Stereotyping has become so prevalent in the business world. It is as if people have created a giant system that categorizes people and groups into classes. In today’s international business world, it is commonplace to work with people from different cultures and thus stereotyping will inevitably exist especially when dealing with people from diversified backgrounds.
Stereotypes is defined as ‘A fixed impression which conforms very little to the facts it pretends to represent and results from our defining first and observing second’ (katz & Braly 1935, cited in Schneider 2004, p. 16). ‘American journalist Walter Lippmann introduced the concept “stereotyping” in his 1922 book Public Opinion as a means of describing the way society set about categorizing people –“stamping” human beings with set of characteristics’ ( Nachbar & Lause 1992, n.p). Stereotypes as definitions are usually link to as offensive; they have negative connotations. Elderly are absent minded, athlete as dumb, mother-in-law as trouble maker. And you can easily fill in many others that are far more offensive. But there are also stereotypes which are positive, ‘Asian Americans are smart and hardworking, Hispanics are family oriented, black is good athletes and women are kind and caring’ (Macrea, Stangor & Hewstone 1996, p429).
In an organization context, manager tends to engage in stereotypes because ‘drawing on the cognitive ideas of Lippmann (1992) and Allport (1954) that as human beings, we need to simplify and categorize the social world’ (Hinton 2000, p.20). McShane and Travaglione (2007) states, it is impossible to recall the entire unique characteristic of the employee that they have work with. They do not have much information when they first meet. Therefore they rely extensively on stereotypes to fill in missing pieces.
Negative perception views of employer through stereotypes usually limit the person’s ability to contribute to the company (Stangor, 2000)....
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