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  • Managing cultural diversity
  • in small and medium-sized organizations
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Project schedule

The project design includes five work packages:

1. A review of the research and practitioner literature on diversity management, its instruments and conditions that improve or hinder their application, and the expected/proven effects. The literature search will not only cover the current situation in the four participating countries, but also across the EU. Four background papers will put together the evidence on diversity management initiatives in each country and their impacts on individual, organizational and societal level. (Work package 1)

2. Interviews at national level with key informants and experts from companies, public institutions (e.g. Chambers of Commerce), diversity consultants, and migrant representative bodies. Using a semi-structured format the interviews will address their experience with specific management of diversity practices in their countries’ small and medium-sized organizations. The interview guidelines have to be developed by all researchers in a collaborative way. Test of equivalence will allow for comparative analysis of the interview data. (Work package 2)

3. Focus group interviews will be conducted with highly qualified non-EU immigrants working for organizations within each country taking part in the study. The focus groups will incorporate engineers, physicians and scientists. Again, a jointly developed interview manual has to be used. Guided by experienced moderators the focus groups are supposed to report the perspectives of those directly affected by existing approaches to management of diversity in their work environments. Four country roundtables will present the findings from the work packages 1 to 3 and explore the results with academic experts, consultants and HR professionals from private companies and public institutions. The results from interviews with key informants and experts as well as from the focus groups will be summarized in an interim report drawing together and comparing existing practices, conditions that support or impede these practice and the effects of diversity management. The outline of the interim report will be developed in a workshop to be attended by all research partners (Work package 3)

4. A survey of diversity management practices, their objectives and perceived effects in public and private organizations will complement the deep insights gained by literature analysis and interviews and will allow for generalizations about the current state of diversity management. Respondents of the survey will be staff that is responsible for people management in these organizations as well as highly qualified migrants from the non-EU countries working in these organizations. Thus the perspectives of both the employers and the migrants can be explored. (Work package 4)

5. The survey results will be summarized in a synthesis report. A concluding conference of all partners, including policy representatives from national and European institutions will discuss the project’s findings and identify ways of how to transfer the findings into good practice. Drawing on the data from interviews and survey a guideline for planning, conducting and evaluating management of diversity practices will be submitted to the BMF series at Gabler Press. Journal papers will address scientific community. (Work package 5)