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Disentangling the Meanings of Diversity and Inclusion in Organizations

Cornell University

Given the emergence of a new rhetoric in the field of diversity, which replaces the term diversity with the term inclusion, this study comparatively investigates the meanings of diversity and inclusion in organizations. The findings of Study 1, which used a qualitative methodology to explore the construct definitions and to derive a measure of attributes to support diversity and inclusion, revealed conceptually distinct definitions. The reliability and factor structure of the scale was evaluated in Study 2 and cross-validated in Study 3. The results supported a five-factor model of diversity and inclusion and suggest a distinction between the concepts, although the terms may not describe separate types of work environments but different approaches to diversity management.

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