Purpose: The aim of the present study is twofold; firstly, it intends to investigate the level of perceived discrimination among employees in the context of remote working. Secondly, the paper draws on the results to propose initial insights on the role of the diversity management in the context of remote working. Theoretical background: The Sars-CoV-2 pandemic caused a shift in working methods and processes leading organisations to apply and maintain agile working procedures, namely, remote working. In this context, organisational processes towards remote working practices have been facilitated by the presence of management sensitive to work-life balance dimensions while respecting the socio-demographic characteristics of employees. However, questions on how and to what extent equality and diversity management, and in general to diversity climate, are still open. That is, the presence of a scarce Management of Diversities and an already ineffective Climate of Diversity could influence counterproductive effects in the remote working conduction. With a lack of inclusive practices, remote working may be related to higher levels of inequity as it is easier to exert new forms of discrimination such as cyberbullying and digital micro-aggressions. Design/Methodology/Approach/Intervention: Given this consideragtions, the study aims at explore the level of perceived discrimination in the context of remote working via a longitudinal survey. An online questionnaire has been submitted 240 SMEs employees in three different time sessions, one month apart. It was submitted between February and May 2020 and was adapted to investigate any change during the lockdown period. The constructs concerning the climate of diversity (Subtle and Overt Discrimination, Diversity Climate, Diversity and Equality Management) were investigated in association with different types of discrimination (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and body art). Results obtained or expected: The literature shows how an effective equality and diversity management and a positive diversity climate bring a substantial benefit to the employees’ quality of life. Among the results, the outmost evidence concerns the role of diversity management on the diversity climate and subtle discrimination have been found. When lower levels of diversity management are present, the diversity climate decreases while the level of perceived discrimination increases. Limitations: Part of the sample gradually left the longitudinal survey at different stages. Research/Practical Implications: The results of the present study are relevant both for directing further studies on the topic of remote working and for organisations wishing to implement remote working effectively. Additionally, such results could increase the awareness about the management of discrimination-oriented behaviour. Intended audience: Both academic, and Practitioner.

Diversity management in the context of remote-working management: a longitudinal study

Andrea Ceschi;Vittoria Protti;Francesco Tommasi;Riccardo Sartori
2022

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of the present study is twofold; firstly, it intends to investigate the level of perceived discrimination among employees in the context of remote working. Secondly, the paper draws on the results to propose initial insights on the role of the diversity management in the context of remote working. Theoretical background: The Sars-CoV-2 pandemic caused a shift in working methods and processes leading organisations to apply and maintain agile working procedures, namely, remote working. In this context, organisational processes towards remote working practices have been facilitated by the presence of management sensitive to work-life balance dimensions while respecting the socio-demographic characteristics of employees. However, questions on how and to what extent equality and diversity management, and in general to diversity climate, are still open. That is, the presence of a scarce Management of Diversities and an already ineffective Climate of Diversity could influence counterproductive effects in the remote working conduction. With a lack of inclusive practices, remote working may be related to higher levels of inequity as it is easier to exert new forms of discrimination such as cyberbullying and digital micro-aggressions. Design/Methodology/Approach/Intervention: Given this consideragtions, the study aims at explore the level of perceived discrimination in the context of remote working via a longitudinal survey. An online questionnaire has been submitted 240 SMEs employees in three different time sessions, one month apart. It was submitted between February and May 2020 and was adapted to investigate any change during the lockdown period. The constructs concerning the climate of diversity (Subtle and Overt Discrimination, Diversity Climate, Diversity and Equality Management) were investigated in association with different types of discrimination (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and body art). Results obtained or expected: The literature shows how an effective equality and diversity management and a positive diversity climate bring a substantial benefit to the employees’ quality of life. Among the results, the outmost evidence concerns the role of diversity management on the diversity climate and subtle discrimination have been found. When lower levels of diversity management are present, the diversity climate decreases while the level of perceived discrimination increases. Limitations: Part of the sample gradually left the longitudinal survey at different stages. Research/Practical Implications: The results of the present study are relevant both for directing further studies on the topic of remote working and for organisations wishing to implement remote working effectively. Additionally, such results could increase the awareness about the management of discrimination-oriented behaviour. Intended audience: Both academic, and Practitioner.
Diversity Management, Overt and subtle Discrimination, Remote working
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1070966
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