Diversity & Demography's Impact on Individual Behaviors

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Diversity and Demography's Impact on Individual Behaviors
November 28, 2005

Diversity and Demography's Impact on Individual Behaviors

Diversity and demography are increasingly important issues in today's workplace. Diversity is the "presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another" and demography is the "background characteristics that help shape what a person becomes" (Schermerhon, Hunt, & Osborn, 2005). By using demography, managers can learn how to handle the needs or concerns of people of different genders, ethnicities, etc (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). As both issues become more prominent in the workplace the impact on individual behaviors are also affected. The various types of characteristics associated with diversity and demography may include ethnicity, gender, personality traits, and value and attitude differences.

The term "racial and ethnic groups" is used to define the range of employees that belong to different cultures or races that now make up the growing area of the new workforce (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). This type of demographic characteristic can lead to a number of individual behavior issues such as stereotyping and discrimination. Stereotyping happens when a group or category defines a person and this can lead to generalized misconceptions when assessing an individual's abilities. In comparison, discrimination is a legal issue that prohibits employers from taking adverse action against someone based solely on race, color, age, religion, sex, or national origin (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). When this occurs the negative affect on the entire organization is increased and could lead to a greater turnover rate, conflict between employees, and misunderstandings due to differences in beliefs and customs. Management must be educated on the proper ways to prevent stereotyping and also eliminating any illegal discrimination.

Another demographic characteristic that can affect individual behavior is...
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