Public Personnel And Labor Relations Essay Samples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Workplace, Management, Employee, Diversity, Company, Employment, Sociology, People

Pages: 9

Words: 2475

Published: 2020/12/19


In Chapter Seven: “Social Equity and Diversity Management” (pp. 159-176) of Public Personnel Management: Contexts and Strategies (6th edition), Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens point out the evolution of diversity in the United States. The chapter contains researchers, case studies, and theories of social equity and diversity. In this chapter, the authors outline three important policies used to attain social equity; diversity management, AA (affirmative action), and EEO (equal employment opportunities).
Klingner, Nalbandian, Llorens point out that people tend to confuse EEO and AA mostly because they are both aimed at promoting social equity, using diverse methods. However, EEO is the policy involving fair and equitable treatment of individuals in hiring practices, irrespective of gender and race. Alternatively, AA stands for positive efforts used by employers to tackle the impacts of prior discrimination in cases where EEO becomes inadequate. Diversity management is a policy whose main objective is to guarantee harmony and multiplicity between people of all backgrounds. The chapter holds immigration responsible for the enabling diversity management to extend the idea of fairness to incorporate issues, such as socio-economic backdrop, ethnicity, and religion diverse applicant pools. The law protects social equity through Acts, such as Title-VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that bars employment bureau and employers from making hiring decisions on the basis of tasks, national origin, religion, color, gender, or race. The role of the EEOC is to guarantee the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the same time, the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 commanded federal, state, and local agencies to observe the Act by giving information concerning the employment of minorities and women in their companies to the EEOC. Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens identify President Lyndon Johnson for pioneering the fight against discrimination of employees.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens point out that affirmative action is voluntary, but the government uses ‘mandatory hiring quotas’ and ‘coerced’ compliance when agencies fail to abide by the law. The authors also identify two major types of AA compliance; voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary compliance materializes when employers identify a compensatory requirement to diversify their personnel and comply by preparing an AA plan. Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens argue that the AA plan must identify underrepresentation of competent minorities and women, establish complete representation of the underrepresented groups, develop tangible plans of attaining complete deployment and make levelheaded growth toward comprehensive utilization of resources. Additionally, the authors point out that non-voluntary AA compliance materializes when employers change their employee practices due to investigations performed by compliance organizations, which result in negotiated settlements, court orders, or consent decrees.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens argue that the Supreme Court used case law to end conflicts and confusion caused by AA and EEO in enforcing social equity. They accuse the Supreme Court of sympathizing with social equity by strengthening race-based remedies and AA programs to end employment discrimination during the 1980s. The chapter mentions that the Congress faced unforeseen problems of institutionalized or systemic discrimination following the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Several questions arose regarding discrimination in the workplace leaving the court to wonder what to do in cases of gender favoritism and invasive racism. The Court was perplexed about what to do in situations where companies willingly demonstrated racial inclination when solving prejudice issues that had not been formally charged or litigated. The Court did not know how to review seniority structures that regularly discriminated minorities. The authors’ note how the Court wondered about the adequate amount of compensation to be awarded to discriminated employees or blameless non-minorities who had to tolerate development opportunities, deferred promotions, and training due to historical injustices.
According to Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens, AA supporters, and antagonists identify the shift in the focus of conformity endeavors from government employment to the employee practices and guidelines of government contractors, as administrations progressively apply programs through goods and services’ contracts. They point out that the dominance of white males in the business sector thwarted the efforts of improving the ‘mix’ of contractors leading to the introduction of MBEs (Minority Business Enterprises). MBEs were aimed at allowing minorities become eligible to bidding, posting performance bond, and responding to RFPs (request for proposals) presented by government organizations. The MBEs failed to serve their purpose due to abuse by white businessmen who secretly formed and funded organizations that recognized women and minorities as corporate directors, in order to win contract ‘set-asides’. Contract ‘set asides’ refers to contracts given to minorities; African Americans and Hispanic.
In the chapter, the authors identify the differences between diversity management and EEO/AA efforts citing that the former had traditionally concentrated mostly on the selection and promotion practices affecting minorities and women, while the latter concentrates on introducing the benefits of different working backgrounds (167). They point out that diversity management, though nurtured by the value of social equity, is clearly based on efficiency. Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens argue that diversity in this context comprises of diversities in applicant and employees attributes, such as religion, disabilities, age, intelligence, language, gender, level of education, country of origin, ethnicity, and race, that represent an array of disparity amongst people in the labor force.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens attribute cultural diversity in the United States to immigration. They point out that, immigrants whose main language is Spanish have increased in the country since the 80s. They use the estimation performed in 2000 by the Census Bureau that approximated the Spanish immigrants to be 11.1%. However, that number has increased since then to 12.5%. The United States received most immigrants from Europe in the 60s, but a new immigration wave has brought immigrants from Asia (Vietnam, China, and the Philippines) and Latin America (Cuba, El Salvador, and Mexico). The authors identify political and ethnic conflicts, strong yearning for an improved life, as well as economic globalization in developing nations as the factors contributing to increased immigration to the U.S. They express their views on how the present immigration wave has augmented cultural segregation and residential isolation, thus allowing big immigrant populations to flourish as overseas enclaves in the nation. Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens compare both traditional and modern United States and note that the latter has embraced cultural diversity. However, they identify backlash from White conservatives who placed strict “English-only” policies to weed out immigrants burdening the criminal justice, education, and health systems as one of the major challenges cause by immigration.
The chapter points out the effectiveness of diversity (168). Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens argue that workforce diversity contributes to increased economic demands for companies to stay competitive in the international economy. They argue that administrations may remain safe from economic demands to diversify because of operating as monopolies, but they will always face constant practical and political pressures. They introduce the theory of “Representative Bureaucracy” that advocates equal distribution of resources across ethnic and gender factions to allow social bureaucracies to represent the citizens they serve.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens defend the roles of EEO, AA, and diverse management programs in five significant respects (170). First, the role of EEO includes protecting applicants and employees from