Unequal Solidarity?: Towards a Norm-critical Approach to Welfare Logics

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Resumé

Due to the fact that immigration in Denmark is a more recent phenomenon, diversity management has had a much shorter history in politics as well as in business, and has not yet been institutionalized to the same degree as in for example North America, from where the concept originates. When crossing the Atlantic, the concept of diversity management merged with Danish universal welfare logics that offer a particular view on equality as sameness together with solidarity through corporate social responsibility. Drawing on 94 employee narratives about difference in a Danish workplace renowned for its diversity work, this article argues that a translation of the original American concept has taken place that turns diversity management into an ambiguous corporate activity when practised through Danish welfare logics. Paradoxically, corporate practices of social responsibility aimed at fostering equal opportunities obstruct successful labour-market integration, as differences are assimilated and marginalized rather than valued and respected. Economic redistribution is thus at the cost of recognition of difference contained in the business case of diversity. In this article we explore how difference can be reintroduced into the Danish welfare logics to balance the simultaneous need for redistribution and recognition of difference, which goes through aligning diversity management with critical scholarship by means of a norm-critical approach.
Due to the fact that immigration in Denmark is a more recent phenomenon, diversity management has had a much shorter history in politics as well as in business, and has not yet been institutionalized to the same degree as in for example North America, from where the concept originates. When crossing the Atlantic, the concept of diversity management merged with Danish universal welfare logics that offer a particular view on equality as sameness together with solidarity through corporate social responsibility. Drawing on 94 employee narratives about difference in a Danish workplace renowned for its diversity work, this article argues that a translation of the original American concept has taken place that turns diversity management into an ambiguous corporate activity when practised through Danish welfare logics. Paradoxically, corporate practices of social responsibility aimed at fostering equal opportunities obstruct successful labour-market integration, as differences are assimilated and marginalized rather than valued and respected. Economic redistribution is thus at the cost of recognition of difference contained in the business case of diversity. In this article we explore how difference can be reintroduced into the Danish welfare logics to balance the simultaneous need for redistribution and recognition of difference, which goes through aligning diversity management with critical scholarship by means of a norm-critical approach.
SprogEngelsk
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Management
Vol/bind33
Udgave nummer1
Sider1–11
ISSN0956-5221
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2017

Emneord

  • Difference
  • Diversity management
  • Ethnic minority
  • Redistribution
  • Recognition
  • Welfare

Citer dette

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Unequal Solidarity? Towards a Norm-critical Approach to Welfare Logics. / Holck, Lotte; Muhr, Sara Louise.

I: Scandinavian Journal of Management, Bind 33, Nr. 1, 2017, s. 1–11.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

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