How an organization discusses diversity may significantly influence its capacity to fulfill its diversity objectives. The website of AstraZeneca offers an economic argument for diversity, whereas the code of conduct of Tenet Healthcare presents a moral justification. Eighty percent of firms, according to our study, utilized the business case to explain the necessity of diversity. Less than 5 percent cited the fairness argument or did so without explaining its significance. Researchers have demonstrated in experiments that reading a business case for diversity decreases participants’ enthusiasm for working for the firm.
Those who received a neutral message were less worried about stereotyping and isolation than those who read a little letter. Participants’ assessments of a company’s commitment to diversity decreased by 6 percent after seeing its business case. Making a business case for diversity backfires because it sends the message that organizations view employees from underrepresented groups as a means to an end (an instrumental framing of diversity): This undermines organizations’ diversity efforts before they have even interacted with these candidates directly. It also implies that organizations may evaluate applicants’ contributions according to their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. People have a more favorable impression of a potential employer after reading a fairness case that promotes diversity as an aim instead of a business case argument. .