Benevolent Discrimination

How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative

Laurence Romani, Lotte Holck, Annette Risberg

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This case study illustrates how the voluntary engagement of the HR personnel into diversity initiatives targeting migrants inscribe their actions into an act of benevolence that re-establishes a social hierarchical relationship between natives and migrants. Through diversity initiatives, HR practitioners create an ambiguous social relationship blending solidarity towards migrants with a clear social order in which their existing value system prevails. This hierarchical order is materialized in the case study company's structural discrimination, producing an inequality regime based on ethnicity and class. In addition, the initiation of HR personnel relationship with migrants is performed as a generous (benevolent) act, implicitly seen as a form of gift. HR professionals see themselves as giving migrants a chance, an opportunity, to enter the labor market. This implicit framing as a gift blurs the view of the social domination taking place and explains why HR professionals have difficulties in seeing their role in the discrimination of migrants taking place in their organization. Our study introduces the notion of benevolent discrimination. Benevolent discrimination articulates the well-meaning dimension of acceptance with the construction of the others as deficient and vulnerable, and therefore, in need of an act of benevolence for their empowerment. However, this empowerment is defined and limited by the initiator of benevolence into the existing naturalized order.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018: Improving Lives - Chicago, United States
Duration: 10 Aug 201814 Aug 2018
Conference number: 78
http://aom.org/annualmeeting/

Conference

ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018
Number78
CountryUnited States
CityChicago
Period10/08/201814/08/2018
Internet address

Bibliographical note

CBS Library does not have access to the material

Cite this

Romani, L., Holck, L., & Risberg, A. (2018). Benevolent Discrimination: How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative. Paper presented at The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, United States.
Romani, Laurence ; Holck, Lotte ; Risberg, Annette. / Benevolent Discrimination : How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative. Paper presented at The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, United States.40 p.
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Romani, L, Holck, L & Risberg, A 2018, 'Benevolent Discrimination: How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative' Paper presented at, Chicago, United States, 10/08/2018 - 14/08/2018, .

Benevolent Discrimination : How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative. / Romani, Laurence; Holck, Lotte; Risberg, Annette.

2018. Paper presented at The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

TY - CONF

T1 - Benevolent Discrimination

T2 - How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative

AU - Romani, Laurence

AU - Holck, Lotte

AU - Risberg, Annette

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PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - This case study illustrates how the voluntary engagement of the HR personnel into diversity initiatives targeting migrants inscribe their actions into an act of benevolence that re-establishes a social hierarchical relationship between natives and migrants. Through diversity initiatives, HR practitioners create an ambiguous social relationship blending solidarity towards migrants with a clear social order in which their existing value system prevails. This hierarchical order is materialized in the case study company's structural discrimination, producing an inequality regime based on ethnicity and class. In addition, the initiation of HR personnel relationship with migrants is performed as a generous (benevolent) act, implicitly seen as a form of gift. HR professionals see themselves as giving migrants a chance, an opportunity, to enter the labor market. This implicit framing as a gift blurs the view of the social domination taking place and explains why HR professionals have difficulties in seeing their role in the discrimination of migrants taking place in their organization. Our study introduces the notion of benevolent discrimination. Benevolent discrimination articulates the well-meaning dimension of acceptance with the construction of the others as deficient and vulnerable, and therefore, in need of an act of benevolence for their empowerment. However, this empowerment is defined and limited by the initiator of benevolence into the existing naturalized order.

AB - This case study illustrates how the voluntary engagement of the HR personnel into diversity initiatives targeting migrants inscribe their actions into an act of benevolence that re-establishes a social hierarchical relationship between natives and migrants. Through diversity initiatives, HR practitioners create an ambiguous social relationship blending solidarity towards migrants with a clear social order in which their existing value system prevails. This hierarchical order is materialized in the case study company's structural discrimination, producing an inequality regime based on ethnicity and class. In addition, the initiation of HR personnel relationship with migrants is performed as a generous (benevolent) act, implicitly seen as a form of gift. HR professionals see themselves as giving migrants a chance, an opportunity, to enter the labor market. This implicit framing as a gift blurs the view of the social domination taking place and explains why HR professionals have difficulties in seeing their role in the discrimination of migrants taking place in their organization. Our study introduces the notion of benevolent discrimination. Benevolent discrimination articulates the well-meaning dimension of acceptance with the construction of the others as deficient and vulnerable, and therefore, in need of an act of benevolence for their empowerment. However, this empowerment is defined and limited by the initiator of benevolence into the existing naturalized order.

M3 - Paper

ER -

Romani L, Holck L, Risberg A. Benevolent Discrimination: How HR Managers Reproduce Ethnic Discrimination with Diversity Initiative. 2018. Paper presented at The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2018, Chicago, United States.