Literature Review Chapter: Diversity in the Workplace

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[. . .] (DuPont, 1999, p.11) Dealing with the spaniel personality requires that one "be entertaining" and that one "pay them direct compliments." (DuPont, 1999, p.12) As well when dealing with the spaniel personality one must allow them "plenty of time to state their case and support their dreams and opinions." (DuPont, 1999, p.12) When dealing with the collie personality it is recommended that one "show them personal interest before getting to the subject" and that one provide this personality type with a mentor and "actively listen and discuss alternatives slowly." (DuPont, 1999, p.12) DuPont notes that an important consideration in development of workplace diversity is that of 'prejudice'. Prejudice is reported as a "preconceived feeling or bias and it's a normal human reaction." (DuPont, 1999, p.13) Prejudices are such that "come from our family, our friends, our environment, the media, and other external influences -- wherever we first learn our beliefs." (DuPont, 1999, p.13) Included in the area of prejudice is stereotyping noted to occur "when we apply our biases to all members of a group." (DuPont, 1999, p.13) There are noted by DuPont to be specific ways that the American culture differs from other cultures. One of these variations is in the "giving and receiving compliments." (1999, p.15) Americans are reported to like it when receiving compliments however, individuals from other cultures do not believe in accepting compliments in front of others because it is considered to be vain. The same is true in the area of acknowledgement of personal achievement. Stated as workplace solutions for diversity are the following recommendations:

(1) Ward off change resistance with inclusion. - Involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity initiatives in your workplace;

(2) Foster an attitude of openness in your organization. - Encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all;

(3) Promote diversity in leadership positions. - This practice provides visibility and realizes the benefits of diversity in the workplace;

(4) Utilize diversity training. - Use it as a tool to shape your diversity policy; and (3) Launch a customizable employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive reporting. - Use the results to build and implement successful diversity in the workplace policies. (Multicultural Advantage, 2012, p.1)

DuPont conducted a culture comparison in several areas and reports in the area of greeting that native-born Americans are "usually outgoing, shake hands firmly. Socially, men may hug or kiss cheeks with women and women tend to be the same with men." (DuPont, 1999, p.16) Mexican-Americans when greeting shake hands and give a slight bow when meeting women in business and Japanese-Americans when greeting shake hands very gently. (DuPont, 1999, p.16) When comparing eye contact among the different cultures, DuPont (1999) notes that Native Americans use moderate to strong eye contact while Mexican-Americans use strong eye contact and drop their eyes as a sign of respect. Japanese-Americans are noted to use less direct eye contact the more respected the individual is. In the area of decision-making, DuPont notes that Native Americans are quick and independent in their decision-making while Mexican-Americans in authority are not required or expected to gain the input of others and take much longer to make decisions than their counterparts in the study. Japanese-Americans, in the area of decision making, take a very long time and do not like to say no although that does not mean that they are saying yes.

Johnson Controls study entitled "Exploring How Diversity Impacts On Our Workplace" reports that there is a traditional vs. An emerging view of diversity. The traditional view of diversity holds that it is illegal to discriminate against people at work on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. The contemporary view holds that it is illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of communication, learning styles, mobility and flexibility, combat with technologies, collaboration practices, culture, business boundaries in terms of networked organization and fragmentation. (Johnson Controls, 2004, p.1) Johnson Controls states that businesses "need to 'get under the skin' of diversity and look beyond gender, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation, focusing instead on instilling adverse culture that encourages differences in work styles, personality and ways of thinking, Providing an environment in which people can be themselves at work will unleash creativity and innovation, which has the potential to transform the workplace." (Johnson Controls, 2004, p.2) Stated as key words under the category of individual diversity include those of "preferences, values, beliefs, observable behaviors, expectations, wants, aspirations, opinions, degrees of toleration and acceptance of others, dreams, different stakeholder perceptions, image, abilities, education levels, and talents." (Johnson Controls, 2004, p.3) Key words regarding diversity within and across groups are noted to include "diverse thinkers with common purpose, diversity of skills mix within teams, collaboration trumps competition, valuing and enabling each other, community, and conflict and power." (Johnson Controls,2004, p.3)

