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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

Data Collection

We inaugurated our study with several in-depth interviews with three key informants in the organization: two members of an officially mandated diversity task force and a human resources professional dedicated to diversity issues. These individuals gave us crucial background information and suggested people they knew from their informal networks who might be good for starting our snowball sampling of activists.

Interviews with activists ranged from half an hour to two hours in length, with most interviews lasting about an hour and a half. Interviews were conducted by one or both of the researchers, and were held at company headquarters. Interviews were either conducted in private offices or in conference rooms that allowed for privacy. All interviews were taped with permission and subsequently transcribed.

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