Diversity in Organisations

Karoline Holm Hansen & Anne-Sophie Høj Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Diversity is a topic that organisations at a larger degree are taking a position towards. As public expectations increase, it is now also increasingly important for organisations to show that its inclusion of diversity practices not only are implemented because of an external demand - but how diversity is a state of mind within the organisation. With this thesis we wish to examine how organisations communicate about diversity in sexuality, gender identity and gender expression, by investigating the communication surrounding the passing of a LGBTI+ policy by the City of Copenhagen. By doing so, we wish to gain insights into how organisations deal with the question of diversity and what consequences the developments of such a policies can result in. With a Luhmannistic approach, this thesis investigates how the City of Copenhagen makes sense of the term diversity and how its 2019-2023 LGBTI+ policy seeks to solve issues regarding diversity, which ultimately generates new issues. The analysis is based on a social constructivist approach to qualitative data, and the collected data for the analysis consists of interviews as well as records of meetings, articles and other external communication published by the City of Copenhagen. The analysis finds that the City of Copenhagen’s communication establishes a contemporary semantic, which seeks to eliminate any negative distinctions made between its citizens, users of the city and its employees. In other words, the communication demands that individual differences in sexuality, gender identity and gender expression is ignored. However, the communication is paradoxical as it must enhance the very same differences in order to dissolve them. Thus, the communication simultaneously wishes to ignore and enhance differences in sexuality, gender identity and gender expression causing new challenges. Based on our findings, we argue that organisations face several new communicative and managerial issues. In conclusion, we find that if organisations wish to communicate about diversity, they must ensure that diversity is an integrated part of the organisation, avoid pinkwashing and accept that the subject of diversity produces a vast degree of complexity

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages138
SupervisorsMorten Knudsen