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Human Resource Management

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Human Resource Management (MGT501)
VU
Lesson 8
WORK PLACE DIVERSITY
After studying this chapter, students should be able to understand the following concepts:
A. Work Force Diversity
B. Sources of work force diversity
C. Managing the diversified work force
LESSON OVERVIEW
One of the greatest challenges facing organizations today is managing workforce diversity in a way that both
respects the employees' unique attitudes and promotes a shared sense of corporate identity. This chapter
explores the issues that are intrinsic to diversity management. In the United States, as abroad, the design and
implementation of HR programs cannot ignore the diverse nature of the work force. Thus, by the end of
this chapter the reader should have a better grasp of diversity issues and how to handle them successfully
A. Work Force Diversity
Any perceived difference among people: age, functional
specialty, profession, sexual orientation, geographic origin, life
style, tenure with the organization, or position. Diversity simply
refers to human characteristics that make people different. The
sources of individual variations are complex, but they can
generally be grouped into two categories: those over which
individuals have little or no control and those over which
individuals have more control. Unless effectively managed,
diversity among employees may have a negative impact on
productive teamwork. Affirmative action is not diversity
management. Affirmative action emerged from government
pressure on business to provide greater opportunities for women
and minorities. Managing diversity is an outgrowth of natural or
environmental trends such as demographic changes and
international competition. Moreover, diversity is considered an
asset in terms of improving organizational functioning and
reflecting the customer market.
B. Sources of work force Diversity
Today diversity refers to far more than skin color and gender. It is a broad term used to refer to all kinds of
differences. These differences include women in business, dual-career families, workers of color, older
workers persons with disabilities, immigrants, young persons with limited education or skills, educational
level of employees.
i.  Racial & Ethnical Groups
ii. Older Workers
iii. Gender
iv. Education
v. Dual-career Families
vi. Religions & Culture
vii. Persons with Disabilities
viii. Immigrants
ix. Young persons with limited education or skills
x. Competitive advantage though work force diversity
xi. Marketing
xii. Creativity, innovation, and problem solving
xiii. Flexibility
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Human Resource Management (MGT501)
VU
i.
Racial & Ethical Groups: Workers of color often experience stereotypes about their group
(Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, etc.). At times, they encounter misunderstandings and
expectations based on ethnic or cultural differences.
ii. Older Workers--as the world population is growing older, a trend that is expected to continue
through the year 2000. In addition, the trend toward earlier retirement appears to be reversing itself.
iii. Gender (Women in Business): Women represent almost 11.9 percent of corporate officers at
largest companies. However, the number of women in entry and midlevel managerial positions has
risen from 34 percent in 1983 to 46 percent in 1998, meaning many more women are in the
pipeline to executive spots. Today, there are more than 9 million women-owned businesses, up
from 400,000 in 1972. The number of nontraditional, single-parent households in the United States
is growing. Because more than half of all marriages today end in divorce, this trend is expected to
continue. Often, one or more children are involved. Of course, there are always widows and
widowers who have children as well, and there are some men and women who choose to raise
children outside of wedlock.
iv. Education: Another form of diversity that is now found in the workplace is that of the educational
level of employees. The United States is becoming a bipolar country with regard to education, with
a growing number of very educated people on one side and an alarming increase in the illiteracy
rate on the other.
v. Dual-Career Families: The increasing number of dual-career families presents both challenges
and opportunities for organizations. As a result of this trend, some firms have revised their policies
against nepotism to allow both partners to work for the same company. Other firms have
developed polices to assist the spouse of an employee who is transferred. When a firm wishes to
transfer an employee to another location, the employee's spouse may be unwilling to give up a
good position or may be unable to find an equivalent position in the new location. Some companies
are offering assistance in finding a position for the spouse of a transferred employee.
vi. Religion and Culture: Due to globalization religion and culture based diversity is also increasing
in organizations.
vii. Persons with disabilities: A handicap, or disability, limits the amount or kind of work a person
can do or makes achievement unusually difficult. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities.
viii. Immigrants: Today the permitted level of legal immigration is increasing. Some are highly skilled
and well educated, and others are only minimally qualified with little education. They have one
thing in common--an eagerness to work. They have brought with them attitudes, values, and
mores particular to their home-country cultures.
ix. Young persons with limited education or skills: Each year thousands of young, unskilled
workers are hired, especially during peak periods, such as holiday buying seasons. In general, they
have limited education--high school or less. More jobs can be de-skilled, making it possible for
lower-skilled workers to do them.
x. Competitive advantage through Work Force Diversity: For many years' organizations, the
original impetus to diversify their workforces was social responsibility and legal necessity. Morally
ethically it was right to do so. Today many organizations are approaching diversity efforts from a
moral practical, business oriented perspective,. Increasingly, diversity can be a powerful tool for
building completive advantage. Companies with a reputation for providing opportunities for
diverse workforce will have a completive advantage in a labor market and will be sought out by the
most qualified employees, In addition when employee believe their differences are not merely
tolerated but valued , they may become more loyal, productive and committed.
