Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building & Inclusion

September 30, 2015

By: Lynn Perry Wooten, Laura Morgan Roberts, Martin Davidson

What happens when thought leaders question longstanding assumptions regarding the most “positive” ways to strengthen diverse organizations? This volume of essays unites the latest research in diversity, inclusion and positive organizational scholarship (POS) to investigate diversity and inclusion dynamics in workplaces, schools, and communities.

Comprised of succinct chapters, this book covers six key areas: authenticity, equity and inclusivity in systems, intersectional identities, relating across differences, resilience, and the role of diversity in innovation. Taken together, the chapters in this book represent a paradigm shift: we step away from a dominant frame of “managing difference,” which problematizes the experience and implications of diversity, and move toward a strengths-based view of diversity as an individual, group, or relational and organizational resource.

Intended to start a conversation, this book features over 30 essays and commentaries from diverse voices in the fields of POS and Diversity and Inclusion. The contributors also offer over 100 practical tips and action recommendations for leaders who seek to bridge diversity, inclusion and POS in areas including: resource cultivation and utilization, boundary-spanning leadership and mentorship, strengths-based development, positive workplace interventions to promote well-being, inclusive strategic planning, and innovation.

Click here to view the full table of contents.



morgan-roberts-lauraLaura Morgan Roberts

Morgan Roberts is an author, professor, researcher, leadership development coach, and organizational consultant. She is the Professor of Psychology, Culture and Organization Studies in Antioch University’s PhD Program in Leadership and Change. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and the Center for Gender in Organizations at Simmons School of Management (Boston).

Her research centers on authenticity, identity, diversity, strengths, and value creation. Laura co-edited Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations (with Jane Dutton) and has published several articles and case studies related to diversity and positive organizational scholarship. Laura earned her MA and PhD (organizational psychology) from the University of Michigan and BA (psychology, highest distinction) from the University of Virginia.


Lynn Perry WootenLynn Perry Wooten

Wooten is a Clinical Professor of Strategy, Management and Organizations and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. She is also a member of the Center for Positive Organizations core faculty.

Her current research bridges theory and practice and focuses on positive organizing routines, diversity management practices, and crisis leadership. Her research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, American Behavioral Scientist, Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, Human Resource Management, and Organizational Dynamics. She has co-authored a book on crisis leadership, Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis.

Through her applied research projects, she has worked with many organizations including The Council of Michigan Foundations, The Executive Leadership Institute, Google, General Motors, Trinity Health, and Whirlpool. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from North Carolina A&T State University, MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and PhD from the University of Michigan.


Martin DavidsonMartin Davidson

Davidson is the current Johnson and Higgins Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business.

His research, teaching, and consulting helps leaders use diversity strategically to generate superior business performance in global organizations. His book, “The End of Diversity as We Know It: Why Diversity Efforts Fail and How Leveraging Difference Can Succeed,” introduces a research-driven paradigm for leaders in search of more innovative outcomes from the diversity (and diversity initiatives) in their organizations. His research also appears in Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, and International Journal of Conflict Management among other journals and books.

He teaches leadership in Darden’s Executive Education and MBA programs, and consults with a host of corporations, government agencies, and NGOs in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He earned his AB from Harvard University and his PhD from Stanford University. He blogs, and can be reached, at leveragingdifference.com.


Contributing Authors:

Doyin Atewologun, Queen Mary, University of London
Myrtle Bell, University of Texas at Arlington
Stacy Blake-Beard, Simmons College
Lize Booysen, Antioch University
Hugo Canham, University of the Witwatersrand
Sandra Cha, Brandeis University
Arjun Chakravarti, Illinois Institute of Technology
Donna Chrobot-Mason, University of Cincinanati
Matthew Cole, Lawrence Technological University
Stephanie Creary, Cornell University
Martin Davidson, University of Virginia
Jeff Degraff, University of Michigan
Stewart Donaldson, Claremont Graduate University
Bernardo Ferdman, Alliant International University San Diego
Lamont Flowers, Clemson University
Lawrence Flowers, Livingstone College
Tiffany Flowers, Georgia Perimeter College
Katherine Giscombe, Catalyst
Robby Griswold, Zingerman’s
Jessica Halem, Simmons College
Demetria Henderson, University of Texas at Arlington
Patricia Hewlin, McGill University
Aurora Kamimura, University of Michigan
Ellen Kossek, Purdue University
Vineetha Krothapali, Indian School of Business
Michelle Kweder, Simmons College
Emily LeRoux-Rutledge, London School of Economics
Tanya Menon, Ohio State University
James Moore, Ohio State University
Laura Morgan Roberts, Antioch University
Chris Mueller, Innovatrium
Audrey Murrell, University of Pittsburgh
Tina Opie, Babson College
Kelle Parsons, University of Michigan
Julie Posselt, University of Michigan
Lakshmi Ramarajan, Harvard Business School
Meghana Rao, Claremont Graduate University
Vicki Rosenberg, Vicki Rosenberg & Associates
Sheldene Simola, Trent University
Jacqueline Stavros, Lawrence Technological University
Ilene Wasserman, ICW Consulting
Skot Welch, Global Bridgebuilders
Natasha Wilder, Claremont Graduate University
Heather Wishik, The Nature Conservancy
Lynn Wooten, University of Michigan
Jeffrey Yip, Claremont Graduate University
Alan Yu, Bali Institute for Global Renewal