How leaders of a multinational corporation implement the company’s DEI strategy at the workplace: Study of corporate expectations vs. outcomes

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
Previous studies have identified that inclusion and diversity in the workplace boost employees' engagement and productivity. However, the roles of the leaders and the part they play being in charge of the different teams and implementations of strategies aimed at the creation of a diverse and inclusive workplace still need to be clarified. In particular, in huge multinational corporations, which follow certain diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies, DEI is realized on various levels across many teams involving the leadership of numerous managers. Due to a relative recentness of the topic of DEI in the corporations it is still uncertain how these leaders can act and make decisions so that the workplace becomes more diverse and inclusive while adhering to the company’s general DEI strategy. Is there a particular way of leading that can construct a workplace where everyone can feel engaged and where everyone's voice can be heard? Are leaders taking actions based on the corporate strategy or their own experiences? What are the subordinates’ perceptions of the leaders’ actions? In this thesis, I study the interconnections between the leaders’ identities at the workplace, decisions made by the leader, and the way in which those decisions align with the organization’s DEI strategy and perceived by subordinates and affect the crucial principles of diversity, equity and inclusion at multinational enterprises. With this outlook and with an appropriate selection of leaders and employees from a multinational corporation, I get a comprehensive perspective on the outlined research objective through qualitative research.
Thesis advisor
van der Giessen, Mark
leadership, DEI, strategy implementation, leader's identity
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