focusing on diversity in a Multicultural employee group—The case of an Engineering Consultancy in London

Georgios Xanthakis


Despite the increasing research on work diversity, diversity itself remains an ambivalent term due to the various and in some cases even conflicting ways in which scholars conceptualize its nature (Janssens & Zanoni, 2005). A Literature Review of the relevant literature illustrates four main streams. The first one considers diversity as a concept with static nature and treats it as a measurable variable (Cox, 1993) while the second addresses the dynamic, socially constructed nature of diversity (Barinaga, 2007). A third stream of research explores both the dynamic and multiple nature of workgroup diversity while the last school acknowledges the dynamic, shifting relationship between the diversity categories focusing on issues of inequality and discrimination (Holvino, 2010).

The aim of this study is to contribute to the current diversity research by exploring from an a posteriori direction how the employees in a multicultural group perceive their group diversity during their everyday working life. In doing so, a research is conducted in engineering consultancy, to explore how the employees actively construct their workgroup diversity. Above research, drawing on the assumption that reality is social construction (Berger & Luckmann, 1966) shows diversity and identity as socially constructed concepts that should be identified from an a posteriori direction. The research questions guiding the narrative analysis shows that members’ differentiation is dynamic and changes over time during their everyday project group life.

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