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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

The Diversity Paradox

The Diversity Paradox
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Author(s): J. Jacob Jenkins (California State University, Channel Islands, USA)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 13
Source title: Research Anthology on Changing Dynamics of Diversity and Safety in the Workforce
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-2405-6.ch006


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The diversity paradox is an organizational emphasis placed upon one potential understanding of diversity which, paradoxically, deemphasizes alternative expressions of individual difference. An organizational focus on representations of gender, for instance, synchronously moves the focus away from sexual orientation; an focus on sexual orientation synchronously moves the focus away from age; and so on. The diversity paradox commonly manifests via six interrelated tenants. First, organizational discourses promote a fractionated understanding of what it means to be a diverse organization, resulting in a visible hierarchy of difference and the sense of false attainment among its leadership. Among organizational members, this false attainment results in neglected representation for certain minorities, as well as diminished alternatives for organizational life and an increased level of potential tokenism. The present article explores the diversity paradox in more detail, including its background, six primary tenants, and future recommendations.

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