Engaging diversity in academia: Manifold voices of faculty

Helena Desivilya, Dalit Yassour Borochowitz, Shalom Bouknik, Geke Kalovski, Ilana Lavy, Liora Ore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the perspectives of academic staff on issues of diversity and social schisms: capturing their perceptions of the complex relations at an academic campus positioned in an intricate sociopolitical context. It also explored how the faculty's construal of diversity and social divisions inform their educational practices. Design/methodology/approach: The study employed a qualitative approach using grounded theory methodology. Data collection was based on semi-structured in-depth interviews with 20 diverse faculty members from different departments in a Northern Israeli college. The interviews were transcribed and processed into main themes and categories. Findings: The findings revealed two main themes: "Diversity awareness" depicting recognition and sensitivity to the complex social context in the college, strategies of directly engaging with it, downplaying or overlooking the intricacies, and "Practices" describing the practical translations of the educational credos into teaching practice. Both themes reflected a myriad of faculty voices. Social implications: The study illuminated the challenges posed by social schisms, inequalities, and diversity for the faculty who need to grapple with the intricacies on a daily basis. More open dialogue and debates by the protagonists are needed to increase awareness of diversity and experimenting with different ways of addressing the intricacies. Originality/value: Empirical evidence of the organizational actors' predicaments, their diverse patterns of coping with intricacies, and the factors underlying their choices contribute to the body of knowledge on managing diversity in vivo by real women and men with different backgrounds and experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-104
Number of pages15
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Diversity
  • Etic and emic perspectives
  • Power relations
  • Practitioners' voices
  • Privileges
  • Social divisions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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