The work of Ramirez (2010) states that stereotyping in the workplace involves "placing an n individual or group of individuals into a category which can then lead to discrimination. Illegal discrimination can place the organization and even individuals at a greater risk to lawsuits." Ramirez additionally notes that by ignoring diversity in the workplace, workplace conflicts can result and the outcome is decreased productivity for the organization. Embracing diversity however, can result in broadening perspectives and driving creativity. Placing value on individual differences results in "greater acceptance of all viewpoints which reduces workplace conflict, stereotyping, illegal discrimination, and reduces the risk of lawsuits." (Ramirez, 2010, p.8) Management of diversity involves testing assumptions prior to acting on those assumptions and getting to know ones' coworkers while keeping ones' viewpoints open to new and differing opinions. (Ramirez, 2010, paraphrased) It is also important to examine the organization's procedures and policies and to take immediate action when there are offensive comments, behavior, or jokes that disrespect others' diversity. Management should necessarily solicit feedback from diverse individuals and should have a suggestion box for promoting diversity in the workplace. (Ramirez, 2010, paraphrased) It is important as well to "acknowledge and utilize different employee talents" and to "work to resolve conflicts and consider employee perceptions." (Ramirez, 2010, p.8) Finally, Ramirez states that one should remember "the golden rule and treat others the way you want to be treated." (2010, p.8) Mediation skills involving identifying the problem, people, performance or related attitudes and insuring communication as effective between all parties. Logic rather than emotion should be used in mediation and the similarities rather than differences should be emphasized. Diverse individuals should be involved in problem resolution teams and compromise should be used whenever it is possible. The behavior rather than the person should be addressed when problems arise. (Ramirez, 2010, p.10) The work of Esty, et al. (nd) reports that some younger managers "feel a generation gap when they are exposed to disapproval and sometimes downright correction by direct reports older than themselves." This has resulted in the development of what Etsy, et al. calls "a curious situation" in that older workers are respected and valued in many places however in other organizations "…receive little if any encouragement to develop further and are pressured out of their jobs at the earliest opportunity." (nd)

Greenwood and Murphy (2009) reports in generational differences in the workplace, specific to personal values, behaviors and popular beliefs and states the fact that Baby Boomers "are thought to be competitive and loyal workaholics who value individual freedom and dedication to task" and Generation X in contrast are individual desiring a balance between family and work while Generation Y individuals are "socially sensitive, optimistic, ambitious, curious, technologically adept and easily bored." (Greenwood and Murphy, 2009) The work of Notter (2002) notes that dealing with diversity in the workplace "means understanding and relating effectively with people who are different…" (p.1)

There have been four generations identified in today's workforce including the following:

Generation Born: Age Now:

Matures 1920-40 62-82

Boomers 1940-60 42-62

Generation X 1960-80 22-42

Millennial 1980-2000 <22n

The Matures is a group that is influenced by religion and family with education viewed "as a dream…leisure time is understood as a reward for hard work." (Notter, 2002, p.4) Core values of this generation include dedication, sacrifice, hard work, and conformity in addition to law and order, respect for authority, patience, delayed reward, duty before pleasure, and adherence to rules. (Notter, 2002, p.4) The Boomers are described as being "self-absorbed" and education viewed as "a birthright" rather than as a dream. Core values of this generation include optimism, team orientation, personal gratification, health and wellness, personal growth, youth, work, and involvement. (Notter, 2002, p.4) Generation X are often described as latch-key kids and often the children of divorced parents. The Core values of this group are diversity, global thinking, balance, techno-literacy, fun, informality, and self-reliance. (Notter, 2002, p.4) The Millennial born after 1980 have the core values of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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