• How individual values underpin SME environmental engagement

      Schaefer, Anja; Williams, Sarah; Blundel, Richard; University of Bedfordshire; Open University (Sage, 2018-01-10)
      We study the values on which managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) draw when constructing their personal and organizational-level engagement with environmental issues, particularly climate change. Values play an important mediating role in business environmental engagement, but relatively little research has been conducted on individual values in smaller organizations. Using the Schwartz Value System (SVS) as a framework for a qualitative analysis, we identify four “ideal-types” of SME managers and provide rich descriptions of the ways in which values shape their constructions of environmental engagement. In contrast to previous research, which is framed around a binary divide between self-enhancing and self-transcending values, our typology distinguishes between individuals drawing primarily on Power or on Achievement values and indicates how a combination of Achievement and Benevolence values is particularly significant in shaping environmental engagement. This demonstrates the theoretical usefulness of focusing on a complete range of values. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
    • Shadows and light: diversity management as phantasmagoria

      Schwabenland, Christina; Tomlinson, Frances; University of Bedfordshire; London Metropolitan University (Sage, 2015-06-18)
       Within the field of critical diversity studies increasing reference is made to the need for more critically informed research into the practice and implementation of diversity management. This article draws on an action research project that involved diversity practitioners from within the UK voluntary sector. In their accounts of resistance, reluctance and a lack of effective organizational engagement, participants shared a perception of diversity management as something difficult to concretize and envisage; and as something that organizational members associated with fear and anxiety; and with an inability to act. We draw on the metaphor of the phantasmagoria as a means to investigate this representation. We conclude with some tentative suggestions for alternative ways of doing diversity. 
    • Solidarity with Soufra: dividuality and joint action with Palestinian women refugees

      Schwabenland, Christina; Hirst, Alison; University of Bedfordshire; Anglia Ruskin University (Sage, 2021-10-08)
      Based on an exploratory study of Soufra, a women’s catering social enterprise in the Bourj al Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, we analyse how solidarity across difference can be organized. We conceptualize ‘difference’ not in terms of ‘whole’ individuals, but in terms of dividuals, the multiple roles and social positions that individuals occupy; this enables similarities between individuals of different ethnicities, nationalities and statuses to become apparent. We find that, despite their extreme and protracted marginalization, Soufra does not seek to organize solidarity relationships with co-resisters joining their struggle against oppressors. Rather, they initiate exchange relationships with different others via carefully managed impressions of similar dividualities (e.g. professional cooks and businesswomen) and different dividualities (e.g. having refugee status and lacking any citizenship). These encounters provide opportunities for solidarity relationships to be created and underlying cultural predispositions to be transformed. Whether these opportunities are taken up or rejected is dependent, at least to some extent, on the willingness of participants to allow such transformations to occur.