Challenging the cross-national transfer of diversity management in MNCs: Exploring the ‘identity effects’ of diversity discourses


I develop a critique of the cross-national transfer of diversity management in multinational companies. Adopting a critical approach to diversity management, and considering diversity as a discourse, I examine how and why employees in an overseas subsidiary challenged the diversity practices transferred by their foreign parent company. Drawing on a case study of a Sri Lankan knowledge work firm that was in the process of implementing its Western parent company’s Diversity Management agenda, which they had had little input in shaping, I highlight how challenge is triggered by a desire to reject unfavourable subject positions attributed to individuals in transferred discourses of diversity and to reposition the self more favourably. My contribution involves showing how dynamic power relations between parents and subsidiaries shape the global transfer of diversity across MNCs, depicting subsidiary employees as agentic subjects as opposed to passive recipients.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Funding Information: The author received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( Request permissions for this article.
Uncontrolled Keywords: discourse,diversity,identity,MNC,power,resistance,Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous),Social Sciences(all),Strategy and Management,Management of Technology and Innovation
Publication ISSN: 1741-282X
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 07:19
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2023 13:53
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Related URLs: https://journal ... 018726720952838 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-12
Published Online Date: 2020-09-09
Accepted Date: 2020-09-01
Authors: Fernando, Dulini (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3388-3308)


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