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Discrimination by avoidance: The underrepresentation of Indigenous Australians in leadership positions within the Australian Football League

journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-19, 23:47 authored by Mahsa Khatibi, Gabriella Elgenius, Paul Turner, Justine FerrerJustine Ferrer
This article explores the career development and underrepresentation of Indigenous Australians in leadership and management positions within the Australian Football League (AFL); it explains the continued underrepresentation as a case of ‘avoiding discrimination’. Using institutional theory, this research fills a gap in existing scholarship by contributing to understanding the mechanisms by which organisations avoid addressing underrepresentation and enforce discriminatory practices in three significant ways. First, organisations may claim equality and assume that the organisation is characterised by a climate of inclusion as a way of ignoring issues of underrepresentation. Second, organisations utilise diversity management to improve the image of the organisation and engage in legitimising practices that contribute towards improving the brand. Third, organisations also engage in silencing practices by exercising internal control over employees, in this case players, and prohibiting them from participating in public debates about racial abuse. This study concludes that avoiding underrepresentation contributes to the continued exclusion of Indigenous Australians in leadership positions within the AFL, conceptualised here as a case of ‘ discrimination by avoidance’. JEL Classification: M540 Personnel Economics: Labor Management

History

Journal

Australian Journal of Management

Pagination

031289622311606-031289622311606

ISSN

0312-8962

eISSN

1327-2020

Language

en

Publisher

SAGE Publications

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