I develop a critique of the cross-national transfer of diversity management in multinational companies. Adopting a critical approach to diversity management, and considering diversity as a discourse, I examine how and why employees in an overseas subsidiary challenged the diversity practices transferred by their foreign parent company. Drawing on a case study of a Sri Lankan knowledge work firm that was in the process of implementing its Western parent company’s Diversity Management agenda, which they had had little input in shaping, I highlight how challenge is triggered by a desire to reject unfavourable subject positions attributed to individuals in transferred discourses of diversity and to reposition the self more favourably. My contribution involves showing how dynamic power relations between parents and subsidiaries shape the global transfer of diversity across MNCs, depicting subsidiary employees as agentic subjects as opposed to passive recipients.
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