HENLEY MANAGEMENT COLLEGE

DO GLBT NETWORKS MAKE BUSINESS SENSE IN
THE DUTCH CORPORATE SETTING?
BY
LIN MCDEVITT-PUGH
STUDENT ID 2077899

DI SSERTATI ON SUBMI TTED I N
PARTI AL FULFI LMENT OF THE REQUI REMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF BUSI NESS ADMI NI STRATI ON
2008

2
ABSTRACT
Do GLBT Networks Make Business Sense in the Dutch Corporate Setting?

This dissertation explores the question:

Is there a business case for corporate networks of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender (GLBT) employees in the Netherlands, from an HR perspective?

The research proceeds by
• Analysing what is understood by the term “ business case”
• Exploring how activities of Human Resource Management (HRM) translate
into business value
• Exploring how activities of social networks translate into business value.

One of the observations made after reviewing the literature was that HRM
activities do not necessarily direct contribute to company profits, but they can
contribute to the competitive advantage of the company. After reviewing the
literature it also became apparent that network activities can also contribute to
competitive advantage, by bringing outside knowledge into the company, creating
spaces in which employees feel valued, and developing knowledge across
business lines. These observations formed the basis of an analytical framework in
which the contribution to corporate profits of the GLBT networks in the six
transnational corporations in the study can be discussed.

Primary data was collected from three subsets of employees in six companies:
members of GLBT networks, leaders of these networks and HR representatives in
the companies. The data brought to light five ways in which the networks
contribute to the competitive advantage strategies of HR in the respective
companies. By comparing what the possibilities of corporate networks are with
what the networks in this study do, the researcher found what the networks are not
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doing, or not doing very successfully, that they could be doing. The study
concludes with recommendations to the networks, on how to proceed for greater
effect.
An important finding of the study is that networks can be more effective in their
contribution to the competitive advantage of the company if they benchmark their
activities against other corporate GLBT networks in similar economic and
legislative environments. An important recommendation is that networks and
companies strategize together on how to involve networks in HRM strategies.
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the many people
who contributed to the process of researching and writing this dissertation.

I thank David Pollard for inviting me to undertake this research and for offering
all the support needed. David is an extraordinary leader in having corporations
‘get’ sexual diversity. Thanks also to Marion Mulder, who makes things happen
behind the scenes and who has a role to play at centre stage. I am indebted to the
respondents.You took valuable time to answer my questions.

I acknowledge my supervisor Marie Leafhead for her commitment to the success
of her students, making working with her a joy.

I acknowledge Prof Dr. Saskia Wieringa, director of the International Information
Centre and Archives for the Women’s Movement for her commitment to
developing knowledge for a better world.

I thank Stephanie Blackwood in New York, and Patrice Braun and Fiona Gardner
in Australia for their advice and conversations. For their support during the
writing process I thank Diana Donigi, David Pugh and Julie Uren and for their
contributions to the research and writing process I thank Susan Jessop and Ginni
Fleck. I acknowledge my parents and their commitment to social change, and
Koen van der Kroef and Samie Zijlstra for their intellectual support and love.

Saving the most solid supporter, reader and critic for last, I acknowledge Martha
McDevitt-Pugh, who introduced me to the world of corporate GLBT networks,
and who persistently and consistently supported me throughout the MBA process.
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LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1 List of respondents who completed the questionnaire.................................... 39
Table 3.2 List of interview participants .......................................................................... 40
Table 4.1 Factual information on the participating companies ...................................... 43
Table 4.2 Overview of HR strategies used in each company......................................... 44

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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1 Schematic overview of Lepak and Snell’s HR architecture.......................... 22
Figure 3.1 Spread of questions relating to HR strategies ............................................... 36
Figure 3.2 Spread of questions relating to level of contribution of networks ................ 37
Figure 4.1 The purposes of the Company GLBT network ............................................. 45
Figure 4.2 Responses to questions on present participation in recruiting experts.......... 46
Figure 4.3 Responses to questions on future participation in recruiting experts............ 46
Figure 4.4 Role of GLBT network in retention .............................................................. 48
Figure 4.5 the network and in-company career perspectives.......................................... 49
Figure 4.6 Networks and formal leadership training ...................................................... 50
Figure 4.7 Sharing network responsibilities externally .................................................. 50
Figure 4.8 Gathering and using information from external sources ............................... 51
Figure 4.9 Networks as spaces for sharing information ................................................. 52
Figure 4.10 Networks as ‘safe’ spaces............................................................................ 54

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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Canal Pride Annual gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender boat parade organized
in Amsterdam by Gay Business Amsterdam. The corporate GLBT
networks began organizing a ‘fleet’ of corporate boats in 2006. In 2008
two of the companies in this study sponsored the Canal Pride, the first
transnational corporations to do so.
Company Pride
Conference
On August 1
st
2007 the first Company Pride conference was held,
organized by four corporate GLBT networks. On August 1
st
2008 the
newly established Company Pride Platform organized a second
Company Pride Conference.
Company Pride Platform A network of corporate GLBT networks in the Netherlands. It was first
announced on August 1
st
2007 and in 2008 became a legal entity.
ERGs Employee Resource Groups
Generation Y Born during a baby bulge that demographers locate between 1979 and
1994, they go by a host of taglines: Generation Y, Echo Boomers, or
Millennium Generation (Business Week, Feb 15 1999).
GLBT Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender. Often also referred to as LGBT
and LGBTIQ ( with the addition of intersex and queer)
HRM HHuman Resource Management
Out Short for “out of the closet”, this term refers to GLBT people who do not
keep their sexual identity private
Straight Heterosexual
TNC Transnational corporation

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abstract ..................................................................................................................................... 2
Acknowledgements................................................................................................................... 4
List of Tables............................................................................................................................. 5
List of Figures ........................................................................................................................... 6
Glossary of Terms .................................................................................................................... 7
Table of Contents ..................................................................................................................... 8
1. Introduction........................................................................................................................ 12
1.1 Project motivation..................................................................................................... 13
1.1.1 Existing GLBT business research ................................................................ 13
1.1.2 GLBT business network tradition ................................................................ 14
1.2 Author motivation..................................................................................................... 15
1.3 Scope......................................................................................................................... 15
1.4 Methodology............................................................................................................. 16
1.5 Document overview.................................................................................................. 16
1.5.1 Introduction .................................................................................................. 16
1.5.2 The business case, HRM and networks........................................................ 16
1.5.3 Field research methodology ......................................................................... 17
1.5.4 Field research results .................................................................................... 17
1.5.5 Evidence for an argument............................................................................. 17
1.5.6 Conclusions and recommendations .............................................................. 17
1.5.7 Personal development................................................................................... 17
2. The Business Case, HRM and Networks.......................................................................... 18
2.1 Definition of a business case .................................................................................... 18
2.2 HRM and competitive advantage ............................................................................. 20
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2.2.1 Approaches to HRM..................................................................................... 20
2.2.2 HRM theories for managing competitive advantage.................................... 22
2.2.3 Employees and the value proposition........................................................... 24
2.3 How networks add value to enterprises .................................................................... 25
2.3.1 Defining “networks”..................................................................................... 25
2.3.2 Networks create resources............................................................................ 26
2.4 HRM, competitive advantage and networks............................................................. 30
2.5 The makings of an HR business case for GLBT networks....................................... 31
3. Field Research Methodology............................................................................................. 34
3.1 Purpose of the field research..................................................................................... 34
3.1.1 What is a “business case”............................................................................. 34
3.1.2 The HR issues that are relevant to that business case .................................. 34
3.1.3 The focus of GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs ............................................. 35
3.1.4 Refined research question ............................................................................ 35
3.2 Design of the research............................................................................................... 35
3.2.1 The choice for qualitative research .............................................................. 35
3.2.2 The questionnaire ......................................................................................... 35
3.2.3 Design of the questions ................................................................................ 36
3.2.4 The interviews .............................................................................................. 38
3.2.5 The participants ............................................................................................ 38
3.2.6 Analytical methodology ............................................................................... 40
3.2.7 Limitations of the research........................................................................... 41
3.3 Summary of methodology ........................................................................................ 41
4. Field Research Results ....................................................................................................... 43
4.1 Demographics of GLBT networks and the companies............................................. 43
4.2 HR strategies in the companies................................................................................. 44
4.2.1 Approach to human capital and competitive advantage............................... 44
4.2.2 Company HR strategy relating to GLBT networks...................................... 44
4.3 Purpose of the network ............................................................................................. 45
4.4 Networks and their contribution to HR strategies .................................................... 45
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4.4.1 Recruitment strategies .................................................................................. 46
4.4.2 Strategies to retain the right employees ....................................................... 48
4.4.3 Development of employees .......................................................................... 49
4.4.4 Utilization of employees .............................................................................. 51
4.4.5 A footnote on agency ................................................................................... 53
4.5 Emerging issues ........................................................................................................ 54
4.5.1 Finding time for network activities .............................................................. 54
4.5.2 ‘Safe spaces’................................................................................................. 54
4.6 Summary of findings ................................................................................................ 56
5. Analysis of the focus of GLBT networks.......................................................................... 57
5.1 Five ways GLBT networks contribute to HR strategies ........................................... 57
5.1.1 GLBT networks contribute to finding the right people for the company..... 57
5.1.2 GLBT networks help companies utilize employees..................................... 58
5.1.3 GLBT networks build social capital............................................................. 59
5.1.4 GLBT networks create economic and reliable business resources .............. 60
5.1.5 GLBT networks link and leverage knowledge within the company............ 60
5.2 Factors that support the success of GLBT networks ................................................ 61
5.2.1 A responsive relationship between HR and the GLBT network.................. 61
5.2.2 Scoping GLBT networks within the company............................................. 62
5.3 What is missing, that could be happening ................................................................ 62
5.3.1 GLBT networks can be used more in recruitment strategies ....................... 63
5.3.2 Networks can build more bridges................................................................. 63
5.3.3 GLBT networks could be used more in leadership development ................ 64
5.4 Limitations to GLBT network capacity.................................................................... 64
6. Conclusions and Recommendations ................................................................................. 66
7. Personal Development........................................................................................................ 70
List of References ................................................................................................................... 71
Appendix 1 Invitation and Instructions ............................................................................... 81
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1. Invitation to participate in the Company Pride Platform Network Research
project .................................................................................................................... 81
2. Instructions for completing this questionnaire .................................................. 83
Appendix 2 Online Questionnaire ........................................................................................ 84
Appendix 3 Distribution of HR Strategies and Network Levels in Questionnaire .......... 88
Appendix 4 Interview Story Board and Information ......................................................... 91
Information about the interview ..................................................................................... 91
Interview consent form................................................................................................... 92
Consent form for participation in research............................................................ 92
Story board and questions............................................................................................... 93
Purpose of interview.............................................................................................. 93
Starting the conversation....................................................................................... 93
Appendix 5 Contact Sheet Interviews .................................................................................. 96
Appendix 6 Letter of Invitation to Participants .................................................................. 97
Appendix 7 Codified Interview Answers ............................................................................. 98
Appendix 8 World Homosexuality Laws ........................................................................... 104
Appendix 9 Inbedding of GLBT network in Company 2................................................. 105
Appendix 10 Responses to Questionnaire .......................................................................... 106
Appendix 11 Answers to Questionnaire, Grouping .......................................................... 108
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1. INTRODUCTION
Of the 16,392,000 inhabitants of the Netherlands (CBS 1 October 2007), an
estimated 9 per cent are gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual (Bakker and
Vanwesenbeeck 2006).

Legally, all forms of discrimination against gays and lesbians are outlawed. The
most recent legislation addressed family law, making it possible for homosexual
people to marry and to form families, making the Netherlands the first country in
the world to do so and breaking down one of the strongest social markers of
difference between straight and gay citizens.

Socially, this sexual minority enjoys an increasing degree of tolerance. A
longitudinal study into the acceptance of homosexuality in the Netherlands, which
began in 1965, indicates that the majority of the population has an increasingly
positive attitude toward homosexuals (Keuzenkamp 2006).

Despite the positive legal environment and the improving social environment, a
large proportion of homosexual employees in Dutch transnational corporations
(TNCs) keep their sexuality secret (Paassen 2008). Being “out” can affect careers,
be life threatening to employees on expatriate postings, and lead to exposure to
lewd comments on the work floor. A level playing field for gay and straight
employees does not yet exist in the Dutch work force. The negative working
environment for homosexual employees also has an effect on the companies,
because of loss of productivity, the inability of the company to move talent where
it is needed, and work place relations.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees in a number of Dutch
TNCs have seen the opportunity to merge company and employee interests and
have formed company-wide GLBT networks. Most of the networks present
themselves as a newly emerged stakeholder group and aim to define and work
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with their companies to address Human Resource Management (HRM),
marketing, communication and corporate social responsibility issues. The
networks are working in their companies and they have formed an alliance, the
Company Pride Platform, to work together to give visibility to the networks and to
share and promote best practices (Company Pride Platform 2007).
1.1 PROJECT MOTI VATI ON
To develop their understanding of the role of GLBT networks in contributing to
the HR component of competitive advantage, one of the initiators of the Company
Pride Platform, David Pollard, invited the author to research this business case
further. The specific research question is:
Is there a business case for corporate GLBT networks in the Netherlands,
from an HR perspective?
This dissertation attempts to provide insight into this question and, in general,
provides a contribution to the body of business knowledge on the value of GLBT
networks to HRM in Dutch TNCs. The results will be shared with the Company
Pride Platform.
1.1.1 Existing GLBT business research
The stubbornly persistent image of a successful corporate employee is a fit, white,
heterosexual and male (Benschop 2007). Most management bodies, certainly in
Europe, are aware that, to benefit from the knowledge, skills, and social capital of
large sections of the population that do not fit this specific category (and these are
many: gay and straight women of all ethnicities, with or without physical
restrictions, gay men, men of colour, and men with different physical abilities)
special attention is needed (European Commission 2003 & 2005). Of these
diversities in work organizations, sexuality is probably the most under-researched
(Ward and Winstanley 2003; Tonks 2006). In the USA, where there are no laws
prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in 31 states and such
discrimination remains “widespread” in practice (Ragins, Singh & Cornwell
2007), most research on gays at work is from the perspective of discrimination
14
(e.g. McBride, 2005). UK research addresses the issue of gays at work as a
problem (Ward and Winstanley 2003; Skidmore 2004; Kerfoot 2007) and is more
sociological than management oriented. The limited number of Dutch-based
research on gays and work focuses on how employees experience their own
difference (Sandfort and Bos 1998; de Haas et al. 2007). In other words,
researchers predominantly constitute gay men and lesbian women as a category
which experiences discrimination in various forms because of their sexual
orientation (Kirton and Greene 2000).

The existing body of research fails to offer TNCs a compelling reason to embrace
GLBT networks as sources of competitive advantage. It provides valuable starting
points for understanding why it is important to address issues that GLBT
employees face in the corporate environment, but does not provide an
understanding of what effect this has on companies and what companies can do to
enable all their employees to contribute equally to the goals of the company. This
study of corporate Dutch GLBT networks allows the researcher to look beyond
the discrimination discourse or the fairness and equality discourse and look at
what Dutch GLBT networks can bring to the business environment.
1.1.2 GLBT business network tradition
GLBT employee initiatives exist in the UK, US and several European countries
(among them Spain, Germany and Switzerland). Like the research, most GLBT
company networks focus on issues of discrimination at work. The US-based
Human Rights Campaign Foundation publishes an annual “Corporate Equality
Index” listing company responses to a survey asking about GLBT relevant human
resource policies, benefits, diversity training, advertising, sponsorship, or
philanthropy (Konrad 2006). In the US gays are not protected by federal
legislation banning workplace discrimination. In some states legislation exists, but
these rights do not travel with employees when they are transfer from state to
state, within a company. In the UK, where GLBT employees enjoy relatively
more rights than their colleagues in the US, the activist group Stonewall has set up
the Workplace Quality Index to promote high standards in work place practices
15
relating to GLBT issues (Stonewall 2007). The index works as a catalyst for
change and the award bestows a level of prestige on the companies it lists. On a
pan-European level, the European Gay and Lesbian Managers Association (egma)
focuses on working with corporate partners to ensure better opportunities and
workplace equality for gay and lesbian professionals (egma 2007).

