Managing Diversity Across National Borders: A Research Stay at Harvard University

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Sabina Nielsen


Copenhagen Business School


DKK 328,000




Field Trips / Research Stays >100,000


This project aims to integrate knowledge and research conducted over the years on various aspects of diversity in different institutional and cross-cultural contexts, in order to develop a multilevel model of managing diversity across national borders. This model will integrate insights about individual psychological dynamics and decision-making processes with research on team level diversity and organisational practices for managing diversity with a deeper understanding of institutional dynamics and configurations.


From a scientific point of view, we often attribute the negative consequences of diversity either to individuals or organisations without accounting for the broader institutional environment, in which behavior is embedded. However, creating change and managing diversity starts with understanding oneself, how our prior knowledge and experience shape our perceptions of reality and behavior: and how taken for granted assumptions and behaviors need to be critically questioned and dismantled to create true diversity and inclusion. Organisations have lately focused on getting the diversity numbers right without understanding the underlying dynamics and sometimes unintended negative consequences of diversity practices that this project will help illuminate and prevent from emerging in the future


My appointment as a visiting scholar at the Weatherhead Centerat Harvard University will help to take this research to the next level by engaging with leading scholars from various disciplines and fostering the conversations between leaders of multinational corporations, governments, national and international NGOs and inter-governmental organizations (IGOs). My goals is to present the most recent findings of my research in the US and the South Pacific and use the insights to develop an integrative multilevel model for managing diversity across different institutional contexts.

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