Diversity Management Change Projects: In Need of Alternative Conceptual Approaches?

Christina Evans, Judith Glover


Drawing on a meta-analysis of an evaluation of a European Social Fund project aimed at enhancing employment opportunities for women in Information Technology, Electronic and Computing (ITEC), this paper critically debates how effectual a diversity management approach alone is as an underpinning rationale for change in the complex area of diversity. The paper draws on the experiences of ‘partner organizations’, gathered through interviews conducted during the evaluation stage of the project. The paper discusses some of the tensions experienced by partner organizations, thus providing new insights into why such projects are not as effectual as they might be. The paper concludes by presenting a case for the need to re-conceptualise how change as part of a wider diversity management approach might best be conceptualized. We suggest that a ‘systems approach’ could prove a more fruitful way of conceptualizing change of this nature given the inter-dependences between different organizations and institutions.


gender diversity; ITEC employment; organizational change; systems approach

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242012000300002

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