Reinforcing this business case view, she was also focused on getting everyone to understand that: [ … ] diversity is not just about hiring more women or hiring more, you know, international employees, those certainly are aspects of it, but it ’ s [ … ] this whole broader picture and it ’ s not just about the work force it ’ s also about the market place (Barbara, VPRD). Also this business case had to be rolled out as is expressed in the following quote about deploying diversity champions: The first step really is for the champions to understand the corporate strategy and then for them to go out into their business units with the support of the Diversity Director and the rest of our group really to take a look at their business unit, what their business needs are, what their business issues are and then to develop some specific objectives, support their business pertaining to diversity and to create action plans, create objectives and action plans for the following year (Barbara, VPRD). However, she felt that ManU was in advance of many companies in subscribing to a business case view of DM: I think ManU is taking the more holistic integrated approach looking at both the market side and at the workforce side and most companies globally that I know of aren ’ t, they are focusing very much on the work force side and only that (Barbara, VPRD). Given this case study was conducted in Sweden, a country that has a reputation for supporting equality policies in relation to gender and minorities (e.g. Statens Offentliga Utredningar (SOU), 1995:55, p. 55), it might have been expected that we would find management promoting diversity policies that extended well beyond the confines of the business case. Although rhetorically, the management shows openness to different interests in diversity, in its operationalization, only the business interest seems to prevail, thus “ chasing out ” other (possible) interests. One exception was the ex-manager who at least expressed some regrets that the promotion of egalitarian values around diversity was no more than business or PR. We now turn to a discussion of the impact of DM on ethnic minority employees in conditions of a changing socio-economic context. The impact of DM: the power of context Phase 1: influx of immigrants We illustrate our argument through engaging with the lived experiences of two workers at the company ’ s plant. Momo was born in the former (SFR) Yugoslavia and in 1965 moved to Sweden as a guest worker employed by ManU. He relates how when he first came to Sweden jobs were easy to come by even for foreigners who spoke little or no Swedish. He describes his first years in Sweden, as well as at ManU, very positively even though his life was not always easy. He worked in a noisy factory on “ unclean ” jobs and the housing conditions for (guest) workers were poor. Still, according to Momo, these first years of living in Sweden and working at ManU were probably the 10 EDI 35,1 Downloaded by UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA At 19:22 23 December 2016 (PT)
best period in Sweden for him and for many Swedish immigrants of that time. Momo describes that time as follows: At that time it was very easy to find a job in Sweden. Representatives for Swedish companies,
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- Spring '20