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U.S. Department of Labor Futurework
  Trends and Challenges for Work in the 21st Century
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Passion with an Umbrella:
Grassroots Activism in the Workplace

Maureen Scully and Amy Segal

Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Task Force Working Paper #WP13

Prepared for the May 25-26, 1999, conference “Symposium on Changing Employment Relations and New Institutions of Representation”

September 1, 1999

Organizational Setting

The research was conducted at a high technology organization that has openly expressed its commitment to cultivating a diverse workforce. The organization is often touted in the popular press for its progressive human resource policies. In particular, we focused on the 900-person development division, where the workforce is more predominantly white and male than in other areas of the company and where the issue has received a great deal of attention and discussion. To protect the anonymity promised to the company, we refer to it hereafter by the pseudonym, PineCo. In addition, all proper names of the activist groups we identified have been changed to pseudonyms.

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