Inclusion and diversity in Public Administration: Where are we and how far are we in the path to an inclusive society?
Keywords:inclusion, diversity, normalization, disability, organization studies, management, governance, public administration
The main aim of this paper is to preliminarily explore definitions and nuances within the definition of concepts such as inclusion, diversity, disability, normalization, and to try and highlight how the binary meanings implied to these definitions ( i.e. inclusion/exclusion, diversity/conformity, disability/ability) are significant to understand how these are used in management and governance strategies. This will be done mainly by reviewing previous academic contributions, then by pointing at some possible practitioner experiences already studied or indicated as hypothesis in specialized literature concerning Organization Studies. Collecting the possible perspectives about “inclusion and diversity” is instrumental to a “field definition”, and to acknowledge the “state of art” of these concepts within different contexts, such as academic scholarship, private and corporate business, public administration, and ultimately society as a whole. This means, as part of a larger research project addressing public administration especially, to investigate whether the “inclusion turn” in open public debate does factually provide a ground for changes in organizational practices, rather than staying on paper as a mere normative scenario that HR departments and lawmakers feel compelled to comply to, rather than promoting effective inclusion strategies as systematic behaviour. The ideal contribution of this paper would be to suggest some possible directions for inclusivity research in terms of scholarships and case studies.
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