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Human Resource Management (MGT501)
VU
xi. Marketing: Companies are realizing that consumers, like the workforce, are changing
demographically. Just as women and minorities may prefer to work for an employer that values
diversity, they may prefer to patronize such organizations. A multicultural workforce can provide a
company with greater knowledge of th preferences and consuming habits of thus market place.
This knowledge can assist companies in designing products and developing market campaigns to
meet those consumer needs. A diverse workforce can also give company competitive edge in a
global economy by facilitating understanding of other customers, cultures, and market place needs.
xii. Creativity, innovation, and problem Solving: Work team diversity promotes creativity and
innovation, because people from different backgrounds hold different perspective on issues.
Diverse groups have a broader base of experience from which to approach problem; when
effectively managed, they invent more options and create more solutions than homogeneous
groups do. In addition, diverse workgroups are freer to deviate from traditional approaches and
practices.
xiii. Flexibility: A diverse workforce can enhance organizational flexibility because successfully
managing diversity requires a corporate culture that tolerates many different styles and approaches.
Less restrictive polices and procedures and less standardized operating methods enable
organization to become more flexible and thus better able to respond quickly to environmental
changes.
xiv. Diversity Management and Affirmative Action Programs: We can define the workforce
diversity management as set of activities involved in integrating diverse employees into the work
force and using their diversity to the firm's competitive advantage
C. How organization Cultivate a Diverse Workforce:
An Organization's plans for becoming multicultural and making the most of its diverse workforce should
include:
I.
Securing top management support and Commitment
II.
Organizational Assessment
III.
Attracting employees
IV.
Developing Employees
V.
Retaining employees
I. Securing top management support and commitment: Obtaining top-level commitment
and support is critical for diversity programs to succeed. One way to communicate this
commitment to all employees as well as to the external environment is to incorporate the
organization's attitudes toward diversity into the corporate mission statement and into
strategic plans and objectives. Managerial compensation can be directly linked to
accomplishing diversity objectives. Adequate funding must be allocated to diversity effort
to ensure its success. Also, top management can set an example for other organization
members by participating in diversity programs and making participation mandatory for all
managers. Top management or diversity directors alone cannot do the work fof mamnagin
diversity. Many companies rely on minority advisory groups or task forces to monitor
organizational policies, practices, and attitudes; access their impact on the diverse groups
within the organization; and provide feedback and suggestions to top management.
II. Organizational Assessment: The next step in managing diversity is to assess the
organization's workforce, culture, policies, and practices in areas such as recruitment,
promotions, benefits, and compensation. In addition, the demographics of the labor pool
and the customer base should be evaluated. The objective is to identify problem areas and
make recommendations where changes are needed.
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Human Resource Management (MGT501)
VU
III. Attracting Employees: Companies can attract a diverse, qualified workforce through using
effective recruiting process, accommodating employees' work and family needs, and
offering alternative work arrangements.
IV. Developing Employees: Employees can be developed in a variety of ways. Here we will
focus on skills training and diversity training.
V. Retaining Employees: As replacing qualified and experienced workers become more difficult
and costly, retaining good workers will become much more important. A number of
policies and strategy will increase retention of all employees, especially those who are
"different" from the norm.
STEPS TOWARD MANAGEMENT OF DIVERSITY
a.
Managing Diversity means taking steps to maximize diversity's potential advantages while
minimizing the potential barriers, such as prejudices and bias that can undermine the functioning of
a diverse workforce.
b. Boosting Workforce Diversity ­ Employers use various means to boost workforce diversity: start
diversity programs; have departmental diversity meetings; form
special
networking and mentoring groups; and/or direct recruiting ads
to  one  or
more of the online minority-oriented job markets
c.  Equal Employment Opportunity Versus Affirmative
Action ­ Equal employment opportunity aims to ensure that
anyone, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin,
or age, has an equal chance for a job based on his/her
qualifications.  Affirmative  action  goes  beyond  equal
employment opportunity by requiring the employer to make
an extra effort to recruit, hire, promote, and compensate
those in protected groups to eliminate the present
effects of past discrimination.
d. Affirmative Action: Two Basic Strategies ­ The good
faith effort strategy is aimed at changing the practices
that contributed to minority groups' or females' exclusion or
underutilization. The quota strategy mandates bottom-line results through hiring
and promotion restrictions.
Challenges in Managing Employee Diversity
Diversity offers opportunities as well as challenges. The challenges include appropriately valuing diversity,
balancing individual needs and group fairness, dealing with resistance to change, ensuring group
cohesiveness and open communication, avoiding employee resentment, keeping the focus on performance,
retaining valued performers, and maximizing opportunity for all employees.
a.
Resistance to Change: Although employee diversity is a fact of life, the dominant groups in
organizations are still composed of white men.
b. Segmented Communication Networks: One study found that most communication within
organizations occurs between members of the same sex and race. Therefore diversified workforce
organization may face the challenge of segmented communication networks.
c.
Resentment: Equal employment opportunity that can be defined as fairness of employment that is
free from all sort of discrimination in majority of organizations was a forced change rather than a
voluntary one.
d. Backlash: While women and minorities may view a firm's "cultural diversity policy" as a
commitment to improving their chances for advancement, white men may see it as a threat.
How to avoid Backlash: Many organizations that have instituted diversity programs have experienced
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Human Resource Management (MGT501)
VU
adverse reactions from employee groups, particularly white men. Here are some guidelines for HR professionals and
company managers who are attempting to manage diversity without adversity.
i.  Adopt an inclusive definition of diversity that addresses all kinds of differences among employees, including
(but not limited to) race and gender.
ii. Make sure that top management is not only committed to establishing a diversity program but also
communicates that commitment directly to all employees
iii. Involve everyone, including white men, in designing the diversity program.
iv. Avoid stereotyping groups of employees, such as white men, when explaining cultural or ethnic differences
v.  Recognize and reward white men who are part of the solution rather than blaming men who are part of the
problem.
vi. Avoid one-time training efforts that stir up emotions without channeling them in productive directions. Use
ongoing training that encompasses diversity as only one facet of needed change in the corporate culture.
e.
Retention: The job satisfaction levels of women and minorities are often lower than those of white
men.
f.
Competition for Opportunities: As minority populations grow in the U.S., competition for jobs
and opportunities is likely to become much stronger.
g. Lower Cohesiveness: Diversity can create a lack of cohesiveness. Cohesiveness' refers to how
tightly knit the group is and the degree to which group members perceive, interpret and act on their
environment in similar or mutually agreed upon ways. Because of their lack of similarities language,
culture, and/ or experience, diverse workforce typically are less cohesive than homogeneous groups.
Often mistrust, miscommunication, stress and attitudinal differences cohesiveness, which inurn can
diminish productivity.
h. Communication problem: Perhaps the most common negative effect of diversity is
communication problems. These difficulties include misunderstanding, inaccuracies, and slowness.
speed is lost when not all group members are fluent in the same language or when additional time is
required to explain things.
i.
Diversity also increases errors and misunderstandings. Group members may assume they
interpret things similarly when in fact they do not ,or they may disagree because of their different
frames of references .
j.
Mistrust and tension: People prefer to associate with others who are like themselves. This
tendency often leads to mistrust and misunderstanding of those who are different because of lack of
contact and low familiarity. it also causes stress and tension ,and reaching agreement on problems
can be difficult.
k. Stereotyping: We learn to see the world in a certain way based on our backgrounds and
experiences. Our interests, values and cultures act as filters and distort, block and select what we see
and hear. We see and hear what we expect to see and hear. Group members often inappropriately
stereotype their "different" colleagues rather than accurately perceiving and evaluating those
individual's contributions, capabilities aspirations and motivations. Such stereotypes inurn affect
how people employee stereotyped as unmotivated or emotional will be given less -stress ­
provoking jobs than their coworkers. Those job assignments will create frustrated employees,
perhaps resulting in low commitment, higher turnover, and underused skills.
Key Terms
Affirmative Action:
Steps that are taken for eliminating the present effects of past discrimination
Cohesiveness:
Refers to how tightly knit the group is and the degree to which group members
perceive, interpret and act on their environment in similar or mutually agreed upon
ways
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION TO HRM:Growing Importance of HRM, Road Map of the Course
  2. ESSENTIALS OF MANAGEMENT:Concepts and Essential of Management, Managerís Roles
  3. ORGANIZATION AND COMPONENTS OF ORGANIZATION:Open versus Closed Systems, The Hawthorne Studies
  4. PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIOR:Why to work in organizations?, The Goals of Organizational Behavior
  5. INDIVIDUAL VS. GROUP BEHAVIOR:What Are Roles?, Problem solving Team
  6. PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT TO HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:Records and Administration, Competitive Advantage
  7. HRM IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT:Productivity, New Trends at Work Place
  8. How organization Cultivate a Diverse Workforce, STEPS TOWARD MANAGEMENT OF DIVERSITY
  9. FUNCTIONS AND ENVIRONMENT OF HRM:Compensation and Benefits, Safety And Health, Interrelationships of HRM Functions
  10. LINE AND STAFF ASPECTS OF HRM:Authority, Line versus Staff Authority, Staff Manager
  11. LEGAL CONTEXT OF HR DECISIONS:Doing the Right Thing, Affirmative Action, Unintended Consequences
  12. HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING (HRP):Benefits of HR Planning, Forecasting Human Resource Availability
  13. STRATEGIC PLANNING AND HRIS:HRís Strategic Role, Human Resource Information System, Common HRIS Functions
  14. JOB ANALYSIS:Purposes of the job Analysis, Questions Job Analysis Should Answer
  15. JOB ANALYSIS:Methods of Collecting Job Analysis Information, Observation, Source of Data
  16. JOB ANALYSIS (CONTD.):SURPLUS OF EMPLOYEES FORECASTED, Diversity through Recruiting Efforts
  17. SOURCES OF RECRUITMENT:ALTERNATIVES TO RECRUITMENT, Quantity of the Applicants, Quality of the Applicants
  18. SELECTION:Initial Screening, Advantages of Successful Screening
  19. SELECTION TESTS:Characteristics of Properly Designed Selection Tests, Guidelines for Conducting an Interview
  20. SELECTION PROCESSÖ CONTD:Background Investigations, Physical Exam, Selecting Managers
  21. SOCIALIZATION:Compensation and Benefits, Team Membership, Stages in socialization Process, Training and Development Trends
  22. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT:Learning, Phases of Training, Why Transfer of Training Fails
  23. MAXIMIZING LEARNING:Following up on Training, Repetition, Feedback, Purposes of T & D
  24. CAREER MANAGEMENT:Individual career planning, Career Planning and Development Methods
  25. PERFORMANCE:Determinants of Job Performance, Why is performance measured?, Performance Management
  26. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:What to Evaluate, The Appraisal Interview, PROBLEMS IN PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL
  27. JOB EVALUATION AND PRICING:THE APPRAISAL PERIOD, Ranking method,
  28. COMPENSATION SYSTEM:Pay, Job Pricing, Compensation: An Overview, Compensation Surveys
  29. BENEFITS:Total Compensation, Discretionary Benefits (Voluntary), Workplace Flexibility
  30. ROLE OF MONEY IN PERFORMANCE OF EMPLOYEES:Types of Pay-for-Performance Plans, Empower Employees
  31. MOTIVATION:The Motivation Process, Motivational Theories, Challenges of motivating employees
  32. OCCUPATION, HEALTH & SAFETY:Physical Conditions, Accident Investigation, Smoking in The work place
  33. STRESS MANAGEMENT:Symptoms of Stress, Managing Stress,
  34. COMMUNICATION IN ORGANIZATION:Burnout, Social Support at Work & Home, Communication in organization, Meetings
  35. TRADE UNIONS:Collective Bargaining, The HRM Department in a Nonunion Setting, Phases of Labor Relations
  36. CONFLICT AND NEGOTIATION:Transitions in Conflict Thought, Individual Conflict Management Styles
  37. POWER AND POLITICS:Sources of Power, Advantages and Disadvantages of PowerPower and Politics in Context
  38. EMPLOYEE RIGHTS AND DISCIPLINE:Contractual Rights, Management Rights, Disciplining Employees,
  39. DISCIPLINE (CONT...):Factors to Consider when Disciplining, Disciplinary Guidelines, Employee Separations
  40. LEADERSHIP:The Leaderís Behavior, Situational Theories of Leadership, Becoming a Leader
  41. REVISION (LESSON 12-21):Plans, Job Specification, Human resource planning, Selection Process, Corporate Culture
  42. REVISION (LESSON 22-26):Training, Case Study Method, Training, Performance
  43. REVISION (LESSON 27-35):Classification Method, Compensation, Empowerment, Mediation
  44. INTERNATIONAL DIMENSIONS OF HRM:Global Corporation, Type of staff members, Approaches to Global Staffing
  45. CONCLUSION & REVIEW:Strategies for Gaining Competitive Advantage, High-performance Work System