This study examines the development and impact of diversity and equality management systems (DEMS). A national sample of human resource managers from 155 Canadian firms responded to surveys about their firm's diversity and equality management (DEM) practices. Cluster analysis and latent class modeling identified three distinct approaches to DEM: classical disparity DEMS showing limited development of DEM-related practices, institutional DEMS involving complex selection mechanisms and monitoring of employment statistics, and configurational DEMS linking diversity to business strategy. Hypothesis-testing analyses indicated that both institutional and configurational DEMS were predicted by coverage by the Canadian employment equity program, federal contractor status, and the presence of a diversity expert on staff. Only configurational DEMS was predicted by inclusion of HRM in developing business strategy. Configurational DEMS positively predicted the employment of workers with disabilities and members of visible minority groups as well as ROA. These findings support the proposition based on strategic human resource management (SHRM) theory that DEM practices should be considered as bundles and that vertical linkage to strategy is important for DEM effectiveness. As such, SHRM theory explains how managers can structure strategic responses to institutional pressures that go beyond requirements to achieve strategic goals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation