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The organizational reproduction of inequality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-230
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2020


With societal inequalities continuing to increase and organizations providing the vast majority of people with their income, we wanted to assess the ways in which organizational practices are implicated in the burgeoning of social and economic inequality. Following an integrative review of the literature drawn from across the social sciences, we found that the multiple ways in which five major organizational practices – hiring, role allocation, promotion, compensation and structuring – are enacted emerged as being central to the reproduction of inequality. We also uncovered how the persistence of these practices, and the inequality they induce, can be largely attributed to a constellation of three highly institutionalized myths, efficiency, meritocracy and positive globalization. Our analysis further reveals how, as scholars, we bear a corresponding responsibility to reconsider how we engage in research on and teaching about organizations. The implications of this for our future work are discussed.

    Research areas

  • inequality, institutional myths, organisational practices, working poor, business schools

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