Note: This research is still in progress. I did a presentation to share my initial efforts at the Communicating Diversity Conference in Austin, Texas.
Creating a case study to demonstrate the importance for communicators to understand the impact of the frames and messages they share
Since the 1980s, companies have increasingly turned to broad definitions of diversity (Akinola, 2016, 2017; Edelman et al., 2001; Mease, 2016) along with rhetoric emphasizing the direct and indirect companies gain from diversity (Georgeac & Rattan, 2023; Gutierrez & Kellar, 2023; Pasztor, 2019).
There are considerable concerns that this rhetoric “risks reducing people to resources, limits the possibilities for altering human interaction, and reinforces identity hierarchies” (Mease, 2012, p. 2). More recent research (Georgeac and Rattan, 2022) found that the use of business-centered rhetoric can have “detrimental consequences for the very applicants that companies seek to attract.”
This research is a quantitative content analysis examining the diversity case, definitions, and identities published by Fortune 500 companies to explain their diversity initiatives.
Type of Project
Quantitative research (currently), content analysis, secondary research
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