Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Narratives of Diversity in the Corporate Boardroom: What Corporate Insiders Say About Why Diversity Matters

26 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2009 Last revised: 26 Dec 2014

John M. Conley

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

Lissa L. Broome

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law

Kimberly D. Krawiec

Duke University School of Law

Date Written: September 3, 2009

Abstract

Over the last generation, the concept of diversity has become commonplace and taken-for-granted in discourses ranging from law to education to business. In higher education, for example, it is hard to imagine a faculty job search or a student admissions discussion that was not heavily laden with talk of diversity, in the sense of the representative inclusion of women and racial and ethnic minorities in a group or organization. In this paper we present the results of an interview-based study of the discourse of diversity in a particular business setting: the corporate boardroom. Our principal observation is that - thirty-one years after the Supreme Court's Bakke decision introduced the term into public discourse - corporate insiders appear not to have arrived at a master narrative to explain the pursuit of diversity on boards of directors. Instead, their accounts stress a variety of factors and feature few concrete examples.

Keywords: diversity, race, gender, corporations, board of directors

JEL Classification: K, K22, K4

Suggested Citation

Conley, John M. and Broome, Lissa L. and Krawiec, Kimberly D., Narratives of Diversity in the Corporate Boardroom: What Corporate Insiders Say About Why Diversity Matters (September 3, 2009). UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1415803. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1415803 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1415803

John M. Conley

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-8502 (Phone)

Lissa L. Broome

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
919-962-7066 (Phone)
919-962-1277 (Fax)

Kimberly D. Krawiec (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

210 Science Drive
Box 90362
Durham, NC 27708
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
507
Rank
44,776
Abstract Views
7,428