What distinguishes these initiatives from their Dutch counterparts is that
participants in Dutch GLBT networks enjoy legislative and social rights and
responsibilities. The Dutch government sees them as partners in instituting
legislation (OCW 2007, Paassen 2008). The Dutch networks have the opportunity
to create a vision of the future for gays and lesbians working un the corporate
world. They are newcomers to the field of GLBT business networks and they have
the opportunity to develop fresh business knowledge.
1.2 AUTHOR MOTI VATI ON
The author has a broad work experience in social change institutions in the non-
profit sector. She has been involved in national, regional and global networks
forming but also failing, as they struggle to achieve the balance between working
for a common purpose and having that purpose be relevant in their various
organizational contexts. In exploring the business case for corporate GLBT
networks she hopes to add to existing knowledge that can contribute to improving
the quality of networks in the for-profit as well as the non-profit sectors.
1.3 SCOPE
The purpose of this research is to:
• Demonstrate an aspect of the business case for GBLT networks in the
Netherlands
• Identify a number of the HR issues which are relevant to that business case
16
• Analyse the focus of GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs, relative to the identified
HR issues
• Identify what is missing in the strategies of GLBT networks
• Identify possible future direction of the GLBT networks to ensure a better fit
between the needs and goals of the GLBT network members and the business
needs of the organization
• Contribute to the body of knowledge on GLBT and HRM issues.
1.4 METHODOLOGY
The conclusions from the literature review form the starting point of the field
research. The quantitative research was conducted through a questionnaire
completed by 27 network members, network leaders and HR representatives of six
companies. The qualitative research consisted of 11 semi-structured interviews
with representatives of network leaders and HR employees in all six companies.
The interviews were held by telephone and were recorded and transcribed.
1.5 DOCUMENT OVERVI EW
This document has seven chapters:
1.5.1 Introduction
A description of the personal, academic and business choice of this project,
followed by a definition of the scope of the research and the overall methodology.
1.5.2 The business case, HRM and networks
In the absence of specific literature in this area, a range of literature that can be
applied to the project is brought together. The literature review looks at the term
“business case”, HRM and competitive advantage, and networks.
17
1.5.3 Field research methodology
From the conclusions in the discussion of the literature review, a more succinctly
defined research question emerges that forms the basis of field research. The
question reflects on both what the GLBT networks are presently doing, and what
their future goals are. The process of the research is explained. The research was
based on a questionnaire designed for network leaders, network members and HR
representatives, and interviews with network leaders and HR representatives. The
limitations of this approach are discussed.
1.5.4 Field research results
Data is collated, analyzed and presented.
1.5.5 Evidence for an argument
The findings are discussed in the context of the theory presented in the literature
review, and relative to the scope of this project. An analysis is made of the focus
of the GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs, relative to the identified HR issues. The
researcher identifies what is missing in these strategies.
1.5.6 Conclusions and recommendations
The conclusions from the research are presented, along with recommendations for
future research. The conclusions relate both to the business case for the networks
in the companies, and for the Company Pride Platform. The conclusions do not
specifically recommend changes to each of the network’s charters; this goes
beyond the scope of the research.
1.5.7 Personal development
An assessment of the personal learning through the research and writing process
concludes the study.
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2. THE BUSINESS CASE, HRM AND NETWORKS
The researcher was asked to study the question
Is there a business case for corporate GLBT networks in the Netherlands,
from an HR perspective?
As a first step in answering the question, the author reviewed the current
knowledge relating to business cases, networks and HR strategies.
2.1 DEFI NI TI ON OF A BUSI NESS CASE
There is no agreed definition of a “business case”. As one vendor of business
programs advertised on its website: “Most important business decisions today
require a business case. Everyone talks about the “business case”, but surprisingly
few people know what this means or what makes the difference between a strong
case and a weak case” (Carleton 2008).

The author scanned the databases of Proquest and EBSCO and searched the
internet for definitions of the term “business case”. She found that, while
academics promote “the business case for…”, it is rare that they first define the
term. For example, three recent studies listed in EBSCO (Wolfman 2007,
Finkelstein and Trogdon 2008, Barnett 2007) set out to discuss a business case for
their specific activities without first defining what a business case is. The term is
not listed in indexes of business books (e.g. Torrington, Hall and Taylor 2002;
Porter 1985, Hamel and Prahalad 1994). The UK Office of Government
Commerce defines the business case as a “framework for planning and
management of a business change” (UK Gov 2008). Researchers studying
diversity in the EU define “business case” as “a term used to describe the
evidence needed to convince companies to consider investments in assets, both
tangible and intangible” (European Commission 2003).

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Needing to define a business case in order to be able to explore whether a
business case can be made, the author went to less academic sources. The sponsor
of this research project defined a business case as “a convincing argument for an
activity or initiative that can demonstrate the added value to the ‘bottom line’
(profit) of a business, with concrete examples” (Pollard 2008). This definition is
less specific than that in the Wikipedia. “The concept of a business case captures
the economic (as opposed to e.g. technical) reasons for a project or task and that
the logic of a business case is that if any time resources such as money or effort
are consumed, they should be in support of the business” (Wikipedia 2008).

The author looked at business case templates, which abound on the internet, to
sharpen her understanding of what it is people mean when they talk about “the
business case”. A typical template relates to a purchase request (Molisani 2008).
“The first thing to keep in mind when building a business case is that it costs
money to make a product or deliver a service”. The business case states a
problem, describes a solution, states what it will cost to implement the solution
and states the return on investment (Molisani 2008).

Finally, the author turned to definitions of “the business case” used in relation to
corporate social responsibility and “the green company”. There, terms like “return
on investment” are expressed in terms of “benefits to the company” rather than
direct profitability. Ursula Wijnhoven, Head of Policy and Legal at UN Global
Compact, a policy monitoring body that promotes corporate social responsibility,
claims that avoiding major business problems such as litigation and damage to
their reputation is a convincing argument for corporate social and environmental
programs (Wijnhoven 2008). She argues that, by avoiding litigation and damage
to the reputation, a company increases its profitability.

Given the variety of interpretations of what a business case could be, and
considering the social as well as business aspects of the definitions found in the
search, the author has chosen a definition of “business case” that is closely aligned
to that used by the Dutch corporate GLBT networks: “a convincing argument for
20
an activity or an initiative that demonstrates the added value to the profit of a
company, with concrete examples”.

The research question specifies that the issue is whether a business case for GLBT
corporate networks can be made in the realm of human resource management
(HRM). The realm of HRM is the subject of the next section.
2.2 HRM AND COMPETI TI VE ADVANTAGE
The way a GLBT network can and does relate to the organization is influenced in
part by the company’s own human resource management practice. Porter (1985)
asserts that human resource management affects competitive advantage in any
firm, through its role in determining the skills and motivation of employees and
the cost of hiring and training. Boxall and Purcell (2000) take a wider view and
argue that human resource management includes anything and everything
associated with the management of employment relations in the firm.
2.2.1 Approaches to HRM
Two popular approaches dominate the human resource management landscape.
One is the contingency or fit approach, promulgated among others by Guest
(1989). It distinguishes four policy goals for HR:
• Strategic integration – ensuring that HR is fully integrated into strategic
planning, that HR policies are coherent, that line managers use HRM practices
as part of their everyday work;
• Commitment – ensuring that employees feel bound to the organization and are
committed to the high performance via their behaviour;
• Flexibility – ensuring an adaptable organization structure, and functional
flexibility based on multi-skilling;
• Quality – ensuring a high quality of goods and services through high quality,
flexible employees.
This approach focuses on the practices – the means of competitive advantage. Its
critics doubt that particular human resource practices can be the source of
21
competitive advantage; after all, if a practice can be replicated elsewhere it will
not provide competitive advantage (Torrington and Hall 2002). Additionally, it
does not sufficiently address the role of the employee as stakeholder, a proportion
of whom hold strategic power (Boxall 1996). It does not recognize the need to
align employee interests with the firm or comply with prevailing social norms and
legal requirements (Boxall 1996). Ultimately, this focus struggles to take into
account changes at levels beyond the firm, involving the state and wider patterns
of economic and social development.

The second approach focuses on the source of competitive advantage. This is the
resource-based approach. Barney (1991) identified four attributes of firm
resources that contribute to competitive advantage:
• a resource must be valuable, in the sense that it exploits opportunities and/or
neutralizes threats in a firm’s environment;
• it must be rare among a firm’s current and potential competition;
• it must be imperfectly imitable and
• there cannot be strategically equivalent substitutes for this resource that are
neither rare or imperfectly imitable.
These attributes of firm resources can be thought of as empirical indicators of how
heterogeneous and immobile a firm’s resources are and thus how useful these
resources are for generating sustained competitive advantages.

In the resource-based approach, HR policies and practices may be valuable
because they are socially complex (competitors may not be able to replicate the
diversity and depth of linked processes that sustain them) and historically
sensitive (it takes time, for example, to build high levels of workforce trust)
(Barney 1991). A resource-based approach to HR focuses not just on the behavior
of the human resources but on the skills, knowledge, attitudes and competencies
that underpin this behavior, and which have a more sustained impact on long-term
survival than current behavior (Torrington and Hall 2002; Boxall and Purcell
2000).
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2.2.2 HRM theories for managing competitive advantage
Boosted by the publication of the report “The War for Talent” (Chambers et al.
1998), when companies were admonished to “elevate talent management to a
burning corporate priority” by “refining recruitment, employee value proposition,
development, and compensation of top talent simultaneously”, the resource-based
HRM approach has spawned a number of theories on managing for competitive
advantage. Lepak and Snell (1999) advocate for implementing an HR architecture
that addresses the differences between different kinds of employees. They define
four types of employee, all of which are important to the company but differ in the
degree to which they support the competitive advantage of the company. Lepak
and Snell argue that all employees should be managed according to what is
appropriate to their position in the HR architecture (for a schematic overview of
the architecture, see Figure 2.1). The most valuable and unique human resource
assets are people that have idiosyncratic knowledge that is developed within the
structures of the company and cannot be transferred out of the company if the
employee leaves.

FIGURE 2.1 SCHEMATIC OVERVIEW OF LEPAK AND SNELL’S HR ARCHITECTURE
High
HR configuration: collaborative HR configuration: commitment
Employment relationship: partnership Employment relationship: organization focused
Employment mode: alliance Employment mode: internal development
HR configuration: compliance HR configuration: market-based
Employment relationship: transactional Employment relationship: mutual benefit
Employment mode: contracting Employment mode: acquisition
Low
Low High
Value of human capital
Based on Lepak and Snell 1999
Summary of the HR Architecture

U
n
i
q
u
e
n
e
s
s
o
f
h
u
m
a
n
c
a
p
i
t
a
l
Quadrant 3
Quantrant 4 Quadrant 1
Quadrant 2
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With this most critical group of employees, Lepak and Snell advocate ensuring
significant mutual investment on the part of employer and employee in
developing critical firm skills. They distinguish a second category of human
capital, namely human capital that is highly valuable but readily available on the
market. Because the market can easily accommodate this group of employees,
they can leave the company when they please, taking its skills and knowledge
with them. Lepak and Snell advocate developing a symbiotic relationship with
these employees, based on the utilitarian premise of mutual benefit. A third type
they distinguish is human capital that is not unique and that is not specific to the
business of the company. In the HR architecture, these people are contracted and
as the market shifts and changes can be easily replaced by people with other
skills. The fourth category they distinguish is people with unique skills that are
not directly linked with customer value. According to Lepak and Snell, HR should
collaborate with companies that offer this expertise rather than develop these
people within the company. For each category, the practice of recruiting, utilizing,
developing and retaining employees is different. This architecture can be used in
both the “fit” approach to HRM, and the resource-based approach.

A second theory takes the structure of the firm as its starting point and is resource-
based. Promoted by Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002), this theory argues that
sustainable competitive advantage is built when talented employees are engaged,
empowered and committed. Bartlett and Ghoshal do not define ‘talented’. Indeed,
‘talent’ in management literature can mean the top echelons of a company (for
example Gakovic and Yardley, 2007) or people with the most difficult to find
expertise (Joerres and Turcq, 2007, citing a Manpower study). Bartlett and
Ghoshal advocate for hierarchy to be replaced by networks, bureaucratic systems
by flexible processes and control-based management by coaching relationships.
They subscribe to two key HR activities. First, a company must actively link,
leverage and embed pockets of individual-based knowledge and expertise, or risk
underutilizing it or losing it. Secondly HR must help management develop an
engaging, bonding and motivating culture to attract and keep talented employees.

24
In a more recent theory, Morton et al. (2006) argue that world class product
development is key to competitive advantage, so if a company is to compete
effectively in global markets, it needs to be proficient in developing world class
products. Organizational adaptability, learning processes and intellectual capital
play a central role in this capacity to operate on the world market. Morton et al.
argue that dynamic teams and networks provide the most fruitful environment for
developing products. Other writers support the idea that formal and informal
networks increase an organization’s capacity for managing change and
innovation, making them highly suited to pursuing product development in the
dynamic market environment (e.g. Drucker 1998, Bartlett and Ghoshal 2002,
Western et al. 2005, Charan 1991, and Tsai and Ghoshal 1998).
2.2.3 Employees and the value proposition
Employees, who have the ability to provide the key resources the company needs
to gain competitive advantage, will contribute to the company if they so desire.
Boxall (1998) asserts that when there is a strong alignment between business and
employee interests there is a motivational basis to develop superior productivity in
the short-run and secure the employees likely to play a decisive role in the long-
run direction of industry change. This goes beyond values an employee has, it also
includes intrinsic and extrinsic rewards consistent with their perception of their
contribution to the firm. From the perspective of employee values, Handy (1994)
asserts that employee engagement and employee motivation will increase when
the company is aligned with changes in attitudes in society. Kochan et al. (2003),
MacGillivray and Golden (2007), Cockburn (1991), Glastra et al. (2000), all
promote the idea that when the company is aligned with national legislation and
international agreements it is adding value to its business and therefore to its
profitability.

From the discussion above, it can be concluded that a context of a discussion of
the business case for GLBT networks is their contribution to the attraction,
recruitment, retention and development of various categories of employees and to
how the networks contribute to engaging, empowering and ensuring the
25
commitment of the employees. The following section explores in more depth the
potential of networks to contribute to the HRM strategies that add value to the
profit of a company
2.3 HOW NETWORKS ADD VALUE TO ENTERPRI SES
An innovative network for developing a world class product and a GLBT
company network have very different purposes and scopes. Yet both potentially
contribute to the value of an enterprise. This section reviews the theories around
networks within and outside the corporate setting, and draws out some of the
characteristics of networks that add value to companies.
2.3.1 Defining “networks”
Networks can take on a myriad of forms. Typically, firms and individual actors
are embedded in a variety of formal and informal professional, social and
intellectual exchange networks (Granovetter 1983). Each network has its own
culture consisting of the norms and values held by network actors and
communicated through interpersonal communication processes (Schein 1992;
Rogers 1995). Maak (2007) defines a network as an enduring exchange between
organizations, individuals and groups.

Network analysis, also known as social network theory, is the study of how the
social structure of relationships around a person, group, or organization affects
beliefs or behaviours (Twente 2008). Scott (2000) brought the many strands of
network analysis together in an analytic framework, and developed a method for
monitoring the effect of networks. Drawing on a variety of topics including
kinship, community structure, corporate interlocks and elite power studies, his
method uses relational data and is now widely used to follow the formation of
‘cliques’, to measure the density of whole networks and to track the breadth of
networks (Scott 1996). The study of networks is gaining attention as a business
phenomenon. It took off with an article by Watts and Strogatz in 1998 (Watts
2004) arguing that networks are neither completely ordered or completely
26
random. By utilizing network theory, companies can learn how people share
information, and can tap into a resource that is much more effective than
advertising, at a fraction of the cost. Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall (2003)
argue that HR can contribute to the bottom line through increased involvement
with the whole web of relationships that occur in and across organizations and use
network analysis to identify employees who play important roles in their informal
groups.
Morton et al. (2006), as discussed in the previous section, effectively used social
network theory to plot communication flows internally between team members
working on developing an innovative product in the aerospace industry, and to
plot communication flows with the client. The research helped management find
gaps in communication and improve both communication and project outcomes.
2.3.2 Networks create resources
A considerable body of literature is dedicated to researching the value-creating
aspects of networks.

Networks are crucial in the development of social capital. Social capital has been
defined as the set of features that enable people to act collectively: the networks,
relationships, norms, trust and thus the goodwill inherent in social relations (Maak
2007). Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) define it as the sum of the actual and
potential resources embedded within, available through, derived from the network
of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit. As Morton et al. (2006)
showed in their study of relations between employees and between employees and
clients, the quality of the company’s social capital influences the ability of the
company to do business. Guthridge, Komm and Lawson (2008) assert that
inclusiveness in social networks affects how people work, and that talent as well
as steady employees work more effectively when they operate in vibrant internal
networks with a range of employees. Performance suffers when such social
networks are absent or withdrawn. Strong networks, they argue, also help retain
fickle young Generation Y professionals. (Guthridge, Komm and Lawson, 2008).

27
Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) identify three levels at which networks create value:
at a structural level, at a relational level and at a cognitive level. At a structural
level, networks foster the development of bridges to external networks and
relations as well as to knowledge within the organization. At a relational level
networks contribute to the creation of trust and reciprocity. At a cognitive level,
networks make it possible to develop highly personal, tacit knowledge, which
provides competitive advantage in the business environment (see also Nonaka
1994).
THE STRUCTURAL LEVEL
Granovetter (1983) studied the actual and potential resources of networks and
concludes that networks are composed of weak ties and strong ties. He found that
a network with only strong ties is highly encapsulated (for example, poor people
living in isolated slums, or scientists protecting their bastions) and does not
benefit from external knowledge and services. The value and strength of weak ties
is the possibility of connections to other social systems. Weak ties are critical to
the ability of networks to access new sources of information and new resources
(Toke and Marsh 2003; Tsai and Ghoshal 1998; McBain 1999; Nahapiet and
Ghoshal 1998). These resources include access to other networks, specific
information, access to decision makers, access to public opinion (Marsh 2003)
and social capital.
THE RELATIONAL LEVEL
The degree of trust that exists between members of an organization can be used as
an indicator of the level of social capital that an organization possesses (Knack
and Keefer 2000). Group obligations (Bourdieu 1989), strong ties (Granovetter
1983) and psychological protection (Boissevain 1974) provide a sense of trust and
dependability. Granovetter (1985) notes that strong ties, for example relations
between employees that extend beyond the work floor, provide important benefits
to the company. For example, the information and support gained through strong
ties in networks is cheap, it is more trustworthy because it is richer, more detailed
and accurate, and it is a reliable economic resource because it comes from a
28
continuing relationship (Jack 2005). Studies show that when informal coalitions
form into cohesive work groups and the norms incorporate the goals of
management, productivity rises (Karathanos 1994). Social networks can be
managed, as the Morton et al. (2006) case study of the global aerospace industry
highlighted, to produce the results the company needs.

Informal networks in the company setting can also create mistrust, shades of trust
and exclusion (Kochan et al. 2003). This can cause information not to flow where
it is needed. Mistrust contributes to barriers between “insiders” and “outsiders” in
an organization. In a company where “fit, white, heterosexual and male”
(Benschop 2007) is used as the norm in developing HR policies, being female,
from an ethnic minority, gay or physically handicapped can cause a person to
become an “outsider” both in relationships and in the way company policy applies
to them. In her research on the value of women’s and ethnic networks to women’s
career development, Konrad (2007) concludes that black women have limited
access to informal networks in the company, making it likely they will be forced
into out-group status in managerial social networks. Rothstein et al. (2001)
compared the internal and external networks of women and men in management
in three large organizations and found that these networks were typically gender-
segregated. Women had fewer links to senior managers in the organization, who
were predominantly male.

These findings are supported by an extensive study of empirical literature in
which Kochan et al. (2003) found no evidence to support the notion that more
diverse groups, teams or business units perform better, feel more committed to
their organizations or experience higher levels of satisfaction. What they did find
were the negative effects of diversity, such as people feeling exploited (see also
Thomas & Ely 2005; Subeliani & Tsogas 2005) and the feeling of working with
dissimilar others leading to less commitment to the organization, less satisfaction
and a variety of other negative behavioural and attitudinal outcomes (see also
Jayne & Dipboye 2004). Konrad (2006) quotes research that shows that work
group members who are demographically different from most of their co-workers
29
are more likely to feel disconnected from the group and find another employer.
The researchers found that major causes of retention problems in organizations are
perceptions of unfairness, lack of growth and development opportunities, and a
poor relationship with one’s manager. These three factors operate in concert to
generate turnover in employee segments that are not straight, white and male.
Konrad also quotes research that demonstrates that the manager-employee
relationship tends to be of lower quality when the employee is demographically
different from the manager (Konrad 2006). When the quality of the manager-
employee relationship is poorer, the manager is less likely to offer training,
challenging assignments, and other growth opportunities to the employee.

To mitigate the negative effects of diversity, Kochan et al. (2003) recommend that
companies implement management and human resources policies and practices
that inculcate cultures of mutual learning and cooperation, support
experimentation and evaluation and train in group process skills.
THE COGNI TIVE LEVEL
Nonaka et al. found that individuals with contacts that span boundaries within and
outside the organization bring resources into the organization but also help to
develop the resources within the organization (Nonaka 1994). Studies by Nonaka
and colleagues show that the ability to create knowledge depends on whether the
networks that emerge are closed or open and on the construction of a context for
knowledge conversion (see Nonaka 1994; Corno et al. 1999; Nonaka and
Peltokorpi 2006). They found that organizational knowledge is created through a
continuous cross-fertilization of tacit and explicit knowledge that takes place
through networks of actors within an organization and through networks within an
industry (Nonaka 1994). This echoes partly what Senge (1990) claims is the
starting point of a learning organisation, encouraging dialogue between people
and helping them to expand continuously their capacity to create the results they
truly desire.

30
The skills of the individuals and their social networks are the subject of a study by
Potgieter et al. (2006). They find that what they call the three layers in the
strategic architecture of a company – assets/resources, resource combinations and
organizational competencies – only have value when combined with the skills of
the individuals and their social networks. Potgieter et al. (2006) argue that socially
complex competencies, such as the ability of employees to adapt together to the
changing needs of clients and economic conditions are key to competitive
advantage. A complex network of employee interactivity allows agents – key
figures in networks – to access information when it arises, obtain timely
information, and understand opportunities when they occur.
2.4 HRM, COMPETI TI VE ADVANTAGE AND NETWORKS
The way a company develops networks and makes use of the myriad of existing
informal or formal, internal or external networks helps define the company’s
competencies and competitive advantage (Potgieter et al. 2006). Potgieter et al.
claim that agency is the ingredient that makes competitive advantage possible.
Agency occurs when the agents work together to accomplish their activities as a
unit, without regard to what each of its constituent agents does by itself (Potgieter
et al. 2006 adapting Minsky, 1988). When agency is present, people work
together and can create resources that are essential, according to Barney (1991) to
competitive advantage: they are valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable and have no
strategic equivalents. However, as Porras and Collins (2002) noted in their study
of highly successful businesses, developing that agency is a matter of fine tuning
over a long period of time.

Formal and informal networks can be vehicles through which agency is created.
They operate on structural, relational and cognitive levels, as discussed in
paragraph 2.3.2. Formal and informal networks can at the same time be used as
instruments in the HRM strategies of achieving competitive advantage, within the
framework of an approach like that of Lepak and Snell (1991), Bartlett and
31
Ghoshal (2002) or others – including a company’s unique approach. It should
therefore be possible to test whether a network contributes to the competitive
advantage of a company, first by its contribution to the HRM strategies and
secondly by its contribution to agency.
2.5 THE MAKI NGS OF AN HR BUSI NESS CASE FOR GLBT NETWORKS
From the preceding, it is possible to amass several elements needed for a business
case for corporate GLBT networks, in relation to HR issues. This section
summarizes the findings/

The literature review established that there is no academic agreement on what a
business case is. When the term is used, it is usually, but not always, expressed in
financial terms, depending on the context of the activity under discussion. Some
network activities can directly be translated into financial gain, as Nonaka (1994)
found. Other network activities increase the agency of employees and can be said
to indirectly contribute to the profitability of the business (Potgeiter et. al (2006).
To come to a definition of a business case for the purposes of this research, the
author defined a business case in the context of the GLBT corporate networks as
“a convincing argument for an activity or an initiative that demonstrates the added
value to the profit of a company, with concrete examples”.

The author then explored possible starting points for a business case for networks
in the Human Resource Management (HRM). Many academic researchers agree
that HRM adds value to the business when it ensures that employees create
competitive advantage (among others, Barney 1991, Boxall and Purcell 2000). A
number of theories have been developed on how HRM can contribute to
developingcompetitive advantage. Two different theories, those of Lepak and
Snell (1999) and Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) indicate that the methodology of
achieving competitive advantage may differ, but that the need to use HRM to
achieve competitive advantage is uncontested. Lepak and Snell have a
32
constructivist view of how employee management can add to competitive
advantage and they advocate following a stringent architecture in which many
employees are excluded from HR attention, so that all attention can be focused on
the core segment of employees that are responsible, through their inimitable skills
and knowledge, for the profitability of the company. Bartlett and Ghoshal in
contrast argue for a holistic working environment in which employees are
motivated and engaged and working together for the betterment of themselves and
the company.

Putting aside the differences in methodology of achieving competitive advantage
through HRM, the author then reviewed literature on how networks contribute to
value in companies. She found that networks can contribute at three levels:
structural, relational and cognitive (Nahapiet and Ghoshal 1998). All three levels
can have a bearing on HRM. Iindeed, HRM often creates networks as part of its
strategy to either develop an employee architecture that ‘fits’ the company needs
or that can be used to develop the human capital resource of the company as
“valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable and with no strategic substitutes” (Barney
1991). Networks are used as a means of creating agency in companies, enhancing
the capacity of the company to blend its mix of skills and resources and respond
quickly to the constantly changing business environment (see among others
Charan 1991, Potgieter et al. 2006).

In short, networks can contribute to the business of a company, and a primary
focus of HRM is to contribute to the competitive advantage of the company.
Flowing from this, a business case for GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs would
argue that the networks contribute to fulfilling the HRM goals of their company.
Because HRM strategies are focused on competitive advantage but cannot prove
that they actually contribute to the profits of the company, a business case for
corporate GLBT networks has to find a non-monetary basis for showing that it
contributing to the profits of the company. It is therefore necessary to find a
framework for discussing the contribution to profits that companies accept as
legitimate. One way of doing this is to define an analytical framework based on
33
current business theory, and then to research whether the networks can be
analysed within this framework. Additionally, because all companies have their
own strategies for developing competitive advantage through HRM strategies, the
business case would show how the corporate GLBT networks at present address
their company’s HR goals.

The following field research was undertaken to explore whether the case can be
made that Dutch corporate GLBT networks contribute to fulfilling HRM goals or
can potentially do so.

34
3. FIELD RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 PURPOSE OF THE FI ELD RESEARCH
The original research question was:
Is there a business case for corporate GLBT networks in the Netherlands,
from an HR perspective?
3.1.1 What is a “business case”
After reviewing relevant literature, the author has interpreted the term “business
case” to mean: “a convincing argument for an activity or an initiative that
demonstrates the added value to the profit of a company, with concrete
examples”.
3.1.2 The HR issues that are relevant to that business case
Each company has its own unique mix of HR strategies for competitive
advantage. Rather than taking these strategies as a starting point of research,
which would impede the process of developing a shared concept of the business
case for GLBT networks in the Dutch TNCs, the researcher elected to use existing
theory as a starting point.

To develop a shared framework for the questions at the heart of the inquiry, two
theories of HR strategy (Lepak and Snell 1999; Bartlett and Ghoshal 2002) were
interfaced with the three levels of contribution of networks to business strategies,
as defined by Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998). This device enabled the researcher to
observe how the networks contribute in general to HR strategies. Lepak and Snell
(1999) identified an architecture for competitive advantage based on four HR
tasks: recruiting, utilizing, developing and retaining the kind of employees that the
company needs. Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) advocate focussing on bonding,
motivating and engaging employees to contribute to the competitive advantage of
the company. In the discussion, the combination of the Lepak and Snell tasks and
Bartlett and Ghoshal foci are referred to as the seven HR issues.
35
3.1.3 The focus of GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs
The goal of the research was to explore the focus of a number of Dutch corporate
GLBT networks relative to these seven HR issues, identify how they are
contributing and also identify what is missing.
3.1.4 Refined research question
Drawing on the understanding that emerged from the literature review of
“business case”, networks and HR strategies, the research question was refined to:
Can a convincing argument, with concrete examples, be made that a GLBT
network contributes to the profit of a company through its contribution to
HR strategies for competitive advantage?
3.2 DESI GN OF THE RESEARCH
3.2.1 The choice for qualitative research
The people that can provide the most relevant information for this research are
leaders of the networks and HR representatives of their companies. They hold
privileged information relating to the business case for GLBT networks. Drawing
on the theoretical literature on research methodologies by Saunders, Lewis &
Thornhill (2006) and Devine (2002) the author chose a mixed qualitative research
approach, with both a general questionnaire and private interviews. The mix of
questionnaire and interview enabled triangulation of the results, which Saunders,
Lewis and Thornhill (2006) and Denscome (1998) argue can increase the
reliability of the research results.
3.2.2 The questionnaire
A questionnaire was designed to gather comparable information on the
contribution of networks to HR strategies for competitive advantage. The
questionnaire gathered both factual information and opinions. The opinion section
used a mix of closed-ended and open-ended items. In the closed-ended items, the
participants was asked to state on a 3-point scale the extent to which the GLBT
36
network in their company contributes to specific HR management strategies.
There was also a “don’t know” category answer. The questionnaire could be filled
in online or participants could fill it in on a Microsoft word document. The
instructions for filling in the questionnaire can be found in Appendix 1 and the
questionnaire can be found in Appendix 2.

The questionnaire was designed to be answered by HR representatives and
network leaders. A third category of respondent was introduced, network
members, to triangulate these responses. Network representatives may not hold
privileged information but they do have privileged insight into how the networks
operate on the ground.
3.2.3 Design of the questions
The general framework for the questions was based on the seven HR strategies
derived from the work of Lepak and Snell (1999) and Bartlett and Ghoshal
(2002). As the goal of the research is to explore whether a business case for the
networks can be made, the research questions did not aim at developing a deep
understanding of how the networks contribute to each strategy. Rather, the goal
was to see whether networks operate at the strategic levels that these authors argue
add to competititve advantage. The questions asked also related to the potential of
networks to contribute to companies at a structural, relational and cognitive level
(Nahapiet and Ghoshal 1998).
FIGURE 3.1 SPREAD OF QUESTIONS RELATING TO HR STRATEGIES
Spread of HR strategies questions in questionnaire
Bonding
18%
Motivating
11%
Engaging
26%
Development
16%
Recruitment
18%
Retention
2%
Utilization
9%
37
Figure 3.1 illustrates the percentages of questions that dealt with each of the seven
defined HR strategies. Figure 3.2 illustrates the percentage of questions on the
three levels of contribution of networks. Appendix 3 provides a detailed overview
of the distribution of HR strategies and network levels in the questionnaire.

FIGURE 3.2 SPREAD OF QUESTIONS RELATING TO LEVEL OF CONTRIBUTION OF NETWORKS
Spread of network level questions in questionnaire
Cognitive
39%
Relational
14%
Structural
47%
Advice was sought from a professional market researcher on how to design the
questions to generate valid and reliable answers. Two market researchers advised
the researcher to keep the time needed to fill in the questionnaire to 15 minutes, to
increase the chances of people completing it. In the test phase, a network member
completed the questionnaire and commented on clarity and style. Her comments
were incorporated into the final wording of the questionnaire. The questionnaire
was delivered online, using the program Survey Monkey, for three reasons. One
was to make the process of filling in the questionnaire as easy for the respondents
as possible. A second was to capture the data electronically, for the ease of the
researcher. The third was to limit the influence of the interviewer on the
responses, as advocated by Denscombe (1998).
38
3.2.4 The interviews
The semi-structured interviews were designed to gather specific information on
how the networks operate within their company HR strategies. The seven HR
strategies and three network levels were again the starting point for questions.
There was also room for participants to discuss other contributions of their
networks to the company HR strategy. Using a grounded theory approach as
interpreted by Denscombe (1998) in the analysis of the interviews, it was then
possible to see what other themes emerged that participants think are relevant to
describing the value of the networks to HR strategies.

The researcher was professionally coached in interview technique before
embarking on the interviews, which were conducted by telephone and recorded.
The participants gave prior consent to the taping. The storyboard of the interviews
is provided in Appendix 4. The schedule of the interviews is provided in
Appendix 5. All interviewees were available for follow-up conversations, if
required. All interviews were transcribed and are available to Henley Management
College, but with the identity of the participants hidden from the reader.
3.2.5 The participants
The research took place between May and August 2008. Six corporate GLBT
networks, all of whom participate in the Company Pride Platform, were contacted
to participate in the research. The research sponsor informed the Company Pride
Platform network leaders in May 2008 of the research and engaged their
participation. This increased the trust of the people being interviewed in the
research project. Within a week the researcher followed the sponsor’s
communication with a personalized letter of invitation (see Appendix 6). The
researcher herself approached the other two networks to engage their
participation. The confidentiality and anonymity of the information given during
the research was guaranteed. Respondents signed a form giving permission to use
the results of the interview in this research. Respondents were thanked in writing
for their contribution to the research.

39
27 respondents from six companies completed the questionnaire and two
respondents partially completed it. 21 respondents represented networks and six
respondents represented HR. Some of the HR respondents were also network
members. Table 3.1 provides an overview of the participants in the questionnaire,
with the name of the company coded as a number, and the participant coded
TABLE 3.1 LIST OF RESPONDENTS WHO COMPLETED THE QUESTIONNAIRE
numerically. Co1.1 therefore signifies participant 1 from Company 1. In one
company, seven respondents answered the questionnaire whereas in another
company only two people responded. The data was analysed to see if the larger
representation of one company skewed the results. This was not the case,
Company Respondent code name and function
1 Co 1.1
Co 1.2
National GLBT network leader
Global GLBT network leader
2 Co 2.1
Co 2.2
Co 2.3
Co 2.4
Delegate national GLBT network
Member network
Director Operations Benelux and HR
Diversity and Inclusion Network lead for Benelux
Co 3.1
Co 3.2
Co 3.3
Co 3.4
Co 3.5
Co 3.6
Global GLBT network leader and Head of European Affairs
National GLBT network leader and HR Consultant
Global Head of Diversity (HR)
Global GLBT network leader and project manager networks
National GLBT network board member
Network member
4 Co 4.1
Co 4.2
Co 4.3
Co 4.4
Co 4.5
Director Global Diversity & Inclusion / Talent Recruitment (HR)
Network member
Network member
Network member
Network member
5 Co 5.1
Co 5.2
Co 5.3
GLBT network leader and founder
GLBT network member and HR
HR
6 Co 6.1
Co 6.2
Co 6.3
Co 6.4
Co 6.5
Co 6.6
Co 6.7
Global GLBT network leader and Director Strategy
Network member
Network member
Network member
Network member
Network member
Network member
40
primarily because the seven respondents from one company did not share each
other’s perceptions and responded differently to the questions.
Table 3.2 provides an overview of participants in the interview. There was no HR
representative available for interview in two companies and not all networks had
more than one leader. Five of the interviewees represented HR, three of whom
also represented the network in their company. The researcher initially intended to
interview two or three respondents from each company but found that the data
was sufficiently rich after 11 interviews. The interviews were conducted by
telephone to accommodate the geographic dispersal of the interviewees and
recorded digitally to assist in post-interview analysis. This method may have
resulted in interviewees being less spontaneous in their responses, and the
interviewer being less aware of environmental factors which could influence the
interview. The researcher is satisfied that the interviewees were sufficiently
knowledgeable to provide answers to the research questions.
TABLE 3.2 LIST OF INTERVIEW PARTICIPANTS
3.2.6 Analytical methodology
A codification system was developed to assist in the process of finding matching
ideas or concepts and identifying emerging themes. This system was derived from
theory and a predetermined analytical framework, as advised of Sharp, Peters &
Howard (2002) and Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2006).
Company Respondent code name and function
1 Co 1.1 National GLBT network leader
2 Co 2.1
Co 2.2
Co 2.3
Delegate national GLBT network
Member network
Director Operations Benelux and HR
3 Co 3.1
Co 3.2
Co 3.3
Global GLBT network leader and Head of European Affairs
National GLBT network leader and HR Consultant
Global Head of Diversity (HR)
4 Co 4.1 Director Global Diversity & Inclusion / Talent Recruitment (HR)
5 Co 5.1
Co 5.2
GLBT network leader and founder
GLBT network member and HR
6 Co 6.1 Global GLBT network leader and Director Strategy
41
The responses to the questionnaire were downloaded into an MS Excel
spreadsheet and codified. The interview transcripts were collated by company and
a spreadsheet was generated using the codification system, company number and
transcript page number. By sorting the data in various ways, it was possible to see
similarities and differences between the approaches in each network and in the
relationship of each network to HR in their company. Appendix 7 is a
reproduction of the codified transcript data.
3.2.7 Limitations of the research
This study of corporate GLBT networks in the Netherlands is unique, with no
“shoulders to stand on”. The scope of the research does not embrace all aspects of
corporate GLBT networks and HR issues. It does not compare how well the
GLBT networks contribute relative to other diversity networks active in the
companies. The research is not a full audit of the contribution of each individual
network to the company’s HR strategy, and the conclusions do not assess whether
there is a business case to be made for a GLBT network in a particular company
in the research.

This research does not lend itself to extrapolation. The results are unique to the
companies in the research group.
3.3 SUMMARY OF METHODOLOGY
To explore whether a convincing argument, with concrete examples, can be made
that a GLBT network contributes to the profit of a company through its
contribution to HR strategies for competitive advantage, the author chose a
mixture of quantitative and qualitative research. By combining a questionnaire
and open interviews, it was possible to gather data that could help in comparing
strategies and approaches that could lead to an answer to the research question and
to mine the rich knowledge and experience existing in the companies. The author
acknowledges that it was only possible to gain access to this wealth of
42
information because she was trusted by the participants in the research project.
This trust came in large part from the fact that the participants in the Company
Pride Platform themselves yearn for answers to the questions the researcher was
posing, and that a leading participant in the Company Pride Platform himself was
the sponsor of the research project.
43
4. FIELD RESEARCH RESULTS
In this chapter the results of the questionnaire and interviews are collated,
presented and analyzed.
4.1 DEMOGRAPHI CS OF GLBT NETWORKS AND THE COMPANI ES
The companies in the research have almost one million employees worldwide.
Possibly 9 per cent or 90,000 of these people are gay, lesbian, bisexual or
transgendered (applying Bakker and Vanwesenbeeck 2006). The GLBT networks
are open to all employees, including contractors working on site. Some of the
networks operate internationally, others nationally. Yet only a fraction, 563
people, of the membership potential is actually a member of a Dutch corporate
GLBT network. Table 4.1 provides an overview of facts and demographics
relating to the GLBT networks in the six companies.
TABLE 4.1 FACTUAL INFORMATION ON THE PARTICIPATING COMPANIES
Co. Number of
countries
(approx)
Number of
employees in
company
Year network
established
Members in
NL (approx)
Total members
in network
(approx)
Sponsor in the
company
Sponsor
reports to:
1 69 65,000 2007 7 220 VP, Market
Management
Global D&I
2 125 360,000 90's 25 1000 A board of 4
senior execs,
sponsored by
HR leader
HR
3 56 130,000 2004 300 900 Company Exec.
Board Member
Diversity
department
4 63 125,000 2008 15 22 No personal
sponsor yet.
Corporate HR
5 110 120,000 2001 106 Globally -
unknown
President
Director in NL
CEO
6 63 165,000 2005 110 400 2 Directors Group HR
Company 2 is the only company in the study that has people specifically tasked
with GLBT inclusion. The GLBT network in that company is part of a GLBT
inclusion strategy (see Appendix 9).
44
4.2 HR STRATEGI ES I N THE COMPANI ES
4.2.1 Approach to human capital and competitive advantage
All respondents can relate to a resource-based approach to human capital. They all
agreed with the statement “The task of HR is to develop the human capital
resource as a contribution to the competitive advantage of the company.” Co 4.1
added: “More and more the role of HR is to be a true business partner”. Co 3.3
qualified the statement by acknowledging that the task of developing the human
resource capital also rests on the business lines.
4.2.2 Company HR strategy relating to GLBT networks
The HR strategies incorporate the GLBT networks in various ways. For example,
in Company 2 the GLBT network is part of a fairness and equitability policy
relating to productivity, while in Company 3 and 5 the GLBT networks are one of
the ingredients in the general HR strategic mix. All of the companies have
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) functions or departments and all but one network
has high level sponsorship within the company. Table 4.2 summarizes the specific
HR strategies in each company.
TABLE 4.2 OVERVIEW OF HR STRATEGIES USED IN EACH COMPANY
Company Specific HR strategy of the company relative to GLBT networks
1
Diversity and Inclusion – a focus on inclusion by encouraging diverse communities to have a voice
Leadership Development – participation in ERGs is directly linked to leadership development and community involvement.
2
Ensure that all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) company employees are treated fairly and equitably worldwide;
Create an atmosphere where GLBT employees are valued and which maximizes their workplace productivity worldwide;
Attract and retain talented and dedicated GLBT professionals from around the world;
Drive increased revenue and market share globally.
3
Build a Winning Performance Culture. All of our employees play a key role in fulfilling company goals. For the networks, we
have the goal of "Recruitment, Retention, and Development".
4
Aligned with the company strategy – Growth, Talent and Simplicity.
5
Talent now and sustainable future supply; Strengthening & deepening leadership; Improving individual & organisational
performance; Increased efficiency & effectiveness of HR systems.
6
Take care of the people who deliver our current performance and develop the people who will deliver our future performance;
Prioritize and deliver what we promise;
The business needs are focused on engagement, developing and retaining talented people and realizing business targets &
performance in a sustainable way;
Strengthened processes on relevant aspects of the HR discipline (management development, compensation & benefits).
45
Soc
Inc
Bus
Awa
CM
Soc
Inc
Bri
Soc
Inc
Bus
Bri
Inc
Bus
BP
Soc
Inc
Bus
Bri
Inc
Awa
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Purposes of the GLBT network
4.3 PURPOSE OF THE NETWORK
The corporate GLBT networks were established for various purposes, as shown in
Figure 4.1. The most predominant is to support and promote inclusiveness
(depicted in the graphic by Inc), which respondents argued would create an
environment in which employees can flourish and be productive, bringing all of
themselves into the company, for the value of the company. The second and third
most common purposes are to support individuals (Soc) and support business
(Bus). The networks at Company 3 and Company 5 were established for both
business and social purposes whereas the network at Company 2, according to the
interviewees, was established to provide a social context through which the
company can meet its goal of being a non-discrimination workplace.
FIGURE 4.1 THE PURPOSES OF THE COMPANY GLBT NETWORK
4.4 NETWORKS AND THEI R CONTRI BUTI ON TO HR STRATEGI ES
In this section the results of the primarily quantitative data from the questionnaire
are presented, followed by the qualitative data from the interviews. The findings
are organized around four tasks of HR: recruiting, retaining, developing and
Soc
Support individuals/
Social
Bri
Building bridges in
company
Inc
Support/ Promote
inclusiveness
Awa
Raise awareness
BP
Find the best people
Bus
Support business
CM
Change
management
46
100% 100%
50%
50%
20%
60%
20%
100%
86%
14%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q12e Does the network initiate searches for
experts – lawyers, marketers, engineers,
scientists etc for specific projects?
utilizing employees. Findings relating to bonding, engaging and motivating
employees are discussed under these headings where relevant.
4.4.1 Recruitment strategies
The questions relating to recruitment explored whether the networks are being
used in recruitment strategies. For more details on the answers, see Appendix 10.
4.4.1.1 Questionnaire findings
In most companies, the networks do not formally participate in recruitment
strategies. Figure 4.2 illustrates the direct participation of networks in recruiting
specialists. Similar results were found for recruiting other kinds of employees.

FIGURE 4.2 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ON PRESENT PARTICIPATION IN RECRUITING EXPERTS
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know

Most networks want their role to be expanded in the future, as shown in Figure
4.3, although few respondents envision that participating in recruitment strategies
could be a major role for networks.
FIGURE 4.3 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS ON FUTURE PARTICIPATION IN RECRUITING EXPERTS
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know

50%
50%
75%
25%
17%
83%
80%
20%
67%
33%
100%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q12f Could the network initiate searches for
experts in the future?
47
4.4.1.2 Interview findings
The telephone interviews revealed that the networks contribute to recruitment
activities more than the questionnaire results revealed.
The networks contribute to influencing public opinion that the company is a good
plays for GLBT to work. Company 6 elected to sponsor and participate in Canal
Pride 2008 for recruitment purposes. With 400,000 people watching, and chances
for free media coverage, “It is good for the image of the company”, said Co 6.1. “I
know of some people who joined the company because there is a network.” The
most important recruitment publication in the Netherlands, Intermediair, profiled
the GLBT network leaders of two companies after Canal Pride. The two-page
spread (Paassen 2008) sent a clear message that these companies welcome and
value GLBT employees.

The networks help attract young talent. “The Generation Y’s do their entire job
research through internet” said Co 1.1, adding that Generation Y’s are looking for
companies that are networked. This generation says “I don’t have to do it by
myself, I can do it with other people”, Co 3.2 commented. “They need to know
more people in the company. For that you need networks.”

The network members in Company 2 and Company 5 do not think the network
could participate more fully or more conscientiously in recruitment activities.
They find HR a well-oiled machine, capable of hiring the best, irrespective of
sexuality.

Used more effectively, says Co 3.2, the network could produce better results than
advertisements, arguing “Its all about who you know within your network and
how you can get more people interested in [the company]. The labor market is
getting so hard you need the network.”

Co 6.1 intends to use the GLBT network to find ICT specialists for its new
business line. Co 1.1 would like to go to universities and recruiting events “and
actively promote the fact that we are here” because, strategically, it is easier to
48
50%
50%
25%
50%
25%
33%
33%
17%
17%
60%
40%
33%
67%
14%
14%
71%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q13e Is there any indication that people stay with
the company because there is a network?
ensure that you get the kind of people into the company that you want in the
company, than to change the way 65,000 employees think. “When we are
bringing people in, lets not bring in the same old problem”.
4.4.2 Strategies to retain the right employees
A series of questions in both the questionnaire and the interviews looked at the
impact of the GLBT networks on employee retention.
4.4.2.1 Questionnaire findings
None of the companies measure whether people stay because there is a network.
Respondents in Co 1, 2 and 3, as can be seen in Figure 4.4, believe the GLBT
corporate network plays a role in the retention of employees, Company 4,
Company 5 and Company 6 are less sure. The positive response was based on
personal testimonies and on letters written by members acknowledging the role of
the network in their staying with their employer.
FIGURE 4.4 ROLE OF GLBT NETWORK IN RETENTION
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know
4.4.2.2 Interview findings
While at present none of the companies utilize the GLBT networks in their
retention strategies, Company 3 plans to do so. In response to statistics on the high
cost of disengagement (Gallup Management Journal 2001), Co 3.3 recently
launched a new engagement and retention plan. In this plan, one role of the
network is to listen to its members and learn about their expectations and
satisfaction levels. A second role is to help the organization learn how young
49
50%
50%
25%
50%
25%
83%
17%
20%
60%
20%
100%
14%
86%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q13a Does the network contribute to developing in-
company career perspectives for its members?
talent operates, and how to accommodate them in the organization. “If that kind of
networking is the kind of thing that impassions them, that excites them, that is the
way they get things done, then we need to somehow figure out a way through our
networks to build that in as part of our business model.” (Co 3.3)
Co 3.2 urges recognition of the social role of the GLBT network. “[People] want
to have work and they want to have a social network as well, because that’s what
makes them feel right and feel appreciated and feel good about going to work.
With a social network, the satisfaction level is higher and people are content.”
4.4.3 Development of employees
According to Lepak and Snell, talent needs to be developed as unique if it is to
contribute to competitive advantage. Development issues discussed in the
questionnaire and the interviews relate to learning and educating, and leadership
training.
4.4.3.1 Questionnaire findings
Company 6, whose HR strategy is to develop employees (see Table 4.2), is not
using the network to develop the in-company careers of its members. The HR
strategies in Company 1 and Company 3 also focus on employee development,
and as Figure 4.5 shows the networks in these companies contribute to developing
the in-company career perspectives of their members. In Company 2 and
Company 5 the networks contribute to some extent or more in developing the in-
company careers of its members.

FIGURE 4.5 THE NETWORK AND IN-COMPANY CAREER PERSPECTIVES
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know

50
100%
17%
83%
60%
40%
100% 100% 100%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q25d Do networks offer members formal
leadership training?
50%
50%
50%
50%
80%
20%
20%
20%
20%
40%
100%
57%
43%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q13d Do more than one person represent the
networks externally?
In four of the six companies, networks are spaces for informal leadership training,
and, as shown in Figure 4.6, one company specifically trains network leaders as
FIGURE 4.6 NETWORKS AND FORMAL LEADERSHIP TRAINING
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know
company leaders. This is a company where the participation in ERGs – Employee
Resource Groups – is encouraged and included in the personal performance
measurements. Network activities, says Co 5.2,
“Have an influence on the development of your skills. You need to make a case
for doing an activity and you can get support from the line manager to commit
time to it. And of course it is (then) in your working time that you go to
conferences or attend workshops. That is where it forms part of your
performance discussions or development discussions.”
In most companies, more than one member represents the network in external
events, as shown in Figure 4.7.
FIGURE 4.7 SHARING NETWORK RESPONSIBILITIES EXTERNALLY
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know

4.4.3.2 Interview
findings
Networks can contribute
51
50%
50%
100%
33%
33%
17%
17%
40%
20%
40%
100%
71%
29%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q12j Does the GLBT network play a role in
gathering and using information from external
sources for the benefit of the company?
to the development of the individual as well as to the goals of the company.
Company 2 has a policy of developing GLBT employees. “People with career
aspirations are assigned to a more senior members to see how they can develop
themselves” (Co 2.1). In Company 5, where the GLBT network is involved in
educating new recruits on the company’s D&I policies and practices, network
members learn leadership skills they would not necessarily learn in their
professional work.
4.4.4 Utilization of employees
The questionnaire and the interviews focused on whether GLBT employee
networks are used to increase the company’s access to external resources and to
increase workplace productivity.
4.4.4.1 Questionnaire findings
The GLBT networks invite their members to share their non-work related selves –
their personal network resources – and are vehicles for sharing resources. They
gather and use information from external sources for the benefit of the company
and HR and other parts of the organization encourage them to do so (see Figure
4.8).
FIGURE 4.8 GATHERING AND USING INFORMATION FROM EXTERNAL SOURCES
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know
As Figure 4.9 illustrates, the networks have been developed to some extent as
information sharing spaces on marketing issues and company products, and on
business processes, but not on HR-related issues or other company related issues.
52
A majority of the respondents find that their network contributes to workplace
productivity. Company 2, Company 3 and Company 6 called this “The Cost of
Thinking Twice”, quoting Woody (2007): being “authentic, open, able to talk
about your personal situation” creates an environment in which colleagues can
work well together, for the benefit of the company.

FIGURE 4.9 NETWORKS AS SPACES FOR SHARING INFORMATION
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Does the network provide
information to its members about
company products?
Does the network provide
information to its members about
HR-related issues?
Does the network provide
information to its members about
business processes?
Does the network provide
information to its members about
marketing issues?
Does the network provide
information to its members about
other, company related issues?
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really

Don’t know
4.4.4.2 Interview findings
The respondents produced many examples of how the networks initiate or intend
to initiate activities to utilize their external networks for the benefit of the
company. The GLBT network at Company 3 is leveraging external information
in a pilot to better approach the gay and lesbian market. The network used its
knowledge of the audience and its vast network of external contacts to develop
and implement this pilot, and train sales staff. Co 3.1 recognizes that the network
of external contacts made the pilot highly efficient.

53
Co 3.2 wants to use the network as an internal bridge.
“Right now we could provide the ability for people to get to know other people
within different business lines and different organizations within the
company… we can organize speed dating, so you know who to go to when you
want to know something, because then you have an entry point somewhere.”

The networks at Company 5 and Company 1 gather data on mobility, for the
benefit of the company. With an expatriate population of 8500, Company 5 moves
its talent where needed, which can be to places where it is dangerous or illegal to
be homosexual. The network at Company 5 learned that 30% of respondents to a
research project they initiated had not applied for a position that could send them
to a dangerous country, because of their sexuality. 57% said their sexuality would
to a great extent influence where they would go. With esearch on how GLBT
employees perceive their jobs, the network in Company 5 is providing HR with
critical information. Co 5.1: “We are getting more information to HR, so HR can
answer the questions.”

