Good Essay About Managing For Effective Work Diversity
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Workplace discrimination, in any form, has a way of breaking down morale in the long run, which may result to high turnover rates when diversity conscious companies start emerging. However, managing workplace diversity is a complicated matter that needs reliable data, statistical tools, and insightful managers. Iverson’s article attempted to help identify diversity themes for future research use. This essay will attempt to thoroughly understand the article from its objectives, findings, conclusions, assumptions, and implications.
There are four specific research questions guiding the study: (1) which diversity issues in the hospitality industry concerns most the minority managers? (2) What current actions the hospitality organizations are doing right or wrong about diversity? (3) Which concerns or themes that value diversity demonstrate the strongest in the organizational practices? (4) What comprehensive, conceptual model, which identifies organizational practices resulting to a diversity valuing climate, emerged from the data? (Iverson, 2000)
Most important information
The favorability data found in Exhibit 2 converges largely in the middle 3.0 (2.24 [gender bias] – 3.76 [management value on diverse work group]) values, which indicates an overall average perception on current corporate diversity practices across the 32 diversity themes (Iverson, 2000). However, the author pointed to Exhibit 4 as a depository of the “more poignant” data obtained from interviews, understood as the most significant information obtained in the study. These data will be summarized here according to the positive-negative classification used.
Negative data: The current organizational initiatives to promote diversity (e.g. race/skin color, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and language barrier) are merely for show, and devoid of genuine commitment. Whites continue to dominate the organization; low pays for minority managers. Employees feel unappreciated and used and need to prove themselves. It is presumed, however, that hard work and dedication are bases for promotion and no mention of such critical skills in higher managerial positions such as long-term planning, budgeting, and written reportorial skills, among other essential factors that may be considered in promotion decisions.
Positive data: Consistent corporate policies and diversity programs include English-language courses, equal opportunity, diversity courses, and minority-important holidays. Top executives are already diverse ethnically, whether or not increased representation is necessary. Management helps through minorities with potentials. Sexual orientation was not an obstacle to career progression; diversity as an advantage (e.g. Asian reputation for hard work).
Workforce diversity: The mix of employees in the organization that do not belong to the larger majority group and, in this study, defined according to race or ethnic origin.
Diversity management: The policy and practice of providing equal treatment to both the majority and minority groups within the organization, not even subtle forms of discrimination.
Hospitality-related organizations: Those organizations that operate within the hospitality industry, such as hotels.
A main assumption is that respondent reports (e.g. matching between interpretation and reality) accurately of their perception and interpretation of management behavior in relation to workforce diversity. Report reliability should consider respondent bias. For instance, in Exhibit 4, Negative views (1), the fact that Whites “solely” run the organization does not necessarily mean race discrimination. Is the top management a large shareholder of the company? Is he or she a close confidante of the owner? These are issues that go beyond diversity concerns, which should be verified before report validities can be established without question. Comparative questions can be asked in the succeeding items. In Positive Views (12), the respondent considered diversity programs as proof enough on the company’s dedication to diversity initiatives. Do other employees in the company share the same opinion on these programs?
There is general merit to the inference that management attitude and behavior engender much of the negative emotions associated with diversity issues. However, the evidentiary level of the study, if this should be the only basis for a management decision, is technically weak to merit serious organizational action. Following or not following the line of thought proposed in this study will have no valuable consequence on the company other than a sense of responding to negative testimonial data whether positive or negative. No company sincere in keeping their costs low would venture to spend money in response to such results. Moreover, although the hospitality companies involved in this study showed no extraordinary performance in workforce diversity management (as far as its employees are concerned), the opinions are moderate overall.
Three HR questions to ask (and why)
Q1: Since the data gathering design was convenience sampling, how sure are you that those who agreed to be interviewed were not those who have polarized opinions on the issue? The time spent in an interview may be ordinarily longer than any ordinary employee would prefer; thus, those who have the strongest opinions, and usually the small minorities, have the motivations to express their opinions whether positive or negative.
Q2: The study seems to have failed in considering many other extraneous factors. How did you ensure that the respondents have no other motives to provide a positive or negative opinion towards diversity issues within the company? Again, this goes back to the sampling design, which did not show measures to control extraneous factors that may have affected the motives behind the opinions.
Q3: Diversity item no. 14 (preference to minorities in hiring, promotion) appears discriminatory to non-minorities in the hiring and promotion policies. Why can’t it be phrased in such a way that it will avoid discrimination against the majority in order to not discriminate against the minority? The conceptual framework behind this question appears unsound. Minorities should be hired or promoted only when they deserved to be hired or promoted; not simply because they are minorities. This question engenders mutual discrimination instead of eradicating discrimination in the workplace. Discriminating minorities shift only which group commits discrimination. (The conversation will be continued when relevant questions are asked based on the answers to these questions.)
The study succeeded in identifying important diversity themes. However, it failed to establish the internal validity of the interview answers provided. As such, the information gather about the themes cannot be generalized to the rest of the employees within each hotel organization who joined in the survey. Without generalization, management will have a hard time, utilizing the results of this study as it cannot determine need for change.
Iverson, K. (2000, April). Managing for effective workforce diversity. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 31-38. [Attached]
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