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Understanding inclusion in the retail industry: incorporating the majority perspective

Cassell, Catherine; Watson, Kathryn; Ford, Jacqueline; Kele, Juliet

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Catherine Cassell

Kathryn Watson

Juliet Kele


Purpose The aim of this paper is to move away from the focus upon the drivers of diversity to consider the drivers of inclusion in the workplace. The research outlined addresses this by considering the views of all employees, not just those who would be considered members of minority groups. Design/methodology/approach The paper draws on an extensive set of case study data from a range of methodological sources. The case study is of a major high street retailer. Findings Findings focus upon what leads to employees feeling included in the workplace. In addressing this we explore both the drivers of, and barriers to, inclusion. We argue that inclusion is complex and that individuals may feel included by some aspects of organisational culture whilst simultaneously feeling excluded by others. Practical implications The implications of our results for HR practitioners are that organisations need to pay attention to general HR policies as ways of enhancing inclusion, for example development practices, but also pay attention to the different needs of diverse groups. Originality/value The paper is original in that in recognising that equality, diversity and inclusion are all closely related, we demonstrate that an understanding of the effectiveness of diversity strategies needs to be fundamentally informed by a consideration of inclusion which can only occur through an engagement with employee's understandings of organisational culture and their place or otherwise within it. Without this employee engagement, many well-intentioned diversity initiatives may go awry. Moreover, the value of the research is that it demonstrates that in order to be successful an inclusion strategy needs to embrace both minority and majority perspectives.


Cassell, C., Watson, K., Ford, J., & Kele, J. (2022). Understanding inclusion in the retail industry: incorporating the majority perspective. Personnel Review, 51(1), 230-250.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 28, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 27, 2021
Publication Date Mar 11, 2022
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 6, 2021
Journal Personnel Review
Print ISSN 0048-3486
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 1
Pages 230-250
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (290 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact

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