Organizations are increasingly feeling the urgency to learn how to build inclusive work cultures. The ability of organizations to leverage their diversity is profoundly hampered by resistance inside the organization to formulating, implementing, and institutionalizing changes that would align organizational practice with a strategy to build inclusiveness. We argue that group identity and societal power position combine to drive intergroup dynamics that hinder most diversity initiatives before they can be seriously engaged. In particular, the sources of this diversity resistance are cycles of behavior that dominant and subordinant group members enter into as they attempt to negotiate diversity-related change. We describe patterns of resistance enacted by dominants and subordinants and then discuss how these patterns feed one another to hinder organizations in the pursuit for greater inclusiveness. We also suggest ways in which this resistance may be overcome so that organizations can realize the gains of inclusiveness.
Davidson and James tackle a critical dilemma in the diversity arena: How can individuals transform cross-difference relationships steeped in cynicism, mistrust, and enmity into relationships that are energizing, nurturing, and productive? They offer a key insight that this transformation occurs through two primary mechanisms: conflict and learning. They observe that salient differences between members in diverse relationships trigger schemas, stereotypes, and expectations that set the stage for conflict. They examine the positive nature of conflict in cross-difference relationships, and propose that the opportunity to transform this conflict into learning is the only means by which high-quality relationships across differences emerge. Their chapter offers a penetrating examination of how individuals move beyond stereotypes and conflict to a learning approach. They propose that the path to learning begins with an individual's personal experiences with members of diverse groups, but is also influenced by the members' investment in the relationship and hinges on core skills or relational competencies that allow members to move the relationship from a state of conflict to a state of growth, learning, and engagement. Developing high-quality relationships across differences is often a daunting task, and this chapter gives sharp insights into how conflict generated in diverse relationships can be transformed into a generative source of learning and personal growth.
A systematic understanding of industry dynamics is critical to strategy research because individual firm performance dynamics both reflect and affect change at the industry level. Descriptive research on industry dynamics has identified a dominant pattern where prices fall, output rises, and the number of firms rises and then falls over time. Several models have been advanced to explain these patterns, with a particular focus on explaining why a shakeout in the number of firms occurs. In the most prominent models, shakeout is generated by rising realized heterogeneity among firms that either is assumed to be unrecognized but determined ex ante or is generated by stochastic innovation outcomes coupled with convex adjustment costs and scale advantages in innovation and learning. In this paper, we develop an alternative model where heterogeneity develops among firms over time (leading to a shakeout) because firms must make choices about highly interdependent productive activities where the ideal combinations cannot be easily deduced or imitated. By combining two established models (a Cournot model of competition with an NK model of interdependency in production activities), we are able to advance an alternative explanation for the observed patterns of industry behavior, including shakeout. We show that variation in the potential for interdependency in activities among industries is able to explain varying levels of shakeout as well as differing patterns of entry and exit among industries. Notably, the model generates several empirical predictions not apparent in past research and several that directly conflict with the results of prominent alternative models of industry dynamics. Specifically, we show that when the potential for interdependency within an industry is low, entry slows down and incumbent survival is all but assured, whereas in industries where the potential for interdependencies is high, shakeouts are severe and the rates of entry and exit remain high over longer time periods, with decreasing survival rates for incumbents.