Reconciling competing discourses of diversity? : the UK non-profit sector between social justice and the business case
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AbstractThe tension between the business case and social justice approaches forms a crucial point of debate in the diversity and equality field. However, their presentation as essentially oppositional is brought into question when the ‘business’ of the organization itself concerns social justice. This article draws on research in UK voluntary (non-profit) organizations to reveal the ambiguities and variations found in local constructions of equality and diversity. Managers and diversity specialists reconciled moral and business rationales through re-inscribing utilitarian arguments within an organizational commitment to social justice; however, significant dilemmas associated with doing diversity remained. The article argues for a shift in the research agenda away from competing ‘cases’ and towards investigating how the challenges that diversity presents can be worked through in day-to-day organizational practice.
CitationTomlinson, F., Schwabenland, C. (2009) 'Reconciling Competing Discourses of Diversity? The UK Non-Profit Sector Between Social Justice and the Business Case' Organization 17 (1):101-121