A Framework for Pursuing Diversity in the Work Place

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Case Analysis

A Framework for Pursuing Diversity in the Work Place

By

Dr. Thomas Delong and Mr. Michael Brookshire

Group Dynamics for Teams (HRDV 5560)
Instructor: Dr. Innocent Nkwocha
April 23, 2007

Team One Members: Alisha Carlton, Saundra Carr, Jeanna Dixon,
Shereka Rhett, Sara Young

Case Analysis

A Framework for Pursuing Diversity in the Work Place

Comprehend the Case Situation

Mr. Thomas Delong and Mr. Michael Brookshire paper assesses the costs and benefits of pursuing diversity. They reviewed the primary barriers to creating diverse workplaces and propose options for companies’ interest in pursuing diversity in their organization. The fundamental reason for embracing diversity is the perspective on discrimination and diversity. Discrimination is an act or pattern of acts that affects the individual. Diversity is an attribute of an organization’s culture that has an impact on the entire organization. First of all, discrimination is easier to assess because discrimination laws seek only to determine whether an individual has been treated inequitably because of his or her demographic category. Diversity is a broader concept having to do with the overall climate of an organization and its composition of mixed constituents. It is important to note that discrimination in hiring generally precludes diversity, however, lack of diversity does not necessarily indicate discrimination. Identify the Problem/Formally State the Problem

The federal law on discrimination has had legislative amendments since 1870 to the U. S. Constitution. Race was eliminated as a voting barrier (by the Fifteenth Amendment), gender in 1920 (Nineteenth Amendment), and class in 1964 with the prohibition of poll taxes (Twenty-Fourth Amendment). However the United States government did not officially outlaw discrimination in the workplace until the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Since 1964, other laws were passed prohibiting overt discrimination.

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an executive order requiring federal contractors to use affirmative action for minority employees. Affirmative Action is defined as an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women. Later moves extended affirmative action to federal and state agencies. The federal affirmative action law has had several battles in the legal arena since 1978 (Regents of the University of California v. Bakke). The most recent being the Supreme Court interpretation of the constitutionality of affirmative action in 2003 in cases on the University of Michigan undergraduate and law programs. With this ruling, the court interpreted affirmative action as a means to a positive end not only for minorities but also for the organization in question. The Supreme Court also asserts that a diverse population benefits all members of an organization in a way that a non-diverse population would not. This far reaching standard has significant implications for business leaders and for their organizations.

The team agrees that conceptualizing the effects of diversity will involve a change process. With the organization realizing change as ongoing and change in any part of a system eventually will affect all of its parts. There is a need for new approaches to influence policy toward diversity with organizational structure and communication. Policy will need to be reviewed for diversity in training programs, hiring and promotion patterns, and identifying and removing obstacles which may impede the attainment of diversity goals and objectives of the organization.

The three main business rationales for having a diversity program will be reviewed and presented in this case study as first steps in pursuing diversity in the workplace: a.attraction and retention of employees,

b.customer and supplier relationships, and
c.workgroup performance.
The most prevalent issue...
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