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Gender and Diversity in Organizations in South Asia

Special issue call for papers from Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Gender and Diversity in Organizations in South Asia

Guest editors

Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) journal is pleased to announce a special issue focused on ‘gender and diversity in organization in South Asia’. The special issue will examine different types of national and corporate institutions, strategies, theories and practices involved in gender and diversity management in organization in the region. The special issue aims to offer a range of national, ideological and practical perspectives on gender and diversity in organizations; what diversity management means both for those who do gender and diversity work as professionals and as activists, and those who experience its effects in organizations in South Asia.

South Asia is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises an emerging economic giant India and a number of pre-emerging/frontier economies including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran (UNSD 2010) . With a population exceeding 1.6 billion, South Asia is home to approximately one fourth of the world’s population, making it one of most densely populated and the fastest economically growing regions in the world.

Aims and scope of the special issue

The aim of this special issue is to highlight contextual issues and challenges, and theories and practices of gender and diversity management in the South Asian context. In particular, we are interested in papers which explain how local theories on gender and diversity explain the present state of equality, diversity and inclusion in workplaces in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries in the South Asian region. We are also interested in studies related to and within the not-for-profit sector or non-governmental organizations (e.g. Agarwal, 2001) as well as the diversity policies and practices pertaining to indigenous peoples in South Asia. Further we welcome papers which highlight and help us understanding the challenges of gender and diversity management facing foreign MNCs operating in these countries and the ways in which MNCs reconcile any gaps between legislation and organizational policies of the host and the home country.

We will also welcome diversity related perspectives and experiences of the South Asian diaspora, e.g., migrant workers and managers in various countries. Here we seek papers that help us understand the mobilization of certain cultural, gender and/or religious discourses in the lives of migrant workers and their interaction with the host society in the context of diversity management as a workplace practice (e.g., Pio, 2005; Syed & Pio, 2010). Research has brought to the fore the difficulties encountered in entering the workforce and in sustaining work, creating knotted strands in the lives of some migrant women. The implications of such knotted strands in ethnic identity it to understand and situate the migrants’ experience in the wider context of policy development and diversity management in the host economy (Pio, 2005). This body of research needs to be augmented with further international studies.

Consistent with the aims of the EDI journal, we are interested in papers which treat equal opportunities at multiple levels, i.e., in the context of society, organizations and work. We are, therefore, particularly interested in papers highlighting multilevel perspectives on diversity management (Syed & Özbilgin, 2009), which take into account the complexities presented by ethnicity, religion, gender and other dimension of individual identity, and their continuous interplay with various macro-societal and organizational level variables.

Recent studies show that instead of a universal and uncritical definition and practice of diversity management, there is a need to critically take into account the local context in understanding and managing diversity, e.g., Syed’s (2009) contextual approach to diversity management and Tsui’s (2004) perspective on high-quality indigenous (context-specific) research. In addition, attention may be focused on a range of imagined and real connections and disconnections and levels of choice that breach national and ethnic boundaries (Shukla, 2001). It may enable us to think about the wider networks of material and symbolic relations within, and through which, equality, diversity and inclusion may be theorized, aspired to, perceived and experienced in particular locales.

Papers could include reflections and explorations on: state institutions and governance of gender and diversity; the bureaucratization and technologies of diversity management; corporate diversity practices; the professionalization of gender and diversity management; and discriminatory practices and policies prevalent in the countries of the region.

The editors invite both theoretical and empirical papers for the special issue. While there is no preference for any specific research paradigm, innovative research methodologies adopted to collect and analyze the data are welcomed. Authors are encouraged to engage their work in recent debates and research on this topic.

This call is open and competitive, and the submitted papers will be blind reviewed in the normal way. Submission will be taken to imply that a paper contains original work that has not previously been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Authors should follow the journal’s regular guidelines, as published in every issue of the journal. Papers should be no longer than 7000 words including references.


  • 16th November 2010: Call for papers issued
  • 1st May 2011: Submission of full papers
  • 1st September 2011: Editorial decision
  • 2012: Anticipated publication of the special issue

Prospective contributors are welcome to liaise with the guest editors before the submission date to discuss the suitability of their work for this publication. Please note that the submissions should be made through the Manuscript Central. Papers to be considered for this special issue should be submitted online via (selecting "Special Issue Paper" (Gender and Diversity in Organization in South Asia) as the Manuscript Type).


Agarwal, B. (2001), Participatory Exclusions, Community Forestry and Gender: An analysis for South Asia and a conceptual framework, World Development, vol. 29 no. 10, pp. 1623-1648

Pio, E. (2005), "Knotted strands: Working lives of Indian women migrants in New Zealand", Human Relations, vol. 58 no. 10, pp. 1277-1299

Shukla, S. (2001), "Locations for South Asian Diasporas", Annual Review of Anthropology, vol. 30 pp. 551-572

Syed, J. (2009), "Contextualising diversity management", in M. Özbilgin (Ed), Equality, diversity and inclusion at work: a research companion, pp.101-111, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK

Syed, J., and Özbilgin, M. (2009), "A relational framework for international transfer of diversity management practices", International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 20 no. 12, pp. 2435-2453

Syed, J., and Pio, E. (2010), "Veiled diversity: Workplace experiences of Muslim women in Australia", Asia Pacific Journal of Management, vol. 27 no. 1, pp. 115-137

Tsui, A. (2004), "Contributing to global management knowledge: a case for high quality indigenous research", Asia Pacific Journal of Management, vol. 21 no. 4, pp. 491-513