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Once we open the corporate governance/human resources nexus to deeper inquiry, mutual scholarly interest in diversity and discrimination follows naturally. Firms have complex motives to take nondiscrimination and the promotion of diversity seriously. First, at least certain forms of discrimination are both unlawful and socially illegitimate and hence present threats of potential liability and injury to reputation. Second, human resources demands are such that attracting and motivating a diverse workforce is a competitive imperative. At the same time, however, offsetting economic forces may exist that favor subtle forms of discrimination and hostility to diversity, even if intentional and overt racial or gender-based bias is mostly outdated. In sum, the process of promoting diversity and ending discrimination, whether to avoid liability or simply to remain competitive, is a difficult challenge faced by many firms. It demands a close look at the efficacy of the internal decisionmaking and authority structures of the firm.

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61 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1615-1643 (2004)