The Equity, Diversity and Interdependence Framework: A Framework for Organisational Learning and Change.

Karin Eyben, Duncan Morrow, Derick Wilson

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The genesis for the Equity, Diversity and Interdependence Framework (EDIF) emerged from the different practices and experiences of Counteract and Future Ways. As an organisation committed to challenging sectarianism in the workplace, Counteract wished to acknowledge, in some manner, those organisations that were consistently challenging intimidation. This early vision was driven by workplace experiences of resolving often dangerous and threatening disputes fuelled by: • The failure to acknowledge difference and fairness in workplace relationships. • An avoidance of the reality that an organisation is made up of people who are shaped by the fears and tensions present in wider society. In 1991 Counteract and the ‘Understanding Conflict’ Project (University of Ulster), which evolved into the Future Ways Programme, began working together on seminars and training events to support Counteract’s workplace initiatives. In 1997, Future Ways published a report entitled ‘A Worthwhile Venture? Practically Investing in Equity, Diversity and Interdependence’which reframed community relations work in terms of the three principles of Equity, Diversity and Interdependence. Pascal McCulla joined the project in 2000, on secondment from the Department of Finance and Personnel, to test this Framework with a number of different partner organisations. In an increasingly divided society, it was obvious that unless workplaces found ways of dealing with these fears and divisions, the long-term future of both workplaces and the region was at risk. It is now clear that as one of the few places where people meet across lines of division, the workplace carries a potential for change absent in many other areas in society. Whether they are ‘For-Profit’, Public or ‘Not-for-Profit’ organisations drawing on public resources or sentiment they carry a governance or citizenship role in contributing to building an inclusive society. This framework emerges out of these understandings. It is underpinned by our conviction that a sustainable and prosperous society is underpinned by fairness (Equity), an acknowledgement of our differences (Diversity) and a relational understanding of the ways in which we live and work together (Interdependence). The framework has been developed on the basis of an internal-external dialogue between an organisation and an external critical partner. The role of the external partner is to be the ‘grit in the oyster’, raising issues critical for the organisation. This role may also be played by an internal group of staff mandated by the formal leadership of the organisation. The framework can be used by small groups, teams and organisations committed to nurturing ‘good relations’ whether through legislative demands such as Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act (1998), internal developments or community changes. New initiatives often start off small with discrete groups of people. This framework is about supporting fragile experiments as well as wider organisational change programmes.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUlster University
Number of pages112
ISBN (Print)ISBN 1-85923-160-8
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Equity
  • Diversity
  • Interdependence
  • Organisational Learning
  • Organisational Change
  • Reconciliation
  • Community Relations
  • Sectarianism
  • Racism


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