P18 Perspectives on workforce diversity

Panel Chairs:
Deneen M. Hatmaker, Russell S. Hassan, Sarah Maria Lysdal Krøtel, Zachary Oberfield and Amy E. Smith

Corresponding Chair:
Deneen M. Hatmaker, deneen.hatmaker@uconn.edu

The management and effects of a diverse workforce have long been of theoretical and practical interest within public management. Beyond compliance with laws and regulations, diverse workforces are thought to assist public organizations in serving constituents and unlocking creative solutions to hard-to-solve problems. But personnel diversity has also been theorized to create management challenges: more diverse organizations may have a harder time collaborating and, as a result, have less success achieving agency goals. Additionally, changing societal and political contexts further complicate workplace diversity and inclusion efforts. Despite the decades old interest, there remains a considerable amount we do not know about public sector workforce diversity. This panel aims to help narrow this gap.

This panel seeks proposals for papers that will enhance our understanding of workforce diversity in the public sector.  We invite the submission of empirical papers employing a variety of methods, designs and theoretical approaches. We also welcome papers that discuss different theoretical and methodological approaches for studying workforce diversity and its management, underlying mechanisms, and effects.

Specifically, we invite proposals that cover a range of topics and perspectives related to workforce diversity, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Diversity management,
  • Representative bureaucracy,
  • Intersectionality,
  • Diversity and/in leadership,
  • Diversity and inclusion,
  • Work-life balance,
  • Gender and careers,
  • Gendered organizations,
  • Critical approaches to studying diversity and inclusion,
  • Identity politics and diversity management.

Furthermore, echoing Pitts and Wise (2010) and Langbein and Stazyk (2013), we welcome papers that examine diversity from many perspectives, including, but not limited to, education, religion, disability, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, and parental status.


Pitts, D. & Wise, L. (2010). Workforce diversity in the new millennium: Prospects for research. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 30(1):  44-69.
Langbein, L., & Stazyk, E. C. (2013). Vive la différence? The impact of diversity on the turnover intention of public employees and performance of public agencies. International Public Management Journal, 16(4), 465–503.