International Diversity Management: Global Ideals and Local Responses




While the concern with demographic diversity in organizations has increased during recent years, international diversity management still remains an understudied area. This is unfortunate since the transfer of diversity management practices within multinational corporations faces particular challenges in balancing between global integration and local responsiveness. The aim of this paper is to illustrate some of the central problems that multinational corporations need to deal with when transferring diversity management practices from headquarters to local subsidiaries. This is illustrated by the results of an ethnographic field study on Danish expatriates in a Saudi subsidiary. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.