Diversity In Organizations

Many managers  are finding innovative  ways to integrate diversity initiatives into their organizations.  These initiatives  teach current employees to value differences, direct corpo- rate recruiting efforts, influence supplier decisions, and provide development training for women and minorities. Smart managers value diversity and enforce the value in day-to-day decision making.

In the United States, today’s companies reflect the country’s image as a melting  pot but with a difference. In the past, the United States was a place where people of different national origins, ethnicities, races, and religions  came together  and blended to resemble one another. Opportunities for advancement were limited to those workers who easily fit into the main- stream of the larger culture. Some immigrants  chose desperate measures to fit in, such as abandoning their native  languages, changing  their last names, and sacrificing their own unique cultures. In essence, everyone  in workplace  organizations  was encouraged to share similar  beliefs, values, and lifestyles despite differences in gender, race, and ethnicity.109

Now organizations recognize that everyone is not the same and that the differences people bring to the workplace are valuable.110  Rather than expecting all employees to adopt similar  attitudes and values, managers are learning that these differences enable their com- panies to compete globally and to tap into rich sources of new talent. Although diversity in North America  has been a reality  for some time, genuine efforts to accept and manage diverse people began only in recent years. Exhibit 9.10 lists some interesting milestones in the history of corporate diversity.

The following sections introduce the topic of diversity, its causes, and its consequences. We look at some of the challenges minorities  face, ways managers deal with workforce diversity, and organizational responses to create an environment  that welcomes and values diverse employees. The chapter  also considers  issues of sexual harassment, global diversity, and new approaches to managing diversity in today’s workplace.

Source: Daft Richard L., Marcic Dorothy (2009), Understanding Management, South-Western College Pub; 8th edition.

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