Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Self and Other in Everyday Existence: A Mystery...
View graph of relations

Self and Other in Everyday Existence: A Mystery Not A Problem.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date2005
Host publicationOrganisation and Identity
Place of PublicationLondon, New York
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)0-415-32231-6
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Diversity management is an established theme in managerial ideology. This paper offers a cultural-historical analysis of the emergence and nature of diversity management ideas and practices. These elements are combined with aspects of philosophical critique derived from an existential phenomenological perspective. We argue that diversity management is an attempt to capture the elementary experience of self and other in the sphere of managerial control and to subvert the equal opportunities agenda. We find that the rhetorical moves of diversity management merely recycle old ideas and techniques from other currents (such as organisational culture management, strategic HRM, participation, empowerment, communication, teamwork). Diversity management transforms the elementary lived experience of self and other in the world into a source of organisational �problems�, of �pathology�, and thus breaches the basic space of personal ethical engagement. Using elements of Heidegger�s and Levinas� philosophical anthropologies, we argue that this elementary level of our being in the world, the encounter with �others�, is irreducibly mysterious, but not problematic, or pathologic, or a source of dis-organisation; rather, it is intensely personal and thus beyond any possibility of formal rationalisation and generalisation. In other words, human difference is not manageable in the sense in which managerial ideology conceptualises it in diversity management.