Thomas and Ely’s three paradigms demonstrate the various types of diversity management, the ways they work and how well they can affect a company’s management performance. Diversity means, “acknowledging, understand, accepting, and celebrating the differences among people with respect to age, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental ability, race, sexual preference, and religious belief. In a business setting diversity means, a cognitive framework shared by members of any discipline or group; a company’s business paradigm.
The discrimination and fairness paradigm- operates on the assumption that “we are all the same” or “we aspire to being all the same” (Thomas/Ely, 1996) Companies that use this paradigm focus on how well the achieve a minority recruitment level. They may even have programs to mentor and help minorities further advance their careers and train other employees to respect cultural differences. This is not how many current employer does business. They hire you based on your job experience and education. The company overall does not discriminate nor do they have a quota of minorities they have to hire. Although inside my department, the accounting department, the manager will only hire women. We have all races, religions, and ethnic background but are all women. In her past job experience men do not take orders from a woman as well as women do so she frowns upon hiring men to work under her.
Access and legitimacy paradigm- this paradigm attempts to acquire a diverse staff in order to tap into markets driven by a specific culture, age, ethnicity, or other group. Some people could describe this paradigm as a niche market. These companies pair up sales, customer service, or other department’s employees with the perspective diverse client group. Although this paradigm wouldn’t apply to my department it may apply to some aspects of my employer but not all. I work for one of the worlds largest Broadway theatre companies, so at times, we do