Mobility issues also affect how the company can utilize its GLBT employees in
Company 1. The network has informed the company that gay and lesbian US
citizens with non-US partners face restrictive US immigration laws. If the
company needs the US citizen to work in the USA, the employee may have to
choose between leaving the company or requesting to be able to stay in Europe, as
he or she will not be able to sponsor the partner to live with them in the USA.
With the information the network has provided, the company is now lobbying for
legislative change in the USA.
4.4.5 A footnote on agency
In general, as the scores in Appendix 10 show, the networks score low on
contributing to agency, that is, on being instruments to enhance the ability of
employees to act in the interests of the company and ensure that the company can
provide world class products and services.
54
100%
50%
50%
33%
33%
17%
17%
20%
40%
40%
67%
33%
57%
43%
Co 1 Co 2 Co 3 Co 4 Co 5 Co 6
Q23a Does the network provide a 'safe space'
where people feel acknowledged and valued?
4.5 EMERGI NG I SSUES
4.5.1 Finding time for network activities
The issue of allocating time for network activities did not arise in the literature
review, but it did arise in the interviews. The network leaders in Company 1,
Company 3 and Company 6 would like their networks to do more, but find it
difficult to mix network activities with the heavy responsibilities of their
professional jobs. Co 3.1 would like to have someone paid to support the network.
The network in Company 5 is satisfied with the time spent in network activities
and the contribution that represents to the company’s strategy. Company 4 and
Company 3 allocate HR time to administrative support of networks, and Company
2 designates the time of senior managers to policy related activities.
Several participants from Company 2 mentioned the problem of finding people
who were willing to give their time to organizing the network activities or finding
time to attend network activities.
4.5.2 ‘Safe spaces’
Although they were set up as a social resource, questionnaire respondents contest
whether networks provide a ‘safe space’ (see Figure 4.10). As the breakdown of
FIGURE 4.10 NETWORKS AS ‘SAFE’ SPACES
To a large extent

To some extent

Not really

Don’t know

answers in Appendix 11 shows (Question 23 a), HR representatives and network
leaders almost unanimously agree that the networks provide a ‘safe space’ for
GLBT employees, while the majority of GLBT network members are less inclined
55
to call it that. The majority of respondents agree that the network fulfils a need
among a specific group of employees to feel valued.

In the interviews, most network leaders found that being out at work takes
courage. Co 5.1 discussed why people do not want to be out at work.
“When you try to dig down into it a lot of it is about fearing for their career
prospects, their performance reviews and why do they think that? Because they
are listening to the informal conversations that are going on among their peers
and they hear their supervisors say. Which are often still very negative
remarks, throwaway remarks pointed at this community.”
Co 3.2 echoed the same sentiments:
“Often it is difficult for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual employees to
actually feel comfortable in the environment, because of jokes of straight
colleagues around them or some general attitudes which are not addressed…
The subtle ways employees engage each other on a daily basis. We know, from
our own personal experience, that this has a big effect on how effective you
work and how you feel about the company you are working for.”
Co 1.1 sees it as a task of the network to help change the “macho” culture so that
the “snowball will start rolling and then the people that are afraid or feeling that it
is not safe for them to disclose their status will join groups and help the ball roll
even further”. At present, anonymity is a key ingredient to developing an
environment that is conducive to gay people connecting with each other, and
which enables learning from the knowledge the network can provide. As Co 5.2
stated:
“I think this is a platform where you have the chance to be out and be who you
are, but you also have the chance to remain confidential and still benefit from
certain activities or knowledge that exists.”
56
4.6 SUMMARY OF FI NDI NGS
From these findings, a picture is emerging of six diversely structured networks
with different foci and differing approaches. The networks in Company 3 and
Company 4 are developing a mix between interaction among members and
interaction with the company and with the external environment, for the
advantage of the company. In Company 1, being a network participant is an
integral part of company life, and the company sees the network as an opportunity
to engage people, seeing their values and interests as a strength that is
advantageous to the company. In Company 2, the network is not acting as a
network but as a point of consultation for GLBT employees. Because the network
is firmly embedded in the company GLBT inclusion structure, the network works
to a point, although it can be questioned whether the activities it organizes can
really be called network activities. In Company 5 the network has a solid core
which links together GLBT employees with the purpose of improving the working
environment for GLBT people – and in so doing increasing the contribution
GLBT employees can make to the company. This network sparingly brings in
resources from the external environment, and uses project management skills to
deliver results for the HR strategies of the company. The network in Company 6
has a small, strong central core that sporadically involves its network in activities
that are intended as enjoyable for the network members and advantageous for the
company.
Despite all the differences, each of the networks has developed itself as a quality
contribution to the company. They are players in the HRM strategies. The
question is: how can the potential of the networks effectively be harvested?
57
5. ANALYSIS OF THE FOCUS OF GLBT NETWORKS
This research set out to explore whether it is possible to make a convincing
argument, with concrete examples, that GLBT networks contribute to company
profits through their contribution to HR strategies for competitive advantage.

In this chapter, the focus of the GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs, and the factors
that support the focus, are analyzed. The author then identifies what is missing in
the focus and looks at factors that limit the networks.
5.1 FI VE WAYS GLBT NETWORKS CONTRI BUTE TO HR STRATEGI ES
All the HR respondents in the interviews regard employees as a strategic resource
in the company’s profit-making strategies and they regard the purpose of HRM
strategies as developing and using this resource. In this they are aligned with
Barney (1991), who argues that the purpose of HRM is to attract, recruit and
retain the right people, so that they can be developed as a strategic resource.
Chambers et al. (1998) refine this maxim and argue that, in a War for Talent
environment, key HRM strategies must focus on refining recruitment strategies,
increasing the employee value proposition, and developing employees. The
members and leaders of the GLBT networks in this study value the success of
their company and the well-being of their colleagues. The research findings
indicate that the corporate GLBT networks focus on five strategies that support
the HRM task. These are: GLBT networks contribute to finding the right people
for the company; GLBT networks help companies utilize employees; GLBT
networks build social capital; GLBT networks create economic and reliable
business resources; and GLBT networks link and leverage knowledge within the
company.
5.1.1 GLBT networks contribute to finding the right people for the company
This present research indicates that the GLBT networks understand that
somewhere between 4 percent (the conservative estimate) and 9 percent (Bakker
58
and Vanwesenbeeck 2006) of the “right people” (Barney 2000) may be gay,
lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, and that to attract them and develop them
companies have to shift the dominant “fit, white, heterosexual, male” (Benschop
2007) paradigm. The research also indicates that the networks understand, as
Howard (1990) argues, that companies must attract employees that are not carbon
copies of each other if they are to be successful and innovative in today’s markets.

The networks are working with the companies to create an environment that is
attractive to a diverse workforce. A major focus of several of the networks in this
study is Canal Pride. Canal Pride is fun, exuberant and has a pro-gay message.
The presence of the corporate networks generates visibility for the company on
the day, positive coverage on TV and in relevant industry recruitment
publications. HR and network respondents firmly believe this is good for business
and good for recruitment strategies. Their argument reflects Boxall (1996) and
Handy’s (1994) strategy proposition that competitive advantage increases when
personal values and company values are aligned. By flying the company colours
at Canal Pride the networks are making a public statement that all people who
have what the company needs are both welcome and valued.
5.1.2 GLBT networks help companies utilize employees
Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) advocate replacing hierarchy and bureaucratic
systems by networks and flexible processes. The present study indicates that while
line managers are responsible for ensuring that the employees perform in their
jobs, the GLBT networks utilize the employees beyond the relationship defined in
the professional contract. The research shows many examples of how the
networks enable the company to utilize its employees. On the Canal Pride boats,
employees become recruiters and marketers and secretaries become managers.
The employees in Company 1 and Company 5 become researchers when they
research the impediments to career development of gay employees. The GLBT
network in Company 3 initiated a pilot to market a product to a new market
segment. The Company 4 network will test new company products. The networks
cross the hierarchical lines, contributing to the company’s ability, as Potgeiter et
59
al. (2006) argue, to adapt to the changing needs of clients, changing economic
conditions, and changing perceptions of the social environment.
5.1.3 GLBT networks build social capital
The present research shows that the GLBT networks are contributing to
developing the social capital of their companies, which, as Maak (2007) argues,
enables people to act collectively, for the benefit of the company.

The predominant driver in establishing the networks was the support of
individuals and the promotion of inclusiveness by creating an environment in
which employees can flourish and be productive. The networks are looking at
what inhibits inclusiveness, and working to address this, as well as at what
promotes inclusiveness, and working to provide this. The study shows that most
members and network leaders find the networks to be safe spaces, although
leaders report that members sometimes struggle between being publicly involved
in the network and feeling they are risking their career by being out.

All the networks report that GLBT employees use the networks as spaces for
sharing information relating to external constraints they experience because of
their sexuality. In most of the networks members can join anonymously. Network
leaders find that these members disclose information, particularly on workplace
discrimination, they would not provide if their identity was known. As Kochan et
al. (2003) and Konrad (2006), discussed, workplace discrimination has a negative
effect on productivity and as Konrad (2006) noted, if these problems are left
unattended they will lead to high turnover of employees, less commitment to the
organization and negative behavioral and attitudinal outcomes. Through the
network members, data about the experiences and concerns of GLBT employees
has become available that would not have become available without the networks.
The GLBT network leaders in Company 1, Company 2, Company 3, Company 5
and Company 6 see their role as translating data they receive into information
they can feed to HR. In a number of companies, HR is acting on this information.
HR in Company 3 has made the link between the high cost of disengagement
60
(Gallup Management Journal 2001) and workplace discrimination as reported by
the network. It is now utilizing its GLBT network to investigate why people
come, why people stay and why people leave. In Company 2 the network is part
of an elaborate system to pinpoint and act on barriers to engagement, such as
discrimination. Company lobbyists in Company 1, after receiving information
from the network, are working to change US legislation on issues affecting gay
US citizens working outside the US.

The research provides evidence that some GLBT people, and particularly
transsexuals, stay in a company because there is a network. It is also clear that
gays, lesbians and bisexuals weigh the fact that there is a corporate GLBT
network in their decision to stay with their company, although most agree that
being a member of a company GLBT network is not a compelling reason to stay
in the company.
5.1.4 GLBT networks create economic and reliable business resources
Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) observed that, “the company is more than a mere
economic entity; it is also a social institution through which people acting together
can achieve meaningful purpose”. The GLBT networks build trust, and act on the
trust to share information with each other and with other parts of the organisation,
including HR. Jack (2005) observed that strong ties among colleagues can
translate into economic and reliable business resources, which contributes to the
competitive advantage of the company. This present research shows that the
members of a number of the corporate GLBT networks are providing these
resources. For example, most of the networks help the company develop internal
efficiencies by creating communication pathways, sharing information relating to
HR issues, marketing issues and company products between different sections of
the company.
5.1.5 GLBT networks link and leverage knowledge within the company
The companies are starting to tap into the knowledge and the external networks of
the networks, a phenomenon that Toke and Marsh (2003) and Tsai and Ghoshal
61
(1998) claim are to the advantage of the company. The main use of the external
knowledge and networks is around recruitment issues (Company 1, Company 3
and Company 6), and utility issues (Company 3 and Company 5). The Company
Pride Platform plays a significant role in developing knowledge that is specific to
the issue of homosexuality in the workplace, and at conferences and meetings
networks share data and statistics that are helpful to all their companies. An
example is the concept of “The Cost of Thinking Twice”, which was developed
by Company 2, and is now used by four networks as an argument for creating a
level playing field to improve workplace productivity.

In their strategies for competitive advantage, Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002)
recommend that companies link, leverage and embed pockets of individual based
knowledge and expertise or risk underutilizing or losing it. This present study
shows that networks and their corporate sponsors have found a number of ways to
link and leverage knowledge. Company 3 recently ran a marketing pilot that
leverages the network’s specific knowledge of an important market segment, to
make the company attractive to this potentially lucrative client group. Company 4
intends to leverage the specific knowledge of the network in product
development, by engaging it as a marketing focus group.
5.2 FACTORS THAT SUPPORT THE SUCCESS OF GLBT NETWORKS
Two factors clearly affect the success of the networks: their relationship with HR
and their scope.
5.2.1 A responsive relationship between HR and the GLBT network
The relationship between the networks and HR in three of the six companies,
Company 1, Company 2 and Company 4, is structural and defined. The other
GLBT networks are precocious and energetic in looking for and finding ways of
contributing to the competitive advantage of their companies. HR has taken on
issues presented by the networks. In at least two companies, employees are able to
include their planned network activities in their annual personal goals, and are
62
acknowledged by the company for their contribution to the networks, through
their performance reviews. Guthridge, Kromm and Lawson (2008), in their
critique of HR in the War for Talent, argue that HR needs to increase its
leadership role in developing the firm’s human capital as a driver of competitive
advantage. In all six companies, the networks are ready to collaborate with HR in
developing that capital.
5.2.2 Scoping GLBT networks within the company
Each network exists in a unique HRM environment, and each company has its
own strategy of empowering the network. The networks in Company 1, Company
3, Company 4, Company 5 and to some extent in Company 6 are emerging as
professional, social and intellectual exchange networks as described by
Granovetter (1983) and Watts (2004). In some cases they are also partners in
attracting, recruiting and motivating talent at all levels, including the elusive
Generation Y employee. The networks are designing their activities to fit with
their many possibilities.
The GLBT network at Company 2, whose 25 members in the Netherlands rarely
see or communicate with each other, is the exception. However, Company 2 has
overlooked an important ingredient of modern networking that Guthridge, Kromm
and Lawson (2008) describe as essential for the War for Talent, which is the
ability to use all the knowledge and resources of the company’s employees for the
benefit of the company. The scope of the network in Company 2 may be too
limited to attract membership and to be effective as a network.
5.3 WHAT I S MI SSI NG, THAT COULD BE HAPPENI NG
The respondents indicated that HR departments and the networks could be doing
more together. Barney (1991) noted that it takes time to develop a workforce that
is unique, imperfectly imitable and with no strategic equivalent. Most of the
companies in this research have only just begun to involve GLBT networks in this
development.

63
5.3.1 GLBT networks can be used more in recruitment strategies
The companies and the networks acknowledge that network members are portals
to external communities where potential talent exists, as discussed by Granovetter
(1985), Scott (1991) and Morton (2006). What is missing is an understanding in
the companies and the networks of the potential of GLBT networks to cut costs
and increase effectiveness in recruitment strategies. “Chaos theory” (Hanley
2008) argues that social networks have a greater capacity to connect the company
to the individuals it needs than most forms of advertising. The research indicates
that companies could use the networks more to access Generation Y, as well as
the categories distinguished by Lepak and Snell (1999)in their HR architecture:
talent, potential specialists, contractors and trustworthy market-based staff.
Employees that are recruited through personal networks come with a ready-made
relationship with the company that can positively affect their engagement and
their motivation, as MacGillivray and Golden (2007) found from their research on
managing and leveraging diversity. Network leaders in Company 1 and Company
3 plan to incorporate this task into the activities of their networks.
5.3.2 Networks can build more bridges
The research shows the networks believe they have connections to other social
systems. Toke and Marsh (2003), Tsai and Ghoshal (1998) and Nahapiet and
Ghoshal (1998) found that connections to other social systems gives access new
sources of information and new resources. While such activities as Canal Pride
and marketing pilots are examples of how the networks are using other social
systems, there is no indication that the networks are systematically exploring ways
to use the social capital for the benefit of their company.

Internally, networks do not fully utilize their ability to disseminate information
across businesses within the companies. Some network leaders have plans for
utilizing this facet of network potential, such as those of a network leader at
Company 3 for ‘speed dating’. Active GLBT network intranet sites could
reinforce HR strategies and engage network members in exchanging information.

64
Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall (2003) and Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) found
that people need networking skills to link and leverage each other’s knowledge.
Networking is a business skill and people need to be trained to network well.
None of the networks receives or organizes training in networking skills. Even
informal gatherings, such as the monthly drinks of the Company Pride Platform,
are not treated by the members as places to learn and practice network skills.
Company networks organizing social events rarely accommodate the fact that
many potential and actual members do not live and work in the same city as the
network leadership. Informal opportunities to network are not being developed as
such, and formal network events are not structured as opportunities to learn more
about the work of other network members.
5.3.3 GLBT networks could be used more in leadership development
According to management guru Peter Drukker (1990), the most effective way to
develop an organization is to develop its people. None of the network leaders in
this study receives formal leadership training for their role as network leader. In
Company 2 it is said that all employees have access to leadership training, but the
author believes that, if as in Company 5 the network drives the relationship with
HR, this warrants providing network leaders with specific training in how
networks could contribute to HRM strategies. The role of network leader is
inevitably different from the job for which the employees are contracted. What is
missing is adequate training for GLBT network leadership, as a mechanism for
supporting the leadership and at the same time advancing the potential of the
networks.
5.4 LI MI TATI ONS TO GLBT NETWORK CAPACI TY
A new issue arising from this research and not discussed in the literature is the
compensation for the time that network leaders and network participants invest in
their activities. The networks are developing the available social capital for
competitive advantage, as Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) advocate. In Company 1,
Company 2 and Company 5, if employees make a case that the time is well spent,
65
they can perform some activities in company time. In the other companies, the
leaders do this work next to their ‘day job’ on a voluntary basis. In this case, this
professional activity, which could potentially be even more effective, is dependent
on the leaders balancing the tension of their two functions.
66
6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The question at the heart of this research was:
Can a convincing argument, with concrete examples, be made that a
GLBT network contributes to the profit of a company through its
contribution to HR strategies for competitive advantage?
The Company Pride Platform initiated this research to develop its understanding
of the role of GLBT networks in contributing to the HR component of strategies
for competitive advantage. The following conclusions and recommendations are
formulated in the light of that objective.

From this exploratory research, it is possible to make a convincing argument that
corporate GLBT networks contribute to corporate HRM strategies for competitive
advantage. It is not possible to quantify this contribution to prove that the
networks contribute to the profitability of the companies. However, if the reader
can agree that the approaches of Lepak and Snell (1999) and Bartlett and Ghoshall
(2002) to competitive advantage through HRM are legitimate, then this study
concludes that the corporate networks contribute to these approaches.

The networks create new pathways for communication within the company,
providing the company with opportunities for increasing the development and
storage of knowledge that is specific to the company and therefore unique. They
also provide a social context in which employees can have fun and feel valued.

This study found that corporate GLBT networks contribute in five ways to HR
strategies.
• Corporate GLBT networks contribute to finding the right people for the
company
• GLBT networks help utilize employees
• GBT networks build social capital
• GLBT networks create economic and reliable business resources
67
• GLBT networks link and leverage knowledge within the company.

A business case requires concrete examples. From this study, four concrete
examples of GLBT network contribution to HR strategies for competitive
advantage emerged.
• Networks research issues that impede GLBT employees from engaging fully
in the work environment, and pass the knowledge on to HR for action.
• Networks participate in public events such as the Company Pride Platform and
Canal Pride, engaging employees from all businesses within the corporation in
public relations, marketing and eventually in recruiting activities.
• Networks offer safe spaces for GLBT employees, offering GLBT employees a
launching pad for bringing their full self to work, and offering a safe
environment for disclosing experiences of the absence of a level playing field
in employment conditions.
• In a tight talent market, GLBT networks show 9% of the potential talent pool
– GLBT people – as well as straight people who value working in a diverse
environment, that the company is a place where GLBT employees are
welcome. This provides the company with a competitive advantage over
others in the industry that do not communicate this message.

The networks could do more. Most of the GLBT networks in this study are
precocious and keen to align themselves with the goals of their companies, but
few HR representatives and network leaders understand the full potential of
networks in the corporate context. For the company to benefit fully, five activities
are recommended.
• First, using the findings of this research, it is recommended that networks
audit their activities based on the five ways GLBT networks contribute to HR
strategies. The Company Pride Platform can be used as a space for sharing
information on how to implement each of these five contributions, and
networks wanting to learn more about how a network from another company
68
set up their activity can be mentored by network members from networks that
have successfully implemented these activities.
• Second, it is recommended that HR strategists and the GLBT network sit
down and map out together how to concretely work together to benefit from
the potential of the networks. Of particular concern is to develop strategies to
increase the agency of network members, as it is this space of self-motivated
creativity that the greatest advantages in networking can be had. Where
appropriate, HR departments can drive the developments, as this will free time
from the network leaders to concentrate on developing the networks.
• Third, as networks rely on inspired and motivated members, it s recommended
that network leaders develop the networks as both social and professional
networks. Maintaining the network is a skill. Networks are advised to develop
and implement a training syllabus. The training will include leadership
training and training in the specific HR strategies of the company for network
leaders. Regular network skills training for members and leaders will also be a
part of the syllabus.
• Fourth, it is recommended that networks audit their activities to assess
whether all their activities can be done by employees, next to their ‘day jobs’,
or whether support staff are needed for ongoing activities. It is recommended
that the network and HR strategists map out ways of compensating employees
for their contribution to company HR strategies through their network
activities, and make these known to network members. Where possible the
contribution can be recognised in employee performance goals. Compensation
may be in the form of providing a mentor for the employee’s further career
advancement, the opportunity to participate in an external GLBT conference,
or any other form that is of service to the company, the employee and the
network.
• Fifth, while the wealth of knowledge contained within the corporate GLBT
networks in the Company Pride Platform is already substantial, it is
recommended that networks benchmark their activities against other corporate
GLBT networks in similar economic and legislative environments.
69
There is need for further research. This present research was exploratory. Action
research can be undertaken, for example, to see whether the groundbreaking work
on chaos theory by Duncan Watts (2004) can be applied to corporate GLBT
networks. Some marketers use Watts social network theory
1
to drastically cut in
advertising costs and at the same time increase profits by applying. For the HRM
practices of companies with GLBT networks, similar dramatic cost savings with
increased effect may be possible. Research can be undertaken in each company, to
explore all the possible ways a GLBT network could potentially contribute to the
specific HRM strategies in that company. For research can be undertaken on the
issue the networks have raised: the cost of loss of mobility due to repressive laws
in countries where the companies operate.

*** 16,000 words ***

1
Famously among the companies that make use of social network theory is Zara, that does not
spend any money on advertising (see Hanley 2008)
70
7. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
My intention was to learn lessons from the corporate networks that can be used in
the corporate context and extrapolated to the not-for-profit environment. What I
discovered is that there are many sorts of networks and there is no one model to fit
all. It is outside the scope of this research to discuss the non-profit context, but
several pointers can be found for developing a sustainable and, more importantly,
useful network. When establishing a network, it is important to know
- is it organized in a way that it brings the wealth of external networks into the
work environment?
- can it bring new knowledge into our projects?
- is the network supported by top management?
- is it aligned with the goals of the organization?

My intention was also to learn research techniques. I have accomplished this and I
utilized this knowledge to lead research teams in my work environment. This has
provided me with new and profitable skills.

I intended to contribute to the present knowledge on the value of networks in
corporations and in social institutions. I am satisfied that my research addressed
an important area of knowledge from a unique perspective. I hope it will one day
be one of many studies in how to increase the value of employee networks in
corporations, and that it will provide a different perspective to the prevailing
diversity perspectives that are emerging from the US and the UK.

71
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http://www.ogc.gov.uk/documentation_and_templates_business_case.asp
accessed on 2 March 2008
Ward, J and Winstanley, D (2003) “Coming Out: Recognition and Identity in
Organizations”, paper presented at 3
rd
International Critical Management
Studies Conference, Lancaster University, Management School, 7-9
th
July,
2003
Watts D.J (2004) “The ‘New’ Science of Networks”, Annual Review of Sociology,
Vol. 30 pp 243-270
Western, J, Stimson, R, Baum, S & van Gellecum, Y (2005) “Measuring
Community Strength and Social Capital”, in Regional Studies; Vol. 39.8,
pp 1095-1109
Wikipedia ( 2008) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_case accessed on 2
March 2008
Wijnhoven, U (25 February 2008). Conversation with the author. Wijnhoven is
Head, Policy & Legal and Special Assistant to the Executive Director of
the United Nations Global Compact Office
Wolfman T.G.(2007) “The Face of Corporate Leadership” in New England
Journal of Public Policy, Special Issue: Women, Vol. 22 Issue 1/2, pp 37-
72
Woody C (2007) “The cost of thinking twice” unpublished presentation at
European Gay Managers Association conference, 8-10-2007
81
APPENDIX 1 INVITATION AND INSTRUCTIONS
The following invitation and instructions were sent to all network leaders, HR
representatives and participating network members that were known to the
interviewer. Network leaders in Company 1, Company 2, Company 4, Company 5
and Company 6 network leaders forwarded the instructions to members of their
networks. Network leaders in Company 3 provided the interviewer with contact
details of the participants in their company.
1. Invitation to participate in the Company Pride Platform Network Research project

Dear Sir/Madam,

You are invited to participate in the research project into the role that networks of
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees can play in contributing
to the Human Resource Management (HRM) goals of Dutch transnational
corporations.

The research project was initiated by the Company Pride Platform and is being
carried out in partial fulfillment of the researcher’s MBA degree at Henley
Management College in the UK. The researcher is in no way affiliated with any of
the companies or networks in this study.

I received your contact information from the leaders of the Gay and Lesbian
Network in your company.

The first part of the research is a questionnaire, which will take you approximately
10 minutes to fill in. Please complete this online questionnaire by June 12
th
. You
may request an email version of the questionnaire, if you prefer using email.

To fill in the questionnaire, please go to:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=xZoUzoHHQ2Jpq4PS4lXJ1Q_3d_3d
82
The questions are designed to find out what benefit, if any, GLBT networks
provide to companies and can potentially provide to companies. The invitation to
complete the questionnaire is being sent to one HR representative in each of six
companies participating in this research (ING, TNT, IBM, Shell, Philips and
Cisco) two of the GLBT network leaders from each of the companies (where
networks already exists), and several network members (selected randomly from a
list provided by the network leaders).

I will contact you to set up a further 30 minute interview, by phone or in person
(depending on the geography and your preference!) in June.

Be assured that any information provided will be treated in the strictest confidence
and none of the participants or companies will be individually identifiable in the
resulting dissertation. You are, of course, entirely free to discontinue your
participation at any time.

Your participation is voluntary and your time is valuable. Thank you for taking
the time to participate in this research.

Any enquiries you may have concerning this project should be directed to me at
the following address:

Lin McDevitt-Pugh
C. Trooststraat 45/2
ljpugh@xs4all.nl
tel: (+31) 06-150-48468
83
2. Instructions for completing this questionnaire
This questionnaire has two parts. In the first part, you are asked to provide general
information about your organization and the GLBT corporate network.

In the second part, you are asked for your opinions. All the questions relate to HR
management strategies. All the questions are intended for both the HR
representative and the network representatives.

When you answer the questions you are asked to give a rating on a 3-point scale.
Please indicate whether, in your opinion, your answer is “To a large extent”, “to
some extent” or “not really”. If you don’t know, you can tick the box “Don’t
know”. For example, if the question is
“Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find top talent for the company to
recruit?”
and you think that this is something that HR does to a large degree, you will place
a tick (X) in the “To a large extent” square, as shown in the example below:
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don’t
know
a. Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find top
talent for the company to recruit?
X
The intention is that everyone answers every question to the best of their ability.
You are asked to answer all the questions to the best of your ability. If you do not
know the answer, please respond with “Don’t know”. Not everyone will have all
the answers to all the questions.

Some of these questions refer to the “external environment”. The external
environment in this context means both the private network of people outside the
work environment that every individual has and the general “outside world” in
which the company operates. Many GLBT people have networks that include
GLBT organizations, GLBT connections in other companies etc. These can be
useful resources for the company.
84
APPENDIX 2 ONLINE QUESTIONNAIRE
The questionnaire consisted of the following questions, but it was formatted
differently. The interviewer had intended all of the respondents to use the online
system, but one respondent was unable to access the online survey because of
company Firewall restrictions. She was sent the document in Word format.
Q
No.
GENERAL QUESTIONS
1 Name of Company
2 Your name
3 Do you represent the network or HR ?
4 In how many countries does the company operate?
5 How many employees does the company have?
6 What is the name of the company’s gay and lesbian network?
7 In what year was the network established?
8 How many members does the network have in the Netherlands?

9 What is the total number of members in the network?
10 Does the network have an executive sponsor in the company? Please provide
title of function of sponsor.

11 To which department, if any, does the network report?
Q No. YOUR OPINION TO A
LARGE
EXTENT
TO SOME
EXTENT
NOT
REALLY
DON'T
KNOW
These questions relate to how the GLBT network plays a role in
recruiting, utilizing, developing and retaining employees

12a Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find top talent
for the company to recruit?

12b Does the network initiate searches for top talent for the
company?
12c If not, could the network do this in the future?
12d Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find experts –
lawyers, marketers, engineers, scientists etc for specific
projects?
12e Does the network initiate searches for experts – lawyers,
marketers, engineers, scientists etc for specific projects?
12f If not, could the network do this in the future?
12g Does HR engage the GLBT network to help the company
find skilled contractors such as writers, accountants,
analysts?
85
Q No. YOUR OPINION TO A
LARGE
EXTENT
TO SOME
EXTENT
NOT
REALLY
DON'T
KNOW
12h Does the network initiate searches for skilled contractors
such as writers, accountants, analysts?
12i If not, could the network do this in the future?
12j Does the GLBT network play a role in gathering and using
information from external sources for the benefit of the
company?
12k If not, could the network do this in the future?
12l Was the network formed to fulfill a need among a specific
group of employees to feel they are a part of a valued
community within the company?
12m Comments
12n Is there any indication that this feeling of community
enhances people’s productivity at work?
12o Comments
13a Does the network contribute to developing in-company
career perspectives for its members?
13b Does the network work with HR to locate participants for
company projects?
13b1 If not, could the network do this in the future?
13c Do members learn about the company, and how they can
contribute to the company, through the network?
13d Is more than one network member involved in representing
the network at conferences?
13e Is there any indication that people stay with the company
because there is a network?
13g Comments
14a Does the network contribute in other ways to recruiting,
utilizing, developing and retaining employees?
14b Please list:
THESE QUESTIONS RELATE TO HOW THE NETWORK PLAYS A ROLE IN BRIDGING INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENTS TO
THE ADVANTAGE OF THE COMPANY. THE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT IN THIS CONTEXT MEANS THE WORLD OVER WHICH THE
COMPANY HAS N DIRECT INFLUENCE. EXTERNAL NETWORKS INCLUDE FAMILY, FRIENDS AND, FOR MANY GLBT PEOPLE,
GLBT ORGANIZATIONS.
15a Research, initiatives and reforms on GLBT issues can
potentially affect the company’s markets, product
development and HR policies. Does the network
consciously make use of the network of relations of its
members to bring relevant knowledge to the company?
15b If so, do you have at least one example of the network
bringing in information that has been advantageous for the
company, or will shortly become advantageous?

16a Does HR and other parts of the organization call on the
network to use its knowledge and connections with the
external environment to promote the company and its
products?
86
Q No. YOUR OPINION TO A
LARGE
EXTENT
TO SOME
EXTENT
NOT
REALLY
DON'T
KNOW
16b If so, please provide at least one example.
17 Individuals bring information and knowledge from their
external networks when they are empowered to do so.
Does the network encourage members to share their
resources with the company?
17a If so, please provide at least one example.
18a Does HR and other parts of the organization encourage
the network to use its knowledge and connections with the
external environment to initiate activities that are
advantageous to the company?
18b Comments
19 Does the network represent the company in any external
environments?
19 a If so, please provide at least one example.
20a Does the network identify business opportunities when
they occur?
20b If so, please provide at least one example.
THESE QUESTIONS RELATE TO THE ROLE THE NETWORK PLAYS IN
CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT OF TRUST WITHIN THE COMPANY
21 Do the relationships created within the network result in
network members working together on company projects?
22a Does the company acknowledge the commitment of the
network members to the goals of the company, for
example by allowing members to participate in network
activities in company time, or by acknowledging
participation during performance appraisals?
22b If so, please provide at least one example
23a Does the network provide a ‘safe space’ where people feel
acknowledged and valued?
23b Does your company have diversity training programmes, to
address the problems of some minority groups feeling they
are ‘outsiders’?
23c If so, is the network consulted in the development of
diversity training programmes?
23d If not, could they be consulted in the future?
23e Is the network involved in monitoring the success of the
diversity training programmes?
23f Are the networks specifically asked by the company to
work with the company to combat discrimination?
23g If so, please provide at least one example
24a Does the network provide information to its members
about company products?
24b Does the network provide information to its members
about HR-related issues?
87
Q No. YOUR OPINION TO A
LARGE
EXTENT
TO SOME
EXTENT
NOT
REALLY
DON'T
KNOW
24c Does the network provide information to its members
about business processes?
24d Does the network provide information to its members
about marketing issues?
24e Does the network provide information to its members
about other, company related issues?
24f Comments
THESE QUESTIONS RELATE TO THE ROLE THE NETWORK PLAYS IN
DEVELOPING KNOWLEDGE IN THE COMPANY
25a Is the network used to develop or pilot company projects?
25a Is the network used to develop or pilot company projects?

25b Is the network used to research issues relating to product
development?
25c Is the network used in developing marketing activities?
25d Do networks offer members formal leadership training?
25e Do networks offer members informal leadership training?
25f Is the network used to generate market-related knowledge
for use by the company?
25g If so, please provide at least one example
26a Does the company encourage network members to use
their internal and external networks to expand their
knowledge of technologies or skills that can be used in
developing company products?

26b If so, please provide an example
THESE QUESTIONS ADDRESS WHETHER THE GLBT NETWORK IS DESIGNED TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SPECIFIC HR GOALS OF
THE COMPANY
27 Does your company have a specific HR management strategy? Yes No Don’t know
28
If yes, please briefly state what that strategy is In the interview
that follows, we will address whether the network plays a role or
can play a role in fulfilling the company’s HR goals.
Thank you for taking the time to fill in this questionnaire.
ljpugh@xs4all.nl

88
APPENDIX 3 DISTRIBUTION OF HR STRATEGIES AND
NETWORK LEVELS IN QUESTIONNAIRE
The following table shows the questionnaire questions and their relationship to
Agency theory, HR strategies (Lepak and Snell, Bartlett and Ghoshal) and
network levels (Nahapiet and Ghoshal).
Q
no.
Question Agency HR
strategies
Network
levels
12a Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find top talent for the company
to recruit?
A Recruitment Structural
12b Does the network initiate searches for top talent for the company? A Recruitment Structural
12c If the network does not initiate searches for top talent, could it do this in the
future?
A Engaging Structural
12d Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find experts – lawyers,
marketers, engineers, scientists etc for specific projects?
A Recruitment Structural
12e Does the network initiate searches for experts – lawyers, marketers,
engineers, scientists etc for specific projects?
A Recruitment Structural
12f If the network does not initiate searches for experts, could it do this in the
future?
A Recruitment Structural
12g Does HR engage the GLBT network to help the company find skilled
contractors such as writers, accountants, analysts?
A Recruitment Structural
12h Does the network initiate searches for skilled contractors such as writers,
accountants, analysts?
A Recruitment Structural
12i If the network does not initiate searches for skilled contractors, could the
network do this in the future?
A Recruitment Structural
12j Does the GLBT network play a role in gathering and using information from
external sources for the benefit of the company?
Utilization Structural
12l Was the network formed to fulfill a need among a specific group of
employees to feel they are a part of a valued community within the
company?
A Engaging Relational
13a Does the network contribute to developing in-company career perspectives
for its members?
A Development Structural
13b Does the network work with HR to locate participants for company projects? Engaging Structural
13c If the network does not work with HR to locate participants for company
projects, could the network do this in the future?
Engaging Structural
13d Do members learn about the company, and how they can contribute to the
company, through the network?
A Bonding Cognitive
13e Is more than one network member involved in representing the network at
conferences?
A Development Cognitive
13f Is there any indication that people stay with the company because there is a
network?
Retention Structural
14 Does the network contribute in other ways to recruiting, utilizing, developing
and retaining employees?
15a Does the network consciously make use of the network of relations of its
members to bring relevant knowledge to the company?
A Engaging Cognitive
89
Q
no.
Question Agency HR
strategies
Network
levels
16 Does HR and other parts of the organization call on the network to use its
knowledge and connections with the external environment to promote the
company and its products?
A Engaging Structural
17 Does the network encourage members to share their resources with the
company?
A Utilization Structural
18a Does HR and other parts of the organization encourage the network to use
its knowledge and connections with the external environment to initiate
activities that are advantageous to the company?
A Utilization Structural
19 Does the network represent the company in any external environments? A Development Structural
20 Does the network identify business opportunities when they occur? A Engaging Structural
21 Do the relationships created within the network result in network members
working together on company projects?
A Bonding Relational
22a Does the company acknowledge the commitment of the network members
to the goals of the company?
Motivating Relational
23a Does the network provide a ‘safe space’ where people feel acknowledged
and valued?
Motivating Relational
23b Does your company have diversity training programmes, to address the
problems of some minority groups feeling they are ‘outsiders’?
Motivating Relational
23c If the company has diversity training, is the network consulted in the
development of diversity training programmes?
Engaging Cognitive
23d If the company does not consult the network for diversity training
programmes, could they be consulted in the future?
Motivating Cognitive
23e Is the network involved in monitoring the success of the diversity training
programmes?
A Bonding Cognitive
23f Are the networks specifically asked by the company to work with the
company to combat discrimination?
A Engaging Cognitive
24a Does the network provide information to its members about company
products?
Bonding Cognitive
24b Does the network provide information to its members about HR-related
issues?
Bonding Cognitive
24c Does the network provide information to its members about business
processes?
Bonding Cognitive
24d Does the network provide information to its members about marketing
issues?
Bonding Cognitive
24e Does the network provide information to its members about other, company
related issues?
Bonding Cognitive
25a Is the network used to develop or pilot company projects? Engaging Structural
25b Is the network used to research issues relating to product development? Engaging Cognitive
25c Is the network used in developing marketing activities? Engaging Cognitive
25d Do networks offer members formal leadership training? A Development Cognitive
25e Do networks offer members informal leadership training? A Development Cognitive
25f Is the network used to generate market-related knowledge for use by the
company?
Utilization Cognitive
Is there any indication that this feeling of community enhances people’s
productivity at work?
A Motivating Relational
90
Q
no.
Question Agency HR
strategies
Network
levels
26 Does the company encourage network members to use their internal and
external networks to expand their knowledge of technologies or skills that
can be used in developing company products?
Development Structural
91
APPENDIX 4 INTERVIEW STORY BOARD AND
INFORMATION
INFORMATI ON ABOUT THE I NTERVI EW
Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for participating in the research project into the role that networks of
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees can play in contributing
to the Human Resource Management (HRM) goals of Dutch transnational
corporations.

You have already completed the survey and have agreed to participate in a 30
minute interview in which we will explore in more depth some of the points
arising from the survey. In both the survey and the interviews we are exploring
how networks contribute to developing a company’s human capital resource. We
are also exploring how they could contribute more. The research will be used in
the researcher’s MBA dissertation.

The Company Pride Platform, which is sponsoring this research, will have access
to the dissertation and will be informed of any subsequent publications resulting
from the research. Be assured that any information provided will be treated in the
strictest confidence and none of the participants or companies will be individually
identifiable in the resulting dissertation. You are, of course, entirely free to
discontinue your participation at any time or to decline to answer particular
questions.

Return address: L. McDevitt-Pugh
C. Trooststraat 45/2
1072 JB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ljpugh@xs4all.nl
tel: 06-150-48468

Your participation is voluntary and your time is valuable. Thank you for taking
the time to participate in this research.

Any enquiries you may have concerning this project should be directed to me at
the contact information given above.

Lin McDevitt-Pugh
92
INTERVI EW CONSENT FORM
Consent form for participation in research
(by interview)

I ……………………………………………………………………………
hereby consent to participate as requested in the letter of introduction for the
research project into the role that networks of lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (GLBT) employees can play in contributing to the HRM goals of
Dutch transnational corporations.

1. I have read the information provided

2. Details of procedures and any risks have been explained to my satisfaction

3. I agree to my information and participation being recorded on tape

4. I am aware that I should retain a copy of the information sheet and consent
form for future reference

5. I understand that:
• I may not directly benefit from taking part in this research
• I am free to withdraw from the project at any time and am free to decline to
answer particular questions
• While the information gained in this study will be published as explained, I
will not be identified, and individual information will remain confidential
• I may ask that the recording/observation be stopped at any time, and that I
may withdraw at any time from the session of the research without
disadvantage.

6. I agree to the tape/transcript being made available to other researchers who are
not members of this research team, but who are judged by the research team to
be doing related research, on condition that my identity is not revealed.

Participant’s signature Date

I certify that I have explained the study to the volunteer and consider that she/he
understands what is involved and freely consents to participation.
Researcher’s name: Lin McDevitt-Pugh

Researcher’s signature Date
NB. Two signed copies should be obtained.
93
STORY BOARD AND QUESTI ONS
This story board was for the use of the interviewer only. Most of the questions
were asked to most of the interviewees. All of the interviewees were asked
additional questions that related to the answers they had given in their
questionnaires.
Purpose of interview
• Analyse the focus of GLBT networks in Dutch TNCs, relative to the identified
HR issues
• Identify what is missing in the strategies of GLBT networks
• Identify possible future direction of the GLBT networks to ensure a better fit
between the needs and goals of the GLBT network members and the business
needs of the organization
Starting the conversation
1. Thank you for considering the request and for agreeing to the interview
2. I would like to reaffirm that all information in this interview will be treated
with confidentiality and anonymity
3. I would also like to repeat that you have the right not to answer any question
4. As you know, I am researching the business case for corporate gay and lesbian
networks in the Netherlands, from the perspective of human resources
management. You completed a questionnaire survey. In this interview we will
explore further how networks are used to enhance the capacity of the company to
blend its mix of skills and resources and respond quickly to the constantly
changing business environment. Networks are used variously by companies, but
in general they can be seen as contributing to strategic development, knowledge
development and relationship development in the company. All this helps provide
a unique human resource strategy.
5. While we could speak at length on this subject, I have promised to limit the
time to 30 minutes.

Questions for HR
94
A
S
R
C
1 I want to explore further how networks are used as a means of creating agency in companies,
enhancing the capacity of the company to blend its mix of skills and resources and respond
quickly to the constantly changing business environment. This is of course the area in which HR
operates. To begin, I want to ask what you think about the statement : “The task of HR is to
develop the human capital resource as a contribution to the competitive advantage of a
company”?
A/ S/ R/ C/ ? 2 If not, how would you define the HR task?
A/ S/ R/ C/ ? 3 From an HR strategy point of view, what are the three most important purposes of a GLBT
company network?
A/ S/ R/ C/ ? 4 How does the network, at this moment, fulfil those purposes?
A/ S/ R/ C/ ? 5 From the responses to the survey so far, a number of networks want to contribute more than at
present to the company. How could they expand their scope?
A / S 6 In your company there are a number of networks. How is the effectiveness of networks influenced
by formal measures such as performance reviews? What other formal measures influence the
effectiveness of networks?
A / S 7 Laws, agreements and attitudes relating to homosexuality are changing at a rapid speed,
throughout the world. For example, mobility laws for same sex couples are changing in Europe.
How do you use your GLBT network to keep the company appraised of changes? How do you
use the GLBT network to help determine how the company responds to these changes?
General Questions
A / R/ ? 8 From the responses to the surveys so far, it looks like most GLBT networks were set up by
employees. Why was your GLBT network established?
S 9 A recent EU study showed that many employers are hoping that, by having a ‘diversity’ culture,
they will be able to expand the pool from which they can find their employees. From the
responses to the survey so far, very few companies are harnessing the potential of networks to
help it find skilled employees, or talent. Networks have access to specific communities that may
not be otherwise easily accessed by the company: friends of network members, study-mates,
social change movements etc. What could HR do to harness these resources for the greater
advantage of the company?
S 10 This question is about recruiting, retaining and developing talent. The responses to the survey so
far indicate that the corporate GLBT networks are good for business. The monthly “Company
Pride” drinks organised for all participants in the GLBT networks in the Netherlands provide
companies with new contacts that are then used in a business context. Canal Pride and the
August conference are good for the company’s visibility and good for the emotional attachment of
the employees to the company. What do you think about these developments, from a company
point of view?
R 11 In their responses to the survey so far, a significant number of network leaders stated that they
are committed to their company because there is a network. In other words, the network helps the
company retain resources. What do you think about this, from the perspective of resource
retention? And from the perspective of developing resources?
R
C
12 Many companies have diversity training programs but do not involve the GLBT networks in
developing them or monitoring them. What do you think about this?
C 13 Networks are pockets of individual-based knowledge and expertise. These pockets are valuable
to a company if they are somehow related to profits. For example, if the network helps acquire a
potential customer because that customer appreciates the company’s specific expertise on gay
and lesbian issues, this is valuable. In the questionnaires a number of instances of the value of
the knowledge of the GLBT network were noted. How is the knowledge of the GLBT network
embedded – stabilized - in the company?
C 14 Research shows that one of the valuable contributions of any sort of network to a company is the
continual cross-fertilize of knowledge between members. From some of the answers to the
questionnaire it can be deduced that some network members attend local and international GLBT
conferences and that this in the end benefits the company. How does this knowledge benefit the
company? How can the company make more use of this knowledge in the future?
Questions for network leaders
95
R 16 Network leaders help create an environment in which GLBT employees feel valued and welcome.
What existing HR practices support you in this work? What practices would you like to see
introduced?
96
APPENDIX 5 CONTACT SHEET INTERVIEWS
Survey
completed
Date of Interview Survey
completed
Date of Interview
CO 3.1 Yes Friday 20 June 14.00
Co 3.3 yes 7 July 22.30 AUS time (8:30
US time)
Co 3.2 Yes Thursday 19 June 9:00
Co 6.1 Yes Thurs 26 June 12.00
Co 5.1 Yes Monday 23 June 1 pm
Co 5.2 Yes Tues 24 June 2 pm
Co 5.3 Suggested 23 July 9 am
Co 2.2 Yes Wednesday 25 June 15:00
Co 2.1 Yes Monday 30 June 2 pm
Co 2.3 yes 1 July 9 am
Co 4.1 yes 27 June Friday 2 pm
Co 1.1 Yes Tuesday 24 June 12 noon
Co.1.3 Yes/no write
and ask…
Female rep network
Male rep network
HR rep company level
97
APPENDIX 6 LETTER OF INVITATION TO PARTICIPANTS
Sample Letter to HR requesting participation Lin McDevill-Iugh
C. Trooslslraal 45
1072 Iß Amslerdam
TeI 020-6790523
Re: GLBT corporate network research

To Whom It May Concern

I am approaching you in your capacity as HR officer in a company that has a
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) network. The Company Pride
Platform, a platform of corporate GLBT networks in the Netherlands, invited me
to research the present and potential role that networks of GLBT employees have
in contributing to the Human Resource Management (HRM) goals of Dutch
transnational corporations. I am doing the research in partial fulfilment of my
MBA degree at Henley Management College in the UK. I am in no way affiliated
with any of the companies or networks in this study.

I would like to engage your participation in the research. Your participation
consists of two activities. You will be asked to first fill in a questionnaire, at your
own convenience, that will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. A week or two
later I will interview you for 30 minutes – this may be by phone or I can meet you
at a location convenient to you. Be assured that any information provided will be
treated in the strictest confidence and none of the participants or companies will
be individually identifiable in the resulting dissertation. You are, of course,
entirely free to discontinue your participation at any time or to decline to answer
particular questions.

The questions in the questionnaire are designed to find out whether GLBT
networks add value to corporate HR goals. The questionnaire will be answered by
one HR representative in each of five companies participating in this research,
two of the GLBT network leaders from each of the companies, and several
network members. The questions in the questionnaire can be traced to several
elements of management theory, both on HR and competitive advantage, and on
the value of networks in the business setting. The interview with the HR
representative and, separately, the two network leaders will concentrate on how
the network ‘fits’ with the specific HR strategies used in each company.

May I count on your participation? I will call you this week for your reply.
I am looking forward to working with you on this research project,
Sincerely, Lin McDevitt-Pugh
98
APPENDIX 7 CODIFIED INTERVIEW ANSWERS
The following tables indicate what types of statements were made during the
interviews relating to HR strategies, network levels and specific area of
contribution these make to the company. The company and page number of the
transcription are cited in the last two columns.
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution
Co.
page
no.
Attraction Cognitive Link, leverage
3 18
Attraction Structural Access to public opinion
2 1
Attraction Structural Access to public opinion
4 5
Attraction Structural Access to public opinion
5 4
Attraction Structural Access to public opinion
5 1
Attraction Structural Access to public opinion
2 17
Attraction Structural Weak ties
4 4
Attraction Structural Weak ties
3 1
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Recruitment Cognitive Link, leverage
1 4
Recruitment Cognitive Link, leverage
3 18
Recruitment Relational managing change
3 18
Recruitment Relational Reciprocity
1 5
Recruitment Relational Support
1 4
Recruitment Relational Support
2 15
Recruitment Relational Support
1 5
Recruitment Relational Trust
1 4
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
1 4
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
2 1
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
6 6
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
2 15
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
3 10
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
2 17
Recruitment Structural Access to public opinion/image
1 4
Recruitment Structural Managing change
1 4
Recruitment Structural Managing change
1 4
Recruitment Structural Managing change
4 5
99
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Recruitment Structural Managing change
6 4
Recruitment Structural Managing change
1 7
Recruitment Structural Weak ties
6 4
Recruitment Structural Weak ties
4 6
Recruitment Structural Weak ties
3 18
Recruitment Structural Weak ties
3 1
Recruitment Structural Weak ties
4 5
Recruitment Structural Weak ties
4 4
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Development Structural Managing change/adaptability
5 4
Development Structural Support (Strong Ties)
1 6
Development Structural Support (Strong Ties)
1 7
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
2 5
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 1
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
5 10
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
5 12
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 15
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
5 2
Development Cognitive Organizational knowledge
2 15
Development Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
5 3
Development Relational Coaching
5 3
Development Relational Reciprocity
5 13
Development Relational Reciprocity
5 2
Development Relational Reciprocity
5 3
Development Relational Reciprocity
5 2
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Utilization Cognitive Link, leverage
2 15
Utilization Cognitive Link, leverage
3 5
Utilization Cognitive Link, leverage
5 3
Utilization Cognitive Managing innovation
4 4
Utilization Cognitive Organizational knowledge
2 6
Utilization Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 5
Utilization Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 6
100
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Utilization Cognitive Organizational knowledge
5 3
Utilization Cognitive Organizational knowledge
4 5
Utilization Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
2 1
Utilization Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
4 4
Utilization Relational Mitigate negative effects
1 7
Utilization Relational Mitigate negative effects
3 4
Utilization Relational Mitigate negative effects
5 2
Utilization Relational Mitigate negative effects
5 2
Utilization Relational Mitigate negative effects
5 3
Utilization Relational Mitigate negative effects
6 1
Utilization Relational Reciprocity
3 13
Utilization Relational Relationships
2 1
Utilization Structural Access to public opinion
6 6
Utilization Structural Access to public opinion
5 4
Utilization Structural Access to public opinion
2 4
Utilization Structural Access to public opinion
2 1
Utilization Structural Business development
3 12
Utilization Structural Business development
3 11
Utilization Structural level playing field
1 5
Utilization Structural level playing field
1 7
Utilization Structural Managing change/adaptability
5 13
Utilization Structural Managing change/adaptability
3 11
Utilization Structural Mitigate negative effects
2 2
Utilization Structural New business opportunities
1 6
Utilization Structural New business opportunities
3 1
Utilization Structural New business opportunities
2 4
Utilization Structural New info
4 6
Utilization Structural New info
3 1
Utilization Structural New info
5 3
Utilization Relational Support (Strong Ties)
5 4
Utilization Structural Weak ties
6 4
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Retention Structural Access to public opinion
3 14
Retention Structural Mitigate negative effects
2 16
Retention Structural New info
3 2
101
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Retention Relational Support (Strong Ties)
1 5
Retention Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 6
Retention Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 6
Retention Relational Reciprocity
6 6
Retention Relational Relationships
6 6
Retention Relational Relationships
3 19
Retention Relational Support
2 15
Retention Relational Support
3 7
Retention Relational Support
3 3
Retention Relational Support
5 5
Retention Relational Trust
3 3
Retention Relational Trust
3 7
Retention Relational Trust
3 10
Retention Structural cultural change
1 5
Retention Structural Support (legislative, organisational)
1 5
Retention Structural Support (legislative, organisational)
5 4
Retention Structural Support (legislative, organisational)
2 16
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Bonding Structural New info
3 8
Bonding Relational Mitigate negative effects
5 3
Bonding Relational Mitigate negative effects
5 3
Bonding Relational Outsider status
6 2
Bonding Relational Outsider status
5 3
Bonding Relational Reciprocity
5 3
Bonding Relational Reciprocity
3 8
Bonding Relational Relationships
6 4
Bonding Relational Relationships
5 10
Bonding Relational Relationships
5 4
Bonding Relational Relationships
6 5
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
6 2
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
6 5
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
5 10
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
5 5
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
3 1
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
4 5
102
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
2 17
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
3 10
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
6 6
Bonding Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
6 4
Bonding Relational Support (Strong Ties)
2 1
Bonding Relational Support (Strong Ties)
3 10
Bonding Relational Support (Strong Ties)
3 10
Bonding Relational Support (Strong Ties)
3 1
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution
Co. page
no.
Motivating Cognitive Link, leverage
5 3
Motivating Cognitive Link, leverage
5 3
Motivating Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
6 2
Motivating Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
5 10
Motivating Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
2 17
Motivating Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
2 16
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Engaging Relational Outsider status
6 2
Engaging Relational Reciprocity
6 3
Engaging Relational Relationships
3 14
Engaging Structural Access to public opinion
5 1
Engaging Structural New info
6 3
Engaging Relational Support (Strong Ties)
6 2
Engaging Relational Support (Strong Ties)
5 4
Engaging Relational Support (Strong Ties)
2 3
Engaging Relational Support (Strong Ties)
3 14
Engaging Relational Support (Strong Ties)
2 1
Engaging Cognitive Link, leverage
3 1
Engaging Cognitive Organizational knowledge
2 1
Engaging Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 15
Engaging Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 20
Engaging Cognitive Organizational knowledge
3 4
Engaging Cognitive Organizational knowledge
5 10
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
6 2
103
HR strategies Network
levels
Area of contribution Co. page
no.
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
5 7
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
2 17
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
2 1
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
4 4
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
3 18
Engaging Relational Mitigate negative effects
6 5
Engaging Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
2 1
Engaging Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
4 4
Engaging Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
5 7
Engaging Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
4 5
Engaging Relational Trust (Strong Ties)
2 17
Engaging Structural Business development
3 4
Engaging Structural Managing change/adaptability
6 2
Engaging Structural Managing change/adaptability
2 17
Engaging Structural Managing change/adaptability
6 3
Engaging Structural Managing change/adaptability
5 3
Engaging Structural Managing change/adaptability
2 3
Engaging Structural Weak ties
3 18
104
APPENDIX 8 WORLD HOMOSEXUALITY LAWS
Legend
YY No information
Homosexuality legal
YY Same sex marriages
YY Same sex unions
YY No same sex unions
YY Foreign same sex marriages recognized
Homosexuality illegal
YY Minimal penalty
YY Large penalty
YY Life in prison
YY Death penalty
Source: Wikipedia, accessed 16 August 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:World_homosexuality_laws.svg
105
APPENDIX 9 INBEDDING OF GLBT NETWORK IN
COMPANY 2
The network at Company 2 is the oldest, the best established within the corporate
structure and, paradoxically, has few members and even fewer who participate in
network events. The network is part of a non-discrimination structure that is
deeply anchored in the corporation. There is a strict division of tasks in the
structure: the networks have a purely social role, intended to make the GLBT
community feel appreciated and valued, while the GLBT executive staff are
responsible for change. Yet there are only 25 members in the whole of the
Netherlands. The founder of the network (in the 1990’s) is still the leader and he
is unable to find people to take over from him. Except at Canal Pride, only 5 or 6
people attend network events. Nevertheless, all three interviewees stated that the
network contributes to the primary goal for which it was established.

CEO
Diversity council (global)
Global Workforce Diversity Imperatives
NL
GLBT
network
Belg
GLBT
network
Lux
GLBT
network
Thematic area
Cultural
Awareness/
acceptance
Thematic area
Work/life
balance
Thematic area
People
w. disabilities
HR
organizes
senior exec
meeting
watching
progress
2 x year
Network activities
primarily social
“Mirrors” implement
HR-related activities &
business related
activities in the region
Thematic areas
initiate and
monitor diversity
policy
Support of
diversity
Drives business
and diversity link
= Benelux
Diversity person
Thematic area
Women in
Tech
Thematic area
Diverse
leadership
Thematic area
Multi-
lingualism
Co 2: The Structure of
GLBT in D&I
Thematic area
GLBT
4 co-chairs
Europe
“mirror”

106
APPENDIX 10 RESPONSES TO QUESTIONNAIRE
The following tables show how respondents answered the questions. The purpose
of the percentage column is to show majority opinions, none of which can be
translated into general figures for all companies.
Questions focusing on retention
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
Is there any indication that people stay with the company
because there is a network?
13f St ruct ural 4 5 6 12 27 44
Questions focusing on recruitment
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
Does the network initiate searches for top talent for the
company?
12b A St ruct ural 0 4 20 3 27 74
Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find top talent for
the company to recruit?
12a A St ruct ural 1 4 20 2 27 74
Does HR engage the GLBT network to help find experts –
lawyers, marketers, engineers, scientists etc for specific
projects?
12d A St ruct ural 0 2 20 4 26 77
Does the network initiate searches for experts – lawyers,
marketers, engineers, scientists etc for specific projects?
12e A St ruct ural 0 4 21 2 27 78
If the network does not initiate searches for experts, could it
do this in the future?
12f A St ruct ural 2 22 1 2 27 81
Does HR engage the GLBT network to help the company find
skilled contractors such as writers, accountants, analysts?
12g A St ruct ural 0 3 18 6 27 67
Does the network initiate searches for skilled contractors
such as writers, accountants, analysts?
12h A St ruct ural 0 1 19 7 27 70
If the network does not initiate searches for skilled
contractors, could the network do this in the future?
12i A St ruct ural 3 19 2 3 27 70
Questions focusing on development
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
Is more than one network member involved in representing
the network at conferences?
13e A Cognit ive 13 11 1 2 27 48 89
Do networks offer members formal leadership training? 25d A Cognit ive 3 4 18 2 27 67
Do networks offer members informal leadership training? 25e A Cognit ive 3 6 16 2 27 59
Is more than one network member involved in representing
the network at conferences?
13e A Relat ional 13 11 1 2 27 48 89
Does the company encourage network members to use their
internal and external networks to expand their knowledge of
technologies or skills that can be used in developing
company products?
26 St ruct ural 4 3 17 3 27 63
Does the network contribute to developing in-company career
perspectives for its members?
13a A St ruct ural 2 13 11 1 27 48
Does the network represent the company in any external
environments?
19 A St ruct ural 8 16 2 1 27 59 89
Questions focusing on utilization
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
Is the network used to generate market-related knowledge for
use by the company?
25f Cognit ive 1 4 19 3 27 70
Does HR and other parts of the organization encourage the
network to use its knowledge and connections with the
external environment to initiate activities that are
advantageous to the company?
18a A St ruct ural 6 6 12 3 27 44 44
Does the GLBT network play a role in gathering and using
information from external sources for the benefit of the
company?
12j St ruct ural 4 16 4 3 27 59
Does t he net work encourage members t o share t heir
resources wit h t he company?
17 A St ruct ural 5 12 8 2 27 44 63
107
Questions focusing on bonding
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
Does t he net work provide inf ormat ion t o it s members
about company product s?
24a Cognit ive 9 11 5 2 27 41 74
Does t he net work provide inf ormat ion t o it s members
about HR-relat ed issues?
24b Cognit ive 1 6 18 2 27 67
Does t he net work provide inf ormat ion t o it s members
about business processes?
24c Cognit ive 2 12 11 2 27 44 85
Does t he net work provide inf ormat ion t o it s members
about market ing issues?
24d Cognit ive 3 15 7 2 27 56 81
Does t he net work provide inf ormat ion t o it s members
about ot her, company relat ed issues?
24e Cognit ive 3 7 12 5 27 44 70
Is t he net work involved in monit oring t he success of t he
diversit y t raining programmes?
23e A Cognit ive 3 5 12 7 27 44 70
Was the network formed to fulfill a need among a specific
group of employees to feel they are a part of a valued
community within the company?
12l A Relat ional 18 5 1 3 27 67
Do members learn about the company, and how they can
contribute to the company, through the network?
13d A Cognit ive 3 18 5 1 27 67
Does the network provide a ‘safe space’ where people feel
acknowledged and valued?
23a Relat ional 15 9 1 2 27 56 89
Do the relationships created within the network result in
network members working together on company projects?
21 A Relat ional 1 11 11 4 27 41 81
Questions focusing on engaging
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
Is the network used in developing marketing activities? 25c Cognit ive 3 6 15 3 27 56 78
Are t he net works specif ically asked by t he company t o
work wit h t he company t o combat discriminat ion?
23f A Cognit ive 4 14 5 4 27 52 67
If the company has diversity training, is the network consulted
in the development of diversity training programmes?
23c Cognit ive 8 8 4 7 27 30 59
Does the network consciously make use of the network of
relations of its members to bring relevant knowledge to the
company?
15a A Cognit ive 8 9 5 5 27 30 63
Is the network used to research issues relating to product
development?
25b Cognit ive 2 3 20 2 27 74 85
Does the network identify business opportunities when they
occur?
20 A St ruct ural 2 12 10 3 27 44 81
Is the network used to develop or pilot company projects? 25a St ruct ural 3 7 12 5 27 44 70
If the network does not initiate searches for top talent, could it
do this in the future?
12c A St ruct ural 4 19 1 3 27 70
Does HR and other parts of the organization call on the
network to use its knowledge and connections with the
external environment to promote the company and its
products?
16 A St ruct ural 2 12 12 1 27 44 89
Does the network work with HR to locate participants for
company projects?
13b St ruct ural 0 10 15 2 27 56
If the network does not work with HR to locate participants for
company projects, could the network do this in the future?
13c St ruct ural 7 12 2 4 25 48 76
Questions focusing on motivation
Q no. Agency Network
theory
To a large
extent
To some
extent
Not really Don' t
know
Total Major-
ity %
Com-
bined %
If the company does not consult the network for diversity
training programmes, could they be consulted in the future?
23d Cognit ive 13 7 0 3 23 57 87
Does your company have diversity training programmes, to
address the problems of some minority groups feeling they
are ‘outsiders’?
23b Relat ional 11 11 2 3 27 41 81
Does the company acknowledge the commitment of the
network members to the goals of the company?
22a Relat ional 6 10 7 4 27 37 59
Is there any indication that this feeling of community
enhances people’s productivity at work?
A Relat ional 7 4 1 1 13 54
108
APPENDIX 11 ANSWERS TO QUESTIONNAIRE,
GROUPING
The following table compares the way the network leaders, the network members and the HR
representatives answered the questions in the questionnaire (online numbering system used).
HR responses to multiple response questions
12a 12b 12c 12d 12e 12f 12g 12h 12i 12j 12k 12l 12m 13a 13b 13b.1 13c 13d 13e 13f 14 15a 15b 16a 16b 17 17a 18a 18b
To a great extent 1 2 1 1 5 1 3 1 2 2
To some extent 1 2 4 1 2 6 4 4 1 4 4 4 4 4 4 3 3 4 3
Not really 4 4 5 4 6 6 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1
Don't know
Total 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 1 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
12a 12b 12c 12d 12e 12f 12g 12h 12i 12j 12k 12l 12m 13a 13b 13b.1 13c 13d 13e 13f 14 15a 15b 16a 16b 17 17a 18a 18b
To a great extent 2 2 2 4 13 7 2 5 3 9 5 1 3 3
To some extent 3 2 15 1 2 16 3 1 15 11 3 2 10 7 10 12 9 7 6 8 8 4
Not really 16 16 1 15 17 1 12 13 1 3 1 1 8 12 2 5 1 6 5 11 8 11
Don't know 2 3 3 4 2 2 6 7 3 3 2 1 1 2 4 1 2 7 5 1 2 3
Total 21 21 21 20 21 21 21 21 21 21 19 11 21 21 21 21 21 20 21 21 21 21
Network members responses to multiple response questions
12a 12b 12c 12d 12e 12f 12g 12h 12i 12j 12k 12l 12m 13a 13b 13b.1 13c 13d 13e 13f 14 15a 15b 16a 16b 17 17a 18a 18b
To a great extent 2 1 7 3 3 6 2 1 1
To some extent 1 1 10 1 13 1 12 10 4 3 5 4 7 9 5 2 4 3 6 2
Not really 11 10 10 11 8 8 1 1 8 8 1 4 1 4 4 9 5 9
Don't know 2 3 2 3 2 1 5 6 2 3 2 1 1 2 3 1 2 8 4 1 2 3
Total 14 14 14 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 8 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
12a 12b 12c 12d 12e 12f 12g 12h 12i 12j 12k 12l 12m 13a 13b 13b.1 13c 13d 13e 13f 14 15a 15b 16a 16b 17 17a 18a 18b
To a great extent 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 6 4 2 0 2 3 3 0 3 0 2 3
To some extent 2 1 5 1 1 3 2 1 3 1 1 1 5 3 3 3 4 5 2 5 2 2
Not really 5 6 1 5 6 1 4 5 1 3 0 0 0 4 1 1 0 2 1 2 3 2
Don't know 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Total 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 5 7 7 7 7 7 8 7 7 7 7
HR responses to multiple response questions
19a 19b 20a 20b 21 22a 22b 23a 23b 23c 23d 23e 23f 23g 24a 24b 24c 24d 24e 25a 25b 25c 25d 25e 25f 25g 26 27 28
To a great extent 1 1 1 1 5 3 3 3 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
To some extent 5 3 3 1 1 3 1 1 4 1 3 2 2 5 2 1 2 1 2 1 1
Not really 2 1 2 1 4 1 4 2 1 2 4 3 4 3 5 3
Don't know 1 1 1 2 1 1
Total 6 6 6 3 6 6 6 4 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5
19a 19b 20a 20b 21 22a 22b 23a 23b 23c 23d 23e 23f 23g 24a 24b 24c 24d 24e 25a 25b 25c 25d 25e 25f 25g 26 27 28
To a great extent 8 2 1 5 11 9 6 10 2 3 7 1 3 2 1 2 3 3 1 3
To some extent 10 9 8 7 7 7 6 6 4 10 3 8 3 9 9 4 2 4 2 4 3
Not really 2 7 9 5 1 2 2 9 5 16 4 15 10 7 11 16 12 14 12 14 10
Don't know 1 3 3 4 2 3 7 3 6 3 2 2 2 2 2 4 2 3 2 2 3 3
Total 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 19 21 21 21 21 21 22 21 21 21 21 21 21 21 16
Network members responses to multiple response questions
19a 19b 20a 20b 21 22a 22b 23a 23b 23c 23d 23e 23f 23g 24a 24b 24c 24d 24e 25a 25b 25c 25d 25e 25f 25g 26 27 28
To a great extent 3 5 4 2 6 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 1
To some extent 8 5 6 6 7 6 5 6 2 4 2 7 3 5 6 4 1 1 1 1 1
Not really 2 6 6 4 1 1 6 5 10 3 8 7 4 6 10 10 12 11 11 9
Don't know 1 3 2 4 2 3 6 1 5 3 2 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 2 2 2 2
Total 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 13 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 12
19a 19b 20a 20b 21 22a 22b 23a 23b 23c 23d 23e 23f 23g 24a 24b 24c 24d 24e 25a 25b 25c 25d 25e 25f 25g 26 27 28
To a great extent 5 2 1 5 6 5 4 4 1 1 0 5 0 0 1 1 0 1 3 3 1 3
To some extent 2 4 2 1 0 1 1 0 2 6 1 1 0 4 3 0 1 3 2 3 2
Not really 0 1 3 1 1 1 1 0 3 0 6 1 7 3 3 5 6 2 2 1 3 1
Don't know 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 1
Total 7 7 7 7 6 5 7 6 7 7 7 7 7 8 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 4
Network leaders responses to multiple questions
Network responses to multiple response questions
Network responses to multiple response questions
Network leaders responses to multiple questions