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Middle Managers as Silence Breakers and Voice Givers? A Critical Analysis of Middle Managers' Role in Supporting non-heterosexual Employees

Rogler, Nina Alisa LU and Kandler, Viktoria LU (2019) BUSN49 20191
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Even though many companies are actively trying to improve the working conditions for non-heterosexual employees one can still recognize a lack of awareness for the importance of including them into the workforce. This frequently results in non-heterosexual employees feeling the need to be silent about their sexual identity and not making their voices heard in an organizational context. It is of interest to us to investigate ways to give voice to these employees and study in particular which role middle managers have since they are often referred to as champions for diversity. Our aim lies on deepening the understanding of what possibly inhibits middle managers’ voice giving abilities by exploring the following research question: “What are... (More)
Even though many companies are actively trying to improve the working conditions for non-heterosexual employees one can still recognize a lack of awareness for the importance of including them into the workforce. This frequently results in non-heterosexual employees feeling the need to be silent about their sexual identity and not making their voices heard in an organizational context. It is of interest to us to investigate ways to give voice to these employees and study in particular which role middle managers have since they are often referred to as champions for diversity. Our aim lies on deepening the understanding of what possibly inhibits middle managers’ voice giving abilities by exploring the following research question: “What are complexities middle managers face in giving voice to non-heterosexual employees?” Following a qualitative methodology, we conducted and analyzed 13 semi-structured interviews in which we questioned middle managers, non-heterosexual employees and members of diversity departments. In line with existing literature, we argue that middle managers’ intermediary position between top management and the operating core would enable them to create awareness for the importance of giving voice to non-heterosexual employees. Based on our findings we, however, argue that literature’s view on middle managers as diversity champions is too simplistic since various complexities are overlooked. Often middle managers themselves lack awareness for the need of supporting non-heterosexuals and are moreover limited in their sphere of action which restricts their voice giving abilities. Based on this, we question whether middle managers are the ‘right’ group to support non-heterosexual employees. Lastly, we conclude that middle managers voice giving abilities are impeded since some non-heterosexual employees, due to individual personal reasons, remain silent about their sexual identity and thus do not want to have a voice in the first place. (Less)
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author
Rogler, Nina Alisa LU and Kandler, Viktoria LU
supervisor
organization
course
BUSN49 20191
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
middle managers, voice, silence, non-heterosexual employees, LGBTI
language
English
id
8980723
date added to LUP
2019-07-04 16:36:40
date last changed
2019-07-04 16:36:40
@misc{8980723,
  abstract     = {Even though many companies are actively trying to improve the working conditions for non-heterosexual employees one can still recognize a lack of awareness for the importance of including them into the workforce. This frequently results in non-heterosexual employees feeling the need to be silent about their sexual identity and not making their voices heard in an organizational context. It is of interest to us to investigate ways to give voice to these employees and study in particular which role middle managers have since they are often referred to as champions for diversity. Our aim lies on deepening the understanding of what possibly inhibits middle managers’ voice giving abilities by exploring the following research question: “What are complexities middle managers face in giving voice to non-heterosexual employees?” Following a qualitative methodology, we conducted and analyzed 13 semi-structured interviews in which we questioned middle managers, non-heterosexual employees and members of diversity departments. In line with existing literature, we argue that middle managers’ intermediary position between top management and the operating core would enable them to create awareness for the importance of giving voice to non-heterosexual employees. Based on our findings we, however, argue that literature’s view on middle managers as diversity champions is too simplistic since various complexities are overlooked. Often middle managers themselves lack awareness for the need of supporting non-heterosexuals and are moreover limited in their sphere of action which restricts their voice giving abilities. Based on this, we question whether middle managers are the ‘right’ group to support non-heterosexual employees. Lastly, we conclude that middle managers voice giving abilities are impeded since some non-heterosexual employees, due to individual personal reasons, remain silent about their sexual identity and thus do not want to have a voice in the first place.},
  author       = {Rogler, Nina Alisa and Kandler, Viktoria},
  keyword      = {middle managers,voice,silence,non-heterosexual employees,LGBTI},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Middle Managers as Silence Breakers and Voice Givers? A Critical Analysis of Middle Managers' Role in Supporting non-heterosexual Employees},
  year         = {2019},
}