Transformative intersectionality: Moving business towards a critical praxis

Drawing on intersectionality's historical feminist roots of critical praxis and recent re-radicalization of the theory, this paper urges for an expansion of the concept of intersectionality in business and marketing-related studies. To extend the transformative potential of intersectionality theory, we call for scholars and practitioners to move beyond the study of intersecting identity markers (e.g., gender, race, class) to include assessments of power structures and intersectional oppressions. We propose the transformative intersectional framework (TIF) to help scholars and practitioners to explore sources of oppressions more deeply and broadly. We illustrate the analytical capability of the TIF by examining a much lauded business-to-business service that seeks social justice and change—diversity training programs. Using the TIF, we identify the inherent and (in)visible complexities of injustices with which organizations must grapple. We close by demonstrating how the TIF can enrich practice and propose recommendations for action. • Re-radicalized intersectionality provides transformational potential to firms. • Diversity programs require intersectionality and context-specific perspective. • Standardization of implicit bias tests neglects intersecting identities. • Diversity training overlooks deep systemic issues and glocalized conditions. • Depth and breadth are key to managerially useful intersectional understanding.


social justice  corporate citizenship  diversity training  diversity training programs  gender inequalities  intersectionality  potential theory (mathematics)  racial inequalities  social change  transformative consumer research  transformative intersectional framework 


Laurel Steinfield, Nacima Ourahmoune, Robert L. Harrison, Catherine A. Coleman, Jan Brace-Govan, Linda Tuncay Zayer, Minita Sanghvi, and Wendy Hein (2019). Transformative intersectionality: Moving business towards a critical praxis. Journal of Business Research, 100, Pages 366-375.



Laurel Steinfield
Nacima Ourahmoune
Robert L. Harrison
Catherine A. Coleman
Jan Brace-Govan
Linda Tuncay Zayer
Minita Sanghvi
Wendy Hein

Journal of Business Research | 2019

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