Diversity and the demands of leadership

Nancy DiTomaso, Robert Hooijberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Scopus citations


In this paper we develop a framework for conceptualizing the research on diversity, examine the relationship between diversity and the demands of leadership, and attempt to link the literatures of diversity and leadership by expanding the conception of both. We discuss four types of work on diversity: (a) the management literature on interpersonal and intergroup interaction; (b) other management literature on organizational change which has implications for diversity; (c) literature from the social and behavioral sciences which is about diversity, but which has not been included in the management literature on diversity or leadership; and (d) literature on the ethics and morality of diversity and multiculturalism which the management literature has tended to ignore. We argue that leaders need to "do" diversity in the origination, interpolation, and use of structures; that they have responsibility for the impact their companies have on a diverse world; that they are implicated by their inaction and inattention as well as by their actions; that they need to take responsibility for the politics of diversity; and that they need to engage in "adaptive" and "emotion" work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-187
Number of pages25
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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