A global comparison of diversity assessment tools

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Global Management
135 + 27
This multiple case study examines the use of diversity assessment tools to evaluate how diverse an organization’s policies and practices are. In particular, the study seeks to find answers on how such tools compare globally. For this purpose, a comparative analysis of eight diversity assessment tools was conducted, which was complemented by insights gained from four semi-structured interviews with diversity and inclusion experts. The findings of this study demonstrate that there does not exist a one-fits-all diversity assessment tool, and consequently no universally applicable approach to assess organizational diversity. It shows that organizations across the world are subject to varying external factors such as legislative and social policies. The study also reveals that each diversity assessment tool was developed within a specific local context. Nonetheless, this research finds that across the pre-defined analysis criteria the case tools converge in multiple ways. Most importantly, the case tools all include very similar domains. This consistency suggests a certain degree of consensus on key components of a diversity assessment tool, which permitted the creation of a model for a holistic diversity assessment. The model conceptualizes eleven relevant domains to be considered for organizational diversity assessment and visualizes their mutual relationship by subordinating them in three categories. Studying organizational diversity assessment tools is timely and relevant since workforces across the world are becoming increasingly diverse. As a result, more and more attention is being paid to diversity management in organizations. While numerous reviews on organizational assessment exist in the field of cultural competence, studies on organizational assessments in the field of diversity are rather scarce and old. In particular, the link to diversity assessment tools has seldomly been researched. Therefore, this research contributes to existing literature by constituting an up-to-date study of organizational diversity assessment, with a particular focus on diversity assessment tools. Especially the developed model for a holistic diversity assessment provides a valuable resource and opens avenues for future research. For managers, the model can serve as inspiration and guidance to develop their own diversity assessment tool. Further, the study equips managers with clear instructions and recommendations on how to set up and use a diversity assessment tool.
Thesis advisor
Piekkari, Rebecca
diversity, organizational assessment, diversity assessment tool, inclusion
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