Diversity in working organizations within the Nordic model: perspectives and potential


Special issue Editors: Anders Buch, Ida Drange, Jon Rogstad, Gro Mjeldheim Sandal

Abstracts should be submitted to Journal manager Bo Carstens, bo@nordicwl.dk. Please also contact Journal manager Bo Carstens, bo@nordicwl.dk, if you have any questions regarding submissions.

This special issue has deadline for abstracts March 1. 2022. The issue is expected to be published in May 2023. See the timetable below.

Diversity in the working life is often used as a term of honor, promoting a normative position, as well as an argument concerning economic profitability. On the one hand, diversity is used with reference to representation and absence of discrimination, and on the other hand, diversity is related to performance and the work tasks. In both concerns, the working organizations’ ability to maintain diversity and to facilitate beneficiary results, depend on the intra-organizational processes. In this special issue, we draw attention to how Nordic employers conceptualize diversity management and the consequences diversity management has for the organization’s performance on a wide range of indicators. We seek contributions with an emphasis on ethnic diversity, either as a single dimension or as one of multiple intersecting dimensions of diversity.

The leading arguments for organizational diversity in public discourse are the justice perspective, the business-case perspective, and the resource perspective. The first perspective, in contrast to the second two, is that the justice perspective legitimize diversity as a right to equality, and do not emphasize organizational outcomes. The second two concerns how diversity can lead to organizational gains. An organization’s diversity perspective can influence on policies and management to achieve organizational integration and productivity. We know little about how these different perspectives promote the organization’s approach to diversity and whether it has any consequences for economic outcomes, work environment, tasks, or economic productivity. Previous research finds mixed results from various equality measures and find evidence that managing diversity as equality and diversity as difference can lead to different outcomes depending on the numerical representation of minorities in the work organization. These findings highlight the complexity of the diverse organization. Moreover, the diffusion of different diversity approaches across industries and countries increases this complexity, as the successes of one sector not necessarily transfers to another. The topic in this special issue is to identify the conditions that need to be present to gain from diversity in a scope of different organizations in the Nordic countries.

Most of the research literature on diversity in working organizations originates from the American context, with different employment regulations, HR-systems and working life culture compared to the Nordic countries. One question that will help move the research front in the Nordic region is therefore how we can, and should, think about diversity within the framework of a well-organized working life and well-developed welfare states. The legislation, together with a high degree of co-determination among employees, ideals of equality, small differences and a high degree of trust, constitutes the cement of the Nordic model. To shed light on the potential for diversity within the Nordic model, then, we welcome articles from various social science disciplines.


The timetable spans 18 months from acceptance of special issue proposal to publication. Publication is estimated in May 2023.

The DISCO research network covers the costs of the SI-seminars


Review process

All articles are subject to peer-review following the journal’s routines for scientific publication. All articles get assigned an article editor to oversee the review and publication process.

Authors' obligations

Authors must accept the general conditions for publishing in NJWLS, which include paying a processing fee of €350 if their article is accepted.

Guest Editors:

Ida Drange (Ph.D.) is research professor at Oslo Metropolitan University in the field of Labour market studies, with special emphasis on diversity issues and labour market integration of highly educated immigrants. Her research encompasses immigrant career outcomes in relation to employment, job mobility, wage developments and occupational accreditation for migrating professionals. She has also done research on workplace democracy, trade unions and work environment factors. Drange is affiliated with Diversity Study Centre Oslo (DISCO) where she co-chairs the labour market and work life work group with Jon Rogstad.

Jon Rogstad (Ph.D.) is research professor at Oslo Metropolitan University in the field of Youth studies and Labour market studies. In particular he has focused on processes of inclusion and exclusion within labour market and the school system. Furthermore, he has studied political participation and the role of trust and civil society in multiethnic societies. He has conducted studies using both quantitative and qualitative data. Rogstad is experienced with editing books, journals, and special issues, and is affiliated with Diversity Study Centre Oslo (DISCO) where he co-chairs the labour market and work life work group with Ida Drange.

Gro Mjeldheim Sandal (Ph.D.) is a professor in psychology at the University of Bergen and the leader of the Society and Workplace Diversity research group since 2007. Her research focuses on the inclusion of immigrants in working life, encompassing discrimination and bias in recruitment processes, the efficiency of different leadership approaches, and cross-cultural teams. She has also led large international studies on self-presentation among job applicants in different countries.  Over the last years, she has initiated research on ethnic differences in how mental health problems are understood and coped with.  She also has extensive experience in research on psychological resilience among multinational teams working in extreme environments.