November.
    3. Süß, Stefan & Kleiner, Markus, 2008. "Dissemination of diversity management in Germany:: A new institutionalist approach," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 35-47, February.
    4. Klarsfeld, Alain, 2009. "The diffusion of diversity management: The case of France," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 363-373, December.
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    More about this item


    Diversity; Consultancy; Discrimination; Law; Ambiguity;

    JEL classification:

    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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