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Chapter 2.

Diversity
in Organizations

Chapter Learning Objectives

After studying this chapter, you should be


able to:
Define

diversity and describe the two major forms of


workforce diversity
Describe the positive and negative effects of diversity by
using social categorization theory and
information/decision-making theory.
Identify the key biographical characteristics and
describe how they are relevant to OB
Identify the barriers and challenges to managing
diversity.
Describe how organizations manage diversity effectively
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Your Experience

For school group projects, it has been easier to


work with groups we could choose rather than
ones the professor chose.
1=

Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Agree
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Two Major Forms of Workforce


Diversity
Diversity: Host of individual differences
that make us similar and different
from each other.

Diversity

Surface-Level
Diversity
Deep-Level
Diversity
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Biographical Characteristics
-

Objective and easily obtained.

How are they relevant to OB?

2-5

Age

Older workers bring experience,


judgment, a strong work ethic, and
commitment to quality.
Belief is widespread that job
performance declines with increasing
age.
The workforce is aging.
U.S. legislation that, for all intents and
purposes, outlaws mandatory
retirement.
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Increased Workforce Diversity


Retirees

Sex

Few issues initiate more debates, misconceptions, and


unsupported opinions than whether women perform as
well on jobs as men do.
Few, if any, important differences between men and
women affect job performance.
Psychological studies have found women are more
agreeable and willing to conform to authority, whereas
men are more aggressive and more likely to have
expectations of success, but those differences are minor.
Sexual orientation issues (e.g., domestic partner
benefits), gender identity

Race & Ethnicity

Employees tend to favor colleagues for their own race in


performance evaluations, promotion decisions, pay
raises.
Different attitudes on affirmative action with AfricanAmericans preferring such programs than do whites.
African-Americans generally do worse than whites in
employment decisions.
No statistical difference between Whites and AfricanAmericans in observed absence rates, applied social
skills at work, or accident rates.

Disability

A person is disabled who has any physical or


mental impairment that substantially limits one
or more major life activities.
The reasonable accommodation is problematic
for employers.
Strong biases exist against those with mental
impairment

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Other Biographical
Characteristics

Tenure

People

with job tenure (seniority at a job) are more


productive, absent less frequently, have lower
turnover, and are more satisfied.
The issue of the impact of job seniority on job
performance has been subject to misconceptions and
speculations.

Religion
Although

employees are protected by law regarding


their religion, it is still an issue in the workplace.
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Ability
An individuals capacity to perform the various
tasks in a job.
Made up of two sets of factors:
Intellectual Abilities

The abilities needed to perform mental activities.


General Mental Ability (GMA) is a measure of overall
intelligence.
Wonderlic Personnel Test: a quick measure of intelligence for
recruitment screening.
No correlation between intelligence and job satisfaction.

Physical

Abilities

The capacity to do tasks demanding stamina, dexterity, strength,


and similar characteristics.
2-12

Dimensions of Intellectual
Ability

2-13

Physical Abilities

The capacity to do tasks demanding


stamina, dexterity, strength, and similar
characteristics

The three main categories of physical


ability are:
Strength

(Dynamic, trunk, static, explosive)

Flexibility
And

(extent, dynamic)

other characteristics (body coordination,

balance, stamina)
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Nine Basic Physical Abilities


Factor

Definition

Dynamic Strength

Ability to exert muscular force repeatedly or continuously


over time

Trunk Strength

Ability to exert muscular strength using the trunk muscles

Static Strength

Ability to exert force against external objects

Explosive Strength

Ability to expend a maximum of energy in one or a series


of explosive acts

Extent Flexibility

Ability to move the trunk and back muscles as far as


possible

Dynamic Flexibility

Ability to make rapid, repeated flexing movements

Body Coordination

Ability to coordinate the simultaneous actions of different


parts of the body

Balance

Ability to maintain equilibrium despite forces pulling off


balance

Stamina

Ability to continue maximum effort requiring prolonged


effort over time.
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Contrast Intellectual from


Physical Ability

Importance of ability at work increases difficulty


in formulating workplace policies that recognize
disabilities.
Recognizing that individuals have different
abilities that can be taken into account when
making hiring decisions is not problematic.
It is also possible to make accommodations for
disabilities.

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Pros and Cons of Diversity

Social categorization theory


Similarity

leads to liking and attraction

Information/Decision-Making Theory
Diversity

leads to better task-relevant


processes and decision-making

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Forms of Discrimination
Type of Discrimination

Definition

Discriminatory policies or Actions taken by representatives of the organization that


deny equal opportunity to perform or unequal rewards for
practices
performance
Sexual Harassment

Unwanted sexual advances and other verbal or physical


conduct of a sexual nature that create a hostile or offensive
work environment

Intimidation

Overt threats or bullying directed at members of specific


groups of employees

Mockery and insults

Jokes or negative stereotypes; sometimes the result of jokes


taken too far

Exclusion

Exclusion of certain people from job opportunities, social


events, discussions, or informal mentoring; can occur
unintentionally

Incivility

Disrespectful treatment, including behaving in an aggressive


manner, interrupting the person, or ignoring his or her
opinions
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A Process Model of Diversity

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Managing Diversity

Enables all people to


perform up to their
maximum potential.
How can managing
diversity be a
competitive
advantage?

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Challenges to Managing Diversity

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Barriers and Challenges to


Managing Diversity
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Inaccurate stereotypes and prejudice


Ethnocentrism
Poor career planning
An unsupportive and hostile working
environment for diverse employees
Lack of political savvy on the part of diverse
employees

Barriers and Challenges to


Managing Diversity
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Difficulty in balancing career and family issues


Fears of reverse discrimination
Diversity is not seen as an organizational
priority
The need to revamp the organizations
performance appraisal and reward system
Resistance to change

Effects of Diverse Work


Environments

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Managerial Implications - Gender

Provide developmental assignments to women


Women should:
Be

exceptionally competent & seek out mentors


Build social capital
Assist work/life balance by delegating housework
Improve negotiating skills
Take credit for accomplishments
Create a partnership with spouse to be mutually
supportive
Balance need to be assertive and communal
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Benefits of Hiring Older Workers

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Managerial Implications Age

Provide challenging work assignments that make a


difference to the firm
Give the employee considerable autonomy and latitude in
completing a task.
Provide equal access to training and learning opportunities
when it comes to new technology.
Provide mentoring opportunities whereby older workers can
pass on accumulated knowledge to younger employees.
Ensure that older workers receive sensitive, high-quality
supervision
Design a work environment that is both stimulating and fun.

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Multi-Generational
Workforce
Companys who maximize crossgenerational communication improve
knowledge transfer yielding

Better competitive position


Increased learning and development of
employees

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How Organizations Manage Diversity


Effectively
Attracting,
Selecting,
Developing, and
Retaining Diverse
Employees
Effective
Diversity
Programs

Diversity in
Groups

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Flexible Work Arrangement

What types of flexible work


programs have your experienced at
work?
What were their pros and cons?
What challenges do organizations
face when attempting to
accommodate varying schedules?
What are the benefits?
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Implementing Diversity
Management Strategies
Effective Diversity
Programs
Teach Legal
Framework

Teach the
Market
Advantages

Foster the
Skills and
Abilities of All
Workers
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Summary and Managerial


Implications

Understanding of the effects that diversity has or


organizations and the people that comprise them.

By acquiring an understanding of diversity issues in


organizations, a manager can be a more effective leader
achieving greater outcomes because of the unifying effects of
diversity applications.

Selection: An effective selection process will improve the fit


between employees and job requirements.

Diversity management: it must be an ongoing commitment that


crosses all levels of the organization.

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