Chapter 15

Learning Objectives

•      Understand how the changing demographics of the labor market are changing the cultural fabric of organizations

•      Describe how organizational culture is being affected by having a greater percentage of women and minorities in the workforce

•      Describe how diversity issues are impacting organizations, as well as HRP

Learning Objectives

•      Become familiar with different forms of discrimination, and how HR programs and processes can help to reduce these effects

•      Describe the ways organizations attempt to integrate women and minorities into the organization, and the relative success of these efforts

•      Understand the purpose and methods of cross-cultural training


•      What is the current status of women and people of color in the U.S. workforce?

•      Is there a “glass ceiling” that limits the advancement of women and people of color in U.S. organizations?

•      What is the difference between equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and managing diversity?

•      How effective are diversity training programs employed by organizations?

•      What can organizations do to better prepare their employees to deal with cross-cultural issues, especially if they are sent to work in another country?

•      What types of HR programs can organizations use to develop and promote a culturally diverse workforce?


•      A set of shared values, beliefs, norms, and artifacts that are used to interpret the environment and as a guide for all kinds of behavior

Common Cultural Characteristics

Table 15-1

•      Common geographic origin

•      Migratory status

•      Race

•      Language or dialect

•      Religious faith

•      Ties that transcend kinship, neighborhood, and community boundaries

•      Shared traditions, values, and symbols

Common Cultural Characteristics

Table 15-1

•      Literature, folklore, music

•      Food preferences

•      Settlement and employment patterns

•      Special interests in regard to politics

•      Institutions that specifically serve and maintain the group

•      An internal perception of distinctness

•      An external perception of distinctness

Organizational Culture

•      A set of shared values, beliefs, norms, artifacts, and patterns of behavior that are used as a frame of reference for the way one looks at, attempts to understand, and works within an organization


•      Material and nonmaterial objects and patterns that intentionally or unintentionally communicate information about the organization’s technology, beliefs,
values, assumptions, and ways of doing things


•      Material artifacts include documents, physical layout, furnishings, patterns of dress, and so on

•      Nonmaterial artifacts include organizational stories, ceremonies, and leadership styles

Patterns of Behavior

•      Help to reinforce an organization’s assumptions, beliefs, and ways of doing things through staff meetings, training programs, filing forms, and other normal organizational practices

Labor Market Changes and Discrimination

•      Discrimination can occur in various ways

–  access discrimination occurs when an organization places limits on job availability through such things as restricting advertisement and recruitment, rejecting applicants, or offering a lower starting salary

–  treatment discrimination occurs after a person is hired and takes the form of limiting opportunities

Treatment Discrimination Against Women

•      Women have made considerable progress moving into formerly male-dominated occupations such as medicine, law, management, advertising, and engineering

Changes in the Number of Women at the Top of Fortune 500 Companies, 1995–2006

Table 15-1                                                                                                  1995          2000            2003                 2006

Sexual Harassment

•      Many forms of sexual harassment,

–  unwanted off-color jokes and comments

–  outright unwanted sexual propositions and touching

–  offers of job rewards in exchange for sexual favors

Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment

•      If an employee’s subjection to or rejection of the sexual conduct is used as a basis for an employment decision

•      Even if the harassment is not linked directly to an employment decision, it can still be illegal harassment if the behavior is found to have created a hostile work environment

Treatment Discrimination Against Minorities in Organizations

•      Primarily in the lack of promotional opportunities and incidents of racial harassment

•      Minorities have had difficulty moving into key executive and policymaking positions

•      Racial harassment on the job can take many forms

Equal Employment Opportunity

•      The right to obtain jobs and earn rewards in them regardless of non-job-related factors

•      Follow-ons make it unlawful for employers to make employment decisions on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap, Vietnam-era or disabled veteran status, and pregnancy, unless these factors can be shown to be job related

The Glass Ceiling

•      An invisible but impenetrable boundary prevented women and minorities from advancing to senior management levels

•      Subtle attitudes and prejudices that block women and minorities from upward mobility, particularly into management jobs

Glass Ceiling Commission

•      Goals were:

–   to promote a high quality, inclusive, and diverse workforce capable of meeting the challenge of global competition

–   to promote good corporate conduct through an emphasis on corrective and cooperative problem solving

–   to promote equal opportunity, not mandated results

–   to establish a blueprint of procedures to guide the department in conducting future reviews of all management levels of the corporate workforce

Commission Findings

•      Neither women nor minorities tended to advance as far as their white male counterparts, although women advanced further than minorities

•      While most organizations made a concerted effort to identify and develop key (white male) employees, few organizations had taken any ownership for equal employment opportunity and access

•      The few women and minorities who held executive jobs were in staff positions that were considered outside the corporate mainstream for promotions to senior-level positions

•      While most of these organizations held federal government contracts, most ha inadequate equal employment and affirmative action record keeping

Impact of Recent Immigration Patterns

•      One reason for the growth in the number of minority workers has been the large influx of immigrants since the 1960s

•      Differences based on culture, religion, and other variables must be considered as these individuals are assimilated into U.S. society and work settings

Adapting to Demographic Change

•      Many organizations established programs to facilitate the recruitment and retention of qualified women and minorities.

•      The inclusion of women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups has made organizations more culturally diverse

Cultural Diversity

•      The existence of two or more persons from different cultural groups in any single group or organization

Three Different Approaches

•      They are

–  Affirmative action

–  Valuing differences

–  Managing diversity

•      Each approach seeks to extend beyond the legal mandates required by the equal opportunity (EEO) laws

Affirmative Action Programs

•      Purpose of affirmative action programs is

–  to bring members of underrepresented groups, usually groups that have suffered discrimination, into a higher degree of participation in some beneficial program

Steps to Meet Affirmative Action Requirements

•      Prepare a written policy statement on equal employment opportunity/affirmative action (EEO/AA)

•      Designate an affirmative action officer

•      Publicize an EEO/AA policy statement

•      Conduct an analysis of the surrounding labor market to determine if its current labor force is representative

Steps to Meet Affirmative Action Requirements

•      If a protected group is underrepresented in any area within the organization, develop goals and timetables to achieve parity with the external labor market

•      Develop specific programs and activities to achieve these goals and timetables

•      Establish an internal auditing and reporting system of its programs and activities

•      Develop support for affirmative action, both inside and outside the company

Affirmative Action

•      Sometimes requires actions such as preferential recruiting and hiring or placement of certain groups when those groups are underrepresented in an occupation within an organization

Differences Between EEO and AAP

•      Under affirmative action, the employer is asked to explicitly consider race and gender in such decisions, if women and minorities are not adequately represented in a particular job or job category

•      Under EEO, employer seeks to ignore race and gender as much as possible when making employment decisions

Race and Gender Discrimination

•      Remain troubling issues in American society

•      Both men and women vary widely in their perceptions of affirmative action in particular, and diversity in general

Valuing Differences and Diversity Training

•      Valuing differences

–  create an environment in which each person’s cultural differences are respected

•      Diversity training programs vary in scope and length


•      Common misgiving about emphasizing differences is that it fails to recognize that people identify with each other because of shared interests, values, goals, and experiences

•      Costs of doing diversity training

Potential Problems with Diversity Training

Table 15-3

Potential Problems with Diversity Training

Table 15-3

Potential Problems with Diversity Training

Table 15-3

Managing Diversity

•      A comprehensive managerial process for developing an environment (organizational culture) that works for all employees

•      Focus is on inclusion

Managing Diversity Approach

•      Requires

–  A long-term commitment to change

–  Substantive changes in organizational culture

–  A modified definition of leadership and management roles

–  Both individual an organizational adaptation

–  Structural changes

Long-Term Commitment to Change

•      Pillsbury’s Three Year Plan

–  To develop and implement strategic plans for creating more culturally diverse organizations

–  To increase leaders’ and managers’ knowledge and skills in managing a culturally diverse workplace

–  To attract, motivate, and retain women and people of color

Needed Changes

•      Substantive change in culture

•      Modified definitions of leadership and management roles

•      Both individual and organizational adaptation

•      Structural changes

Pillsbury’s Program for Managing Diversity

Table 15-4

Pillsbury’s Program for Managing Diversity

Table 15-4

Pillsbury’s Program for Managing Diversity

Table 15-4

Pillsbury’s Program for Managing Diversity

Table 15-4

Pillsbury’s Program for Managing Diversity

Table 15-4

Pillsbury’s Program for Managing Diversity

Table 15-4

Effectiveness of Managing Diversity Programs.

•      Following reactions have been reported:

–   Deep-seated biases and prejudices that emerge as a reaction to fast-paced social change

–   A perceived competition for jobs and resources, creating what some people see as a threatening environment

–   The tendency of some people to see the political correctness movement as a direct threat to the First Amendment—which has created a legal and social minefield

–   Confusion about such terms as political correctness, diversity, multiculturalism, pluralism, equal opportunity, and affirmative action

Some Comparisons of Affirmative Action and Diversity Management

Table 15-5

Some Comparisons of Affirmative Action and Diversity Management

Table 15-5

Some Comparisons of Affirmative Action and Diversity Management

Table 15-5

Cross-Cultural Education and Training Programs

•      Globalization is increasingly being linked to diversity management efforts

•      Globalization has also resulted in more individuals being given expatriate assignment

•      Many organizations are providing cross-cultural training to prepare these individuals for their assignments

Cross-Cultural Awareness Training

Deals with at least four elements:
1. Raising the awareness of cultural

2. Focusing on ways attitudes are shaped
3. Providing factual information about each

4. Building skills in the areas of language,

nonverbal communication, cultural stress
management, and adjustment adaptation


Most Important Diversity Practices

Table 15-6

Most Important Diversity Practices

Table 15-6

Cultural Programs

•      Programs that focus on how attitudes are shaped help people to understand how
cultural stereotypes are formed and the destructiveness of cultural bias

•      Providing factual information about each culture is necessary to reinforce new assumptions, values, beliefs, and attitudes about different cultures

Cultural Programs

•      Programs that build skills in the areas of language, nonverbal communication, cultural stress management, and adjustment adaptation address critical interpersonal relations of employees both inside and outside the organization

Questions for Cultural Awareness Training

Table 15-7

Questions for Cultural Awareness Training

Table 15-7

Questions for Cultural Awareness Training

Table 15-7

Challenges for HRP

•      Seeking to remove all causes of discrimination

•      HRP Can

–   Be willing to confront the underlying assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes that foster bigotry and stereotyping that exist within their organization

–   Examine their organization’s practices in the areas of socialization, orientation, career development, and sexual and racial harassment

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

• Acceptable interpersonal distance in various countries is

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

•      It is inappropriate behavior to touch others on the head in most Asian countries

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

Acceptable length of eye contact in various cultures is

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

Variations of handshakes in various countries are

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

Body Language in Cultures Worldwide

Table 15-8

•      Crossing legs is in poor taste among most Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures. The Russians find it distasteful to place the ankle on the knee

Socialization and Orientation

•      Following issues should be considered:

–    New employees (including women and minorities) may feel isolated when their cultural differences prevent them from obtaining the interesting and challenging work assignments that are needed to learn important job-related skills and to qualify for promotions

–    Women and minorities may experience additional stresses if they feel they must become “bicultural” in order to be accepted by coworkers in the majority group

–    Women and minorities are sometimes held to higher standards than other coworkers as they enter nontraditional occupations

•      Failure to consider these issues can result in the loss of talented employees

Career Development

•      Programs that promote valuing differences and managing diversity can be useful in creating a positive climate for career advancement

•      “If you are going to attract the best … people into your organization, you’d better have a culture; you’d better have an environment in which those people feel they can prosper and flourish” (Jim Preston, former CEO of Avon)

Mentoring to Promote Diversity

•      Minorities in homogeneous mentoring relation-ships receive more psychosocial support (e.g., personal support, friendship) than those in diverse mentoring relationships

•      Mentors are also better role models in homogeneous relationships

•      Psychosocial support existed in diverse relationship when both the mentor and protégé showed the preferred strategy for dealing with (racial) differences

Composition of Relationship, Mentor Functions, and Protégé Outcomes

Fig. 15-1

Sexual and Racial Harassment Training

•             Four steps

–         Preparation of a policy and complaint procedures for

•         defining the scope of responsibility,

•         prompt and measured responses to claims of harassment

•         authority to address the issue

•         multiple avenues for filing complaints

Sexual and Racial Harassment Training

•             Four steps

2.  Assessment of the organizational climate

•         determine if the organization is ready to accept the appropriate change, particularly if such training will be mandatory

•         survey the employees to see how they feel about harassment issues

Sexual and Racial Harassment Training

•      Four Steps

3.  Content of the training program

•   describe the current laws including interpretation of recent court decisions,

•   review the organizational policy and procedures, communicate a set of organizational standards of conduct

•   outline responsibilities of supervisors

•   discuss methods of counseling or referring victims

•   address situations where harassment is likely to take place

Sexual and Racial Harassment Training

•      Four Steps

4.  Selecting the trainer or trainers

•   Care must be taken in selecting a trainer who has both expert knowledge of the law and an under-standing of the organizational politics


•      Human resource development, that is, some combination of training and development, career development, and organizational development, can be applied to approach the challenges and potential benefits of workforce diversity

•      Training is part of the solution, but certainly only one part, just as in meeting all corporate strategy and productivity goals