Workplace Diversity & Human Resource ManagementOther

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Human Resource Management -- Diversity in the Workplace

Bell, Myrtle P., Diversity in Organizations, 2nd Edition (2012), Cengage Learning

Assignments (3 pages per assignment = 9 pages)

Read Chapters 1 and 2.

Answer questions 1-5 on page 36.

What is diversity?

Diversity in the book is defined as either real or perceived differences in people in regard to race, ethnicity, sex, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, religion, work and family status, weight and appearance, and other identity-based attributes that affect their interactions and relationships. One of the key words in this statement is "perceived" and it is important to note that diversity is based on perceptions of differences rather than actual differences.

How can relevant diversity issues be identified in different contexts?

The culture and socioeconomic norms must be considered to be able to determine the factors that can constitute diversity or lack thereof. For example, different international cultures will have significantly different contexts in which they qualify what constitutes diversity.

List and discuss the six reasons that Cox and Blake proposed valuing diversity in organizations. What else can be given as a reason for valuing diversity?

Cox and Blake proposed that there are six specific business related reasons why organizations should value diversity.

1. Cost -- high turnover, low morale among minority groups, possible litigation, lost business

2. Resource Acquisition -- the ability to be able to recruit the best human resources from a variety of groups and backgrounds

3. Marketing -- people will view the brand with more respect, create more value, and avoid marketing blunders

4. Creativity -- people with different backgrounds have been shown to be able to problem solve with greater creativity

5. Problem Solving -- through brainstorming, diverse groups can produce higher quality ideas than homogenous groups

6. System Flexibility -- a more diverse group can navigate different types of environments to create more opportunity for the organization.

What are some negative outcomes of increasing diversity, and given the inevitability of increasing diversity, what can organizations do to reduce these negative outcomes?

Introducing diversity can create dysfunctional communication processes, discrimination, harassment, negative perceptions of unqualified workers, lower attachment, commitment, and work related satisfaction. The most effective ways to mitigate these negative aspects of creating diversity in organizations is through leadership and training.

What does research say about the importance of diversity to individuals?

Individuals also benefit from being exposed to diversity. The research seems to indicate that it builds empathy in individuals which can result in a greater concern for social problems as well as an appreciation of other cultures among other desirable outcomes.

2. Execute Exercise #2 on page 36.

In the United States diversity seems to be heavily rooted in race and financial status however in developing countries, such as Mexico, there seems to be a different mix of factors constituting diversity. The racial factor in Mexico is replaced by a more regional affiliation and there are also differences in income, profession, and poverty as well.

3. Answer questions 1-4 on pp60-61.

1. List of important aspects to identity

Gender

American

Financial

Religious

2. Elected Officials

The elected officials in our area do not seem to really represent the demographics of the populace that they are representing. For example, there are many business leaders that are currently holding office positions. These individuals have more resources and more connections than most people.

3. Willingness to Express Prejudiced Beliefs

The culture in this country has seemed to make prejudiced beliefs a negative factor and most people do not express themselves as prejudiced and will make an effort to present themselves as appreciative of diversity. However this trend only seems to be evident on the surface. Many individuals still act on prejudices even though they perceive themselves otherwise. Statistics is a powerful tool to understand various social trends and openness to diversity.

4. The experience of being a minority is definitely different than being in the majority. For me personally, I felt more reserved and less likely to other my own opinion than I would otherwise. I felt somewhat uncomfortable and a little outnumbered. Also at times I have felt like the focus was on me specifically since I was representing a minority.

4. Execute Exercise #2.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ebola-recovery-doctor-set-leave-hospital-26825669

This story is a human interest piece that features a photo of two white males and three Asian females. The story was about Ebola and how a doctor was cleared of an Ebola diagnosis. The two white men are doctors and the three Asian women are most likely care workers.

2. Assignment Two: Read Chapters 3 and 4.

1. Answer questions 1-5 on ppp105-6

1. Relationship between compliance and valuing diversity.

Providing employees with rights to nondiscriminatory treatment can definitely serve as one way to increase diversity. However, being in compliance does not necessarily mean that the organization actually values diversity. The organization can comply with the bare minimum requirements and not necessarily try to foster an environment of diversity. Yet these legislative requirements help to make important progress when attempting to offer equal opportunities to a diverse populace.

2. Diversity in International Countries

Building diversity in international countries can be a tricky proposition because some cultures are not accepting of diversity. For example, in many countries women are excluded from many positions in business. Thus an international company can actually violate social norms by including women in certain positions. There is really nothing that can be done in this situation and the organization must choose whether to include diversity in their workforce in this location. However, the international company does have the opportunity in this situation to be an example of diversity and promote it in more traditional cultures.

3. Discrimination Lawsuit

I do not personally know of anyone that has been involved in a discrimination lawsuit. The closest thing I've personally heard of is a claim of wrongful termination in an employment position for an unemployment case.

4. EEOC Cases

The sexual harassment at a private company was pretty egregious. The manager in this case was allowed to get away with it because there was no one to challenge him; except for the women who eventually filed a suit and won.

The GoDaddy case was also egregious and discriminating on the basis of religion is definitely not something that should happen in any modern corporation. It is likely that this occurred because the employees encountered a relatively few amount of Muslim employees and the company did not have an adequate diversity training and diversity policies in place.

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company was also an interesting case. It is likely that this type of behavior was common in Southern States such as North Carolina. In this case the company did not even seem to care about meeting compliance standards and they had to pay back wages and other a pool of African-Americans and Hispanics positions within the company.

2. Execute Action #1 on page 106.

Wal-Mart had to pay $72,500 dollars to and individual that could not take the standard drug test for medical reasons. The EEOC describes the suit as (EEOC, 2014):

According to the EEOC's suit, an assistant store manager at the Walmart store in Cockeysville, Md., offered Laura Jones a job as an evening sales associate, contingent on Jones passing a urinalysis test for illegal drugs. After Jones advised that she cannot produce urine because she has end-stage renal disease, the assistant store manager told her to ask the designated drug testing company about alternate tests, the EEOC said. According to the complaint, Jones went to the drug testing facility the same day and learned that the facility could do other drug tests if the employer requested it. Jones relayed this information to the Walmart assistant store manager, but management refused to order an alternative drug test. Jones's application was closed for failing to take a urinalysis within 24 hours.

The EEOC suit against the Wal-Mart store did make news but primarily local news. There were also many specialty HR blogs that covered the case.

3. Answer questions 4a-b and 5a-b on page 145.

4A

It is likely that Black applicants with a White-sounding name would be more likely to be called in for an interview. However, in a prejudiced HR department they would more than likely be denied employment at this phase. Yet one tactic that could help organizations alleviate this bias is to decide interviews based on the applications without the name present. This would allow them to evaluate the candidates based on their qualifications and experience without a name bias.

4B

I asked a couple of people what experiences they have had with their names on interviews and nobody seemed to really perceive a difference. However, the people I asked had fairly common names so this makes sense.

5A

I would imagine that most African-Americans would simply decide to shop elsewhere. However, those that do complain should be applauded. A manager could assure that the discriminatory practices would be quickly disciplined and that the store would implement diversity… [END OF PREVIEW]

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