Diversity as a Valuable or as a Discriminatory Constraint? A Critival Discourse Analysis of Organizational Diversity Communication in the Construction Industry

Louise Heiselberg Skiveren

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this paper is to explore how leading danish companies in the construction industry construct and define diversity and its dimensions in their communications through online webpages. With a critical discourse analysis and thus a critical perspective on diversity management, I have examined the underlying structures and discursive constructions of diversity that affect organizational online communication of diversity management. With this critical approach, I have aimed to reveal how the structures have implications for maintaining unequal power relations, asymmetric power hierarchies and stereotypical categorizations. By using Faircloughs ‘critical language awareness’ my goal was to raise awareness of and to challenge the common-sense assumptions that are being produced and reproduced in the discursive practices. Among other things this has led to a discussion and a problematization of the contradiction between the arguments for diversity management. The organizations emphasized the value of diversity, but only as a means of organizational profit and a way to achieve competitive advantages. As a result, I have highlighted and problematized that diversity management as an organizational concept has unintended consequences, which are contradictory and which, in the end, can deter diversity from unfolding. I have achieved this by examining how diversity management distances the subjects, reproduces stereotypes and locks and limits subjects rather than setting them free.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages64
SupervisorsJannick Friis Christensen