Rethinking diversity management during Covid-19 pandemic: The revelatory case of Danone

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The global pandemic caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 has led to incommensurable damage both to economies, as well as individuals. Given such context, this study aims to provide rich insights into the issues surrounding diversity and inclusion practices in multinational organizations, by contributing both to the advancement of relevant academic debate and managerial practice. The research question that guided the field investigation was: How to rethink diversity management in multinational organizations after Covid-19 pandemic? In order to answer it, a single case study following the Gioia methodology was conducted, triangulating data from eleven WebEx interviews with diversity managers and activists, participant observation of three different online events on diversity and inclusion, and official documents and websites. The results pointed towards four types of consequences and issues: firstly, a clear impact on wellbeing and worklife balance, secondly increased company support; finally, a change in communication and in ways of working for diversity and inclusion. Inequalities in the organization were acknowledged and compensated by the pervasive inclusive culture, to such extent that only subtle forms of inequalities were perceived by interviewees. Accordingly, the research lays the foundations for theorizing on the effects of Covid-19 on global diversity management.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen