Examining the D&I practices in a Finnish cultural organization – Interview study

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
84 + 8
The purpose of this thesis is to examine the diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices in a Finnish cultural organization from the employee perspective. Previous research on the topic is relatively scarce and has mainly focused on issues regarding equality. More specifically, Finnish cultural organizations have not often been the objective of the studies. Despite growing interest towards diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), understanding D&I practices and their functionality in the culture industry from the employee perspective remains limited. Therefore, this study aims to fill the gap by providing an overview on how the existing D&I practices at the Finnish cultural organization are perceived by the employees, and how they are found to be working and affecting the work community. The theoretical foundation of this study draws from the interdisciplinary field of management and the vast literature on DEI. To gain an extensive understanding of the phenomenon in the culture industry, the research follows a qualitative research design of an interview study. The research data was collected in interviews in November and December 2023. In total, seven employees of the Finnish cultural organization were interviewed for the study. The analysis of the interview data is based on a thematic analysis. The findings present the D&I practices currently in use at the particular Finnish cultural organization of which the interviewees were aware of. The most significant D&I practices can be divided under communication, training the employees on D&I, recruitment, and representation policy. The D&I practices are regarded as important, but at the same time it is significant that the implemented practices are relevant in terms of the organization’s operations. A direct effect of the D&I practices on the work community is challenging to determine. However, most interviewees have observed a positive influence on the work atmosphere. They noted that these practices foster an environment of openness, acceptance, and transparency in the workplace. Additionally, discussions on perceiving diversity and inclusion indicate that the concepts need more clarifying. The practical implications at the end cover, for example, engaging the D&I practices to the organization’s strategy. Future research should further explore i.a. the experiences of employees whose first language is not Finnish, as well as the generalizability of D&I practices across various organizations within the culture industry.
Thesis advisor
Huopalainen, Astrid
diversity, inclusion, D&I practices, work community, culture industry
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