Abstract

This paper aims at highlighting the theoretical development of diversity management by providing an integrated understanding of how diversity management has made progress and evolved in organisations. The current article adopts a conceptual and critical review to demonstrate the changes and shifts in diversity management research. This study reveals that there are four stages of workforce diversity within the business and management field. These stages are equal employment opportunity/affirmative action, valuing differences, diversity management and global diversity management. Each stage is discussed in greater details within the article. This study contributes to the broader diversity management literature in three main ways: firstly, by shedding some light on the conceptual clarity of the diversity notion itself; secondly, by foregrounding the holistic view of diversity management; thirdly, by reflecting the recent developments in diversity research. The review consistently points to the fact that the current literature on diversity management has been predominantly shaped by a mainstream managerial discourse and neoliberal logic which has mostly a discrimination focus rather than an inclusiveness perspective. The paper also suggests that further research is required on workforce diversity particularly with an emic, an intersectional, a contextual and a relational approach rather than reproducing the existing knowledge by an etic framing of diversity from an instrumental point of view that dominates the extant literature.