EDI in MNCs: the case of linguistic diversity

Introducing my paper with Sylwia and Martyna on how to implement the EDI agenda in multinational companies

One of the joys of working in academia is being able to choose both what you research and who you work with. So, when long-term CYGNA members Sylwia Ciuk and Martyna Śliwa asked me to join on a paper on that combined my interest in Equality, Diversity & Inclusion with linguistic diversity, I happily agreed. 

The whole collaboration was an absolute delight, combining the best of relationship-oriented and scholarly-professional rationales (see On academic life: collaborations and active engagement). Sylwia will be writing a longer blogpost about our paper in the near future, but I couldn't wait to share the good news of its acceptance for Human Resource Management Journal today.

Ciuk, S.; Śliwa M; Harzing, A.W. (2023) Implementing the EDI agenda in multinational companies: A framework for the management of (linguistic) diversityHuman Resource Management Journal, vol 33, no. 4, pp. 868-888. Available online... Publisher's version (free access) - Related blog post


Advancing, both conceptually and practically, the equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) agenda, which is notoriously difficult to implement, this paper addresses the under-researched area of global diversity management (GDM) in multinational companies (MNCs). Drawing on Harrison and Klein’s (2007) conceptualisations of diversity (separation, variety, and disparity) and two core concepts (fluidity and reciprocity) that reflect recent developments in the EDI literature, we propose a two-step framework for implementing the EDI agenda through GDM.

We argue that to achieve inclusion, we first need to think differently about diversity and differences (i.e. view diversity in a positive light and recognise and appreciate diffe­rences as fluid), in order to act differently (i.e. promote reciprocal effort to leverage diversity). We illustrate our framework with the specific case of linguistic diversity, a diversity dimension that is particularly salient, but also often neglected in MNCs, and discuss the implications of the proposed framework for EDI theory as well as HRM policies and practice.

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