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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/64

Title: Corporate Images of the 'Immigrant' at Work
Authors: Golnaraghi, Golnaz
Supervisor(s): Mills, Albert J. (Saint Mary's University)
Devine, Kay (Faculty of Business, Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Mirchandani, Kiran (University of Toronto)
Munshi, Debashish (University of Waikato)
Simmons, Tony (Centre for Social Sciences, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Athabasca University)
Degree: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
Department: Faculty of Business
Keywords: Diversity
Critical Discourse Analysis
Issue Date: 2-Feb-2015
Abstract: In this dissertation I challenge the taken-for-granted assumptions related to dominant diversity discourses of corporate Canada. Further, I problematize ‘diversity management’ and the notion of ‘immigrant’ arguing that dominant discourses and constructions are dependent upon historical discourses. My research aims to answer the key questions of my problematic: what are the dominant diversity discourses of corporate Canada? How are immigrants constructed within this discourse? How are these representations informed by past (historical) immigration discourses? I also take an interest in the voices of the ‘other,’ typically erased from corporate texts, in order to reveal how ‘immigrants’ who face labour market challenges construct their own experiences. The study involves an in-depth analysis of 24 corporate websites of Ontario-based companies that were recognized as the Best Employers of New Canadians in 2013 as well as the analysis of government and media documents. In examining my research questions, I used Boje’s (2008) Stylistic Strategy as my analytical frame to deconstruct how corporate texts and images are used to orchestrate the ideal image of an ‘exemplar’ employer (Goffman, 1959). Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (Foucault, 1979; Phillips & Hardy, 2002) is also used to analyze historical and contemporary contexts using a postcolonial lens. While there are different postcolonial approaches (Loomba, 2005), my postcolonial focus is rooted in a poststructuralist approach, particularly one influenced by Foucault’s theory of discourse and power/knowledge (Said, 1978; Bhabha, 1994). Dominant organizational diversity discourses are interconnected with discourses of globalization, in which organizations are discursively constructed as nimble, enterprising and innovative in order to appeal to key audiences and publics. Contradictions begin to surface, however, as immigrant representations within diversity discourses are embedded within the discourse of integration where tolerance of differences is measured in terms of an immigrant’s ability to conform to the Western ideal. ‘Fictive’ binary constructions within dominant discourses serve to ‘other’ immigrants by casting them as inferior to the Western ideal. Too much difference is not tolerated and results in exclusion. I also explore the complexities of ‘othering’ by revealing the voices of the other which give clues into exclusions, acts of racism, discrimination as well as immigrant reactions and resistance. What I have tried to show is how sites of power construct and reconstruct knowledge and images of the ‘problematic’ immigrant which serve to normalize racism and discriminatory practices – in the workplace, and in the wider society.
Graduation Date: Jan-2015
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/64
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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