MN5073 - Developing Inclusive Organisations (2023/24)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2023/24|
|Module title||Developing Inclusive Organisations|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||150|
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)||
We live in a more diverse society than ever before. Structural changes in labour markets have led to increasing numbers of women, older workers and disabled people in employment, with fewer younger people in many industrialised economies. Globalisation and migration has also lead to greater ethnic diversity. We are also clear about the business for diverse workforces, and the benefits this can bring to society.
However, there is a question as to whether a diverse workforce always equals inclusion. There is evidence that many of these groups are marginalised and face employment disadvantages in practice. The aim of this module is to illuminate some of the inequalities experienced by these groups, and then to examine theoretical perspectives helping explain these and provide insights into how these can be better remedied in practice.
Whilst arguably the principles of inclusion transcend the protected characteristics (Equality Act, 2010), it is clear that these groups tend to suffer more inequalities in the workplace than others (despite law that protects against this). This module will therefore look at the meaning of inclusion and how it differs from concepts of equality and diversity – what it adds and where it might be lacking. We will examine closely the different dimensions of diversity (gender, age, race/ethnicity and so forth) in order to understand the specific barriers these groups experience, and what methods organisations can develop to ensure more inclusive workplaces – so that everyone feels valued regardless of identity or background.
A broader aim of the module is to provide students with an opportunity to ‘step into the shoes’ of diverse marginalised groups and the specific barriers they face, so they are better prepared to identify and promote inclusive workplaces, as social justice champions of our future. This is something our society needs and London Metropolitan University is passionate about developing – values driven graduates who make a positive contribution to the world (see Strategic Plan).
Prior learning requirements
Standard university requirements for Level 5 entry
- The meaning(s) of inclusion LO1
- Equality and the law LO4
- The impact of inclusion on organisational outcomes (business case) LO1
- Theorising employment disadvantage: segregation and sociological approaches LO2 & LO3
- Theorising employment disadvantage: an intersectional approach LO2 & LO3
- Gender inequalities: choice and constraints LO3 & LO4
- Social mobility and the ‘class gap’ LO3 & LO4
- Migration and race inequality in employment LO3 & LO4
- Age diversity and inclusion LO3 & LO4
- LGBT and inclusion LO3 & LO4
- Disability and employment (including issues of ‘neurodiversity’) LO3 & LO4
- Equality and diversity policy in action (the role of line managers and governance) LO3 & LO4
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
The formal delivery of this module will include three contact hours per week. This will include a two hour lecture which will explore the meaning of inclusion, the barriers for different groups, theoretical perspectives on these inequalities, and targeted recommendations for how organisations can help alleviate these through policies and practices aimed at building inclusivity. This will be supplemented by a one hour seminar which allows for a closer level analysis of the issues in an interactive format. For example, seminars will draw on case studies, videos and scenario activities. We may also draw on the ‘flipped classroom’ approach during seminars, where students are given activities to prepare and reflect on (individually or in groups) for discussion during class time. For example, students may be given an exercise to design an ‘unconscious bias training’ session, to be delivered to middle managers or to analyse some gender pay gap reporting statistics and to diagnose the problems. The aim is to facilitate deeper learning through individual reflection and engagement with the issues, and embedded through the sharing of ideas, viewpoints and experiences of a diverse peer and teaching team. We feel this approach serves to better prepare students with the understanding and empathy necessary to manage inclusively and become socially responsible future leaders.
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
- Explain the different meanings of inclusion, and ‘the business case’ for investing in developing an inclusive workplace.
- Identify key patterns of inequality in the workplace and competing explanations for these.
- Identify the different processes and practices that present barriers to inclusivity in the workplace across dimensions such as gender, race and ethnicity, disability and age.
- Critically evaluate different strategies for overcoming inequalities and promoting inclusivity in the workplace
There is one summative assessment for this module. This will take the form of an individual workbook (2500 words) containing weekly exercises for completion by students, and will be based on the issues discussed in lectures and seminars. Taking this approach will ensure all of the learning outcomes are assessed, since students will be tested on their knowledge from each week in ‘bitesize’ chunks. This is important given the breadth of issues covered in this module, and the ambition for students to develop an awareness of the wide ranging barriers to inclusion in workplaces.
There will be a range of weekly exercise formats including some that are traditional and expect students to engage in research based evidence to put forward their argument; others that are more practical in nature (e.g. critiquing a job advertisement in terms of inclusive language) and finally there will be some opportunity for reflection too (e.g. what students have learnt about a particular issue that has surprised them, or they will help them in their future careers as potential managers and employers). It may also include a final action plan to combine their final reflections on the module, and to think critically about how they might apply their knowledge in the workplace.
Given that weekly exercises correspond to activities conducted in the classroom, students will be receiving formative feedback as they go along (seminar sessions) and therefore attendance is of utmost importance. Seminar leaders will offer support for academic writing and referencing during the module.
Kirton, G. and Greene, A.M., 2016. The dynamics of managing diversity: A critical approach. Routledge [available as e-book]
Other readings (general):
Arenas, A., Di Marco, D., Munduate, L. and Euwema, M.C. eds., 2017. Shaping inclusive workplaces through social dialogue. Springer International Publishing.
Cooper, D., 2004. Challenging diversity. Cambridge University Press.
Cornelius, N., 2002. Building workplace equality: Ethics, diversity and inclusion. Cengage Learning EMEA.
Daniels, K. and Macdonald, L., 2005. Equality, diversity and discrimination: A student text. CIPD Publishing.
Davidson, Marilyn J. and Fielden, S. (2003) Individual diversity and psychology in organizations. John Wiley.
Dundon, T. and Wilkinson, A., 2020. Work, employment and human resource management: Case study applications. In Case Studies in Work, Employment and Human Resource Management. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Healy, G., Kirton, G. and Noon, M., 2010. Inequalities, intersectionality and equality and diversity initiatives. Equality, Inequalities and Diversity. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Kirton, G and Greene, A. M. (2005) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity. Elsevier.
Konrad, A, Prasad, P and Pringle, J (2006) Handbook of Workplace Diversity. Sage.
Noon, Mike. (2001) Equality, diversity and disadvantage in employment. Palgrave.
Ozbilgin, M. and Tatli, A. (2015) Global Diversity: An Evidence Based Approach, Palgrave Macmillan: New York.
Wright, T. and Conley, H. (2011) Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work, Surrey: Gower.
Bach, E.B.S. and Edwards, M.R., 2013. Work Life Balance: The End of the Overwork Culture?. Managing Human Resources, p.150.
Race and ethnicity readings:
Bhopal, K., 2018. White privilege: The myth of a post-racial society. Policy Press.
Bradley, H. and Healy, G., 2008. Ethnicity and gender at work: inequalities, careers and employment relations. Springer.
Pilkington, A., 2003. Racial disadvantage and ethnic diversity in Britain. Palgrave Macmillan.
Social class/mobility readings:
Friedman, S. and Laurison, D., 2020. The class ceiling: Why it pays to be privileged. Policy Press.
Savage, M., 2015. Social class in the 21st century. Penguin UK.
Work Employment and Society
Gender Work and Organisation
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Work and Occupations
Human Resource Management Journal
British Journal of Industrial Relations
International Journal of Human Resource Management
Online resources and websites
Surveys and reports
Work and Employment Relations Survey
CIPD 2019 Building Inclusive Workplaces:
Task Force on Race Equality, Diversity in the Private Sector and Institute for Public Policy Research, 2004. Race Equality: The Benefits for Responsible Business. Institute for Public Policy Research: