Commentary On Wayne and McCosh (2018): “Diversity as a Problematic Predictor of Organizational Performance: Issues of Context and Expectations”
In their article, Wayne and McCosh (2018) problematize uncritical ways in which diversity research has studied the link between extant diversity variables and organizational performance. They point out that researchers may be overpromising the benefits of diversity while not addressing the critical tensions that arise in organizational settings due to diversity. Further, they suggest that there is little standardization in the field around not only the definition of diversity or its conceptualization but also around which variables and concepts are used in studies. As a consequence, studies that study ‘diversity’ and its potential impact on various dimensions of organizational performance suffer from a lack of precision, replicability, and generalizability. As Wayne and McCosh (2018) contend, the central issue is around how diversity is defined, multiple different variables that are used to represent facets of diversity and scholarly interest in making the business case for diversity. To address these shortcomings, the authors instead call for a more nuanced and context-specific approach to the study of diversity and its potential to impact organizational performance. Their approach is to borrow from Hofstede’s (1988) work on cultural frameworks to query complex organizational phenomenon related to diversity.
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