Queering organisation(s): Norm-critical Orientations to Organising and Researching Diversity

Research output: Book/ReportPhD thesis

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This PhD dissertation develops norm-critical orientations to organising and researching diversity. It does so across four articles, the first of which theorises organisational diversity in relational terms as that, which is excluded from the organisational norm.
The second article conceptualises norm critique as a form of diversity work that shifts focus from the individual to a structural level to critically inquire and intervene dominant norms with the purpose of expanding organisational norms to become more inclusive of the (groups of) people who inhabit them differently. Whereas the second article conceives of diversity work as changing existing normative institutions, the third article analyses the diversity work done by nonconforming bodies when inhabiting normative organisational spaces differently. The article argues for norm-critical reflection upon researcher positionality, evaluates strengths and weakness of norm critique, and discusses its ethics. Finally, the fourth article explores the norm-critical potential in knowing alternative ways of organising diversity, thereby reinvigorating discussions about the purpose of and possibility for critical engagement with organisations. The project situates diversity work as an organisation theoretical discipline. It is based on queer-feminist critiques, whose insights are translated for applicability in organisation and management studies in combination with literature on critical diversity management. Empirically, the dissertation draws on diverse materials and approaches. Article one uses interview data from 45 leaders in 37 different public and private organisations in Denmark.
Article two is based on participatory observations and collective reflections from norm-critical outreach projects in two different organisation: one that represents LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) people with intersecting minority ethnic backgrounds in a Danish context; and one that organises a collaboration around diversity and equality activities among three of the biggest trade unions in Denmark.
Article three presents the qualitative part of a survey about gender identity and sexual orientation disclosure in workplace organisations among members of a labour union.
Article four writes up an affective ethnography with different embodied readings of organising Roskilde Festival. In addition to the methodological norm-critical orientations, the dissertation contributes theoretically to extant academic debates in critical management studies about critical performativity and alternative organisation, as well as with methods for both research and practice. It does so, providing answers to the following main research question: How may organisational diversity be conceptualised norm-critically, and how does said conceptualisation contribute to the study and practice of organising diversity alternatively?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [Phd]
Number of pages380
ISBN (Print)9788793956343
ISBN (Electronic)9788743956353
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesPhD Series

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