Embracing Diversity



Societies are vastly more diverse today than they used to be and, in many industries, developing theories and approaches that recognize and capitalize on this greater consumer diversity is crucial. In business schools, diversity tends to be discussed only in relation to human resource management. However, understanding the consequences of diversity is important also for marketing researchers. More generally, if pluralistic societies like ours wish to remain harmonious and prosperous, all groups within them have to feel included as stakeholders. Marketplace inclusiveness is an important condition for this to happen. In this inaugural address, I argue that a diversity perspective is helpful in making sense of social phenomena. I will first describe the tensions associated with globalization in terms of diversity. I then review various approaches to conducting research on diversity, giving examples from my own work and highlighting areas for future research. I conclude with some observations about the implications of increasing globalization and diversity for brand strategy and for management practice more generally.