Following George Floyd’s death in 2020, grassroots activism and protest reminiscent of the historic 1960s Civil Rights movement spread across the United States and abroad. Unlike the movement of the 1960s, the government did not respond with laws and oversight agencies to hold organizations accountable for change. Instead, corporate leaders voiced resounding commitments of financial pledges. Many organizations rapidly hired experts specializing in Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to address activist demands. Inspired by the 2020 social movement, this study aimed to explore the contemporary landscape of DEI through the lens of leaders in the field. The study applied a qualitative research methodology, capturing valuable insight regarding changes in organizations that uphold DEI principles. The information collected during the interviews underwent a thematic analysis applying a socio-technical framework. This approach enabled the scouting of trends impacting elements of the organization’s design. Consequently, the research uncovered perceived conditions of DEI, surfacing challenges and opportunities encountered with integrating DEI into the fabric of organizations.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Diversity in the workplace; Social integration—Business enterprises; Social movements

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Gary L. Mangiofico