“Doing the Right Thing” or “Impacting the Bottom-Line”? Diversity Managers, Business Imperatives and Moral Concerns in US and French Global Companies
First, I will show that US and French diversity professionals differ in the ways they draw boundaries between business and moral realms. While in the US diversity practitioners feel strongly requested to justify their activities in terms of ‘business dollars’, repelling the moral (as well as the legal) dimensions of their work, their French counterparts are more likely to frame diversity initiatives as pertaining simultaneously to moral, legal and economic imperatives, which are seen as porous categories. Second, I will show that beyond this national variation, both US and French diversity practitioners spend a great deal of time promoting the idea that treating people with ‘respect’ and ‘fairness’ goes hand in hand with business performance, rather than being contradictory concerns. As such, whether they claim it or not, they embody the moral face of managerial rationality in contemporary, globalized organizations.