Rethinking Communication of Diversity: A Strategic Communication Perspective on How to Engage Male Decision Makers in External Diversity Initiatives

Annika Bidstrup Møller & Pernille Andié Dyppel

Student thesis: Master thesis


This study investigates the opinions about and level of engagement in diversity in management among male decision makers in Denmark. The purpose is to increase their level of engagement in external diversity initiatives through means of communication. The focus of the study is the diversity initiatives provided by the consulting company Lead the Talent, i.e. for instance workshops and summits for organisations that aim to reach goals within the area of diversity and inclusion. Diversity has been widely discussed in research papers as well as the society and media landscape in Denmark in recent years. The focus has primarily been the organisational benefits that come with diversity, but also the lack of women in management positions. However, despite this increased attention, the majority of management positions in Denmark is still held by male decision makers. Moreover, Lead the Talent experiences less engagement in its diversity initiatives from this particular group. This is considered critical if organisations in Denmark are to utilise the full potential of a diverse management. With this situation as the foundation, this study is composed through a social constructivist perspective, which enables us to investigate how male decision makers articulate the topic of diversity, and how the Danish society plays a part in shaping this group’s opinions of the topic. By doing so, we obtain an understanding of male decision makers’ level of engagement in diversity initiatives and possible reasons for it.
In order to analyse male decision makers’ opinions and current actions in terms of diversity, the study primarily takes a qualitative stance by means of interviews with male decision makers. Moreover, a survey of various decision makers supports the primary research with more respondents. This allows us to provide generalised conclusions. Finally, a few observations of diversity events are incorporated with the purpose of receiving information of Lead the Talent’s diversity initiatives as well as diversity management overall. These research methods form the foundation of a discourse analysis of male decision makers’ opinions and actions in terms of diversity. This discourse analysis considers the topic of diversity through the most interesting aspects of our interviews and survey responses, the patterns of power in society as well as how these relate.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages251