CFP: GDO in South Asia (Special Issue of “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion” Journal)

Call for Papers (Updated)

‘Gender and Diversity in Organizations in South Asia’


Special Issue Editors


This is a call for papers for an SI titled, ‘Gender and Diversity in Organizations in South Asia’ for the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) journal to be published in 2013. (Editor-in-Chief: Regine Bendl).


South Asia is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises an emerging economic giant India and a number of pre-emerging/frontier economies including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Iran (UNSD 2010)[1]. With a population exceeding 1.6 billion, South Asia is home to approximately one fourth of the world’s population, making it one of most densely populated and the fastest economically growing regions in the world.



The aim is to highlight contextual issues and challenges, and theories and practices of gender and diversity management in the South Asian context. The SI seeks to examine different types of national and corporate institutions, strategies, theories and practices involved in gender and diversity management in organization in the region. It aims to offer a range of national, ideological and practical perspectives on gender and diversity in organizations; what diversity management means both for those who do gender and diversity work as professionals and as activists, and those who experience its effects in organizations in South Asia.

Broadly, we welcome papers and/or long abstracts that address the SI theme. We note that Western and Eastern societies vary significantly on a number of cultural dimensions including in their approach to gender, age, ethnicity, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, social class and other dimension of diversity. Therefore, we seek papers which explore how the different, and sometimes opposing, cultural assumptions may affect gender and diversity related behaviors of individuals and organizations in respective cultures.

In particular, we are interested in papers which explain how local theories and discourses on gender and diversity explain the present state of equality, diversity and inclusion in workplaces in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other countries in the South Asian region.

We are also interested in studies related to and within the not-for-profit sector or non-governmental organizations (e.g. Agarwal, 2001) as well as the diversity policies and practices pertaining to indigenous peoples in South Asia. Further we welcome papers which highlight and help us understanding the challenges of gender and diversity management facing foreign MNCs operating in these countries and the ways in which MNCs reconcile any gaps between legislation and organizational policies of the host and the home country.

We are also interested in diversity related perspectives and experiences of the South Asian diaspora, e.g., migrant workers and managers in various countries. Here we seek papers that help us understand the mobilization of certain cultural, gender and/or religious discourses in the lives of migrant workers and their interaction with the host society in the context of diversity management as a workplace practice (e.g., Pio, 2005; Syed & Pio, 2010). Research has brought to the fore the difficulties encountered in entering the workforce and in sustaining work, creating knotted strands in the lives of some migrant women. The implications of such knotted strands in ethnic identity it to understand and situate the migrants’ experience in the wider context of policy development and diversity management in the host economy (Pio, 2005). This body of research needs to be augmented with further international studies.

Consistent with the aims of the EDI journal, we are interested in papers which treat equal opportunities at multiple levels, i.e., in the context of society, organizations and work. We are, therefore, particularly interested in papers highlighting multilevel perspectives on diversity management (Syed &Özbilgin, 2009), which take into account the complexities presented by ethnicity, religion, gender and other dimension of individual identity, and their continuous interplay with various macro-societal and organizational level variables.

Recent studies show that instead of a universal and uncritical definition and practice of diversity management, there is a need to critically take into account the local context in understanding and managing diversity, e.g., Tsui’s (2004) perspective on high-quality indigenous research and Syed’s (2009) contextual approach to diversity management.

In addition, attention may be focused on a range of imagined and real connections and disconnections and levels of choice that breach national and ethnic boundaries (Shukla, 2001). It may enable us to think about the wider networks of material and symbolic relations within, and through which, equality, diversity and inclusion may be theorized, aspired to, perceived and experienced in particular locales.

Papers could include reflections and explorations on: state institutions and governance of gender and diversity; the bureaucratization and technologies of diversity management; corporate diversity practices; the professionalization of gender and diversity management; and discriminatory practices and policies prevalent in the South Asian countries.

We invite both theoretical and empirical papers for the special issue. While there is no preference for any specific research paradigm, innovative research methodologies adopted to collect and analyze the data are welcomed. Authors are encouraged to engage their work in recent debates and research on this topic.

Format and deadline

Scholars need to submit full papers (approx. 7000 words including references) due by October 15, 2012.

This call is open and competitive, and the submitted papers will be blind reviewed in the normal way. Submission will be taken to imply that a paper contains original work that has not previously been published and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.

The papers must be prepared consistent with the format and requirements of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion journal.


South Asian Academy of Management: The South Asian Academy of Management (SAAM) is a professional association for scholars dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge about management and organizations in South Asia. This includes information about the South Asian diaspora in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Please refer to

Prospective contributors are welcome to liaise with the guest editors to discuss the suitability of their work for this symposium/publication.




Agarwal, B. 2001. Participatory Exclusions, Community Forestry and Gender: An analysis for South Asia and a conceptual framework. World Development, 29 (10): 1623-1648.

Pio, E. 2005. Knotted strands: Working lives of Indian women migrants in New Zealand. Human Relations, 58(10): 1277-1299

Shukla, S. (2001). Locations for South Asian Diasporas. Annual Review of Anthropology, 30: 551-572.

Syed, J. 2009. Contextualising diversity management. In M. Özbilgin (Ed), Equality, diversity and inclusion at work: a research companion, pp.101-111. Cheltenham & New York: Edward Elgar.

Syed, J., & Özbilgin, M. 2009. A relational framework for international transfer of diversity management practices. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(12): 2435-2453.

Syed, J., & Pio, E. 2010. Veiled diversity: Workplace experiences of Muslim women in Australia. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 27(1): 115-137.

Tsui, A. 2004. Contributing to global management knowledge: a case for high quality indigenous research. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 21(4): 491-513.

[1] UNSD (United Nations Statistics Division) 2010. Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings. Available at:, Accessed 28 October 2010.

Link to the published editorial:

Syed, J. and Pio, E. (2013). Guest Editorial: Rediscovering “Anekta mein ekta” or “kasrat mein wahdat”: South Asian management through unity in diversity. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 32(3), 236-244.

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