How Bureaucracy Promotes Inclusive Organizing

Lotte Holck

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Diversity literature in general and Feminist in particular have long promoted alternatives to bureaucracy on the premise that this form of governance is far from gender- and race-neutral, and that inclusive organizing necessitate a flatter, decentralized and more ‘organic’ set-up (Ferguson 1984, Martin P.Y 1987, Ashcraft 2001, 2006, 2013, Acker 1990, Ghorashi & Sabelis 2012, Dai 2014). My ethnographic research in two case organizations both championed for their diversity work in a Danish context, shows a different pattern: While the organization characterized by structural flexibility and informality struggle with membership perceptions of partiality and unfairness on the basis of ethnicity and professional background, then the bureaucratic structured organization characterized by structural stability and formality is more successful in generating the necessary membership perception fairness and opportunities conducive to their inclusion. Guided by Ashcraft (2001) concept of organized dissonance, this paper explores how the combination of apparent incongruent elements of stability/flexibility and formality/informality might offer a passage for inclusive organizing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014: Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times - Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 3 Jul 20145 Jul 2014
Conference number: 30


ConferenceThe 30th EGOS Colloquium 2014
LocationRotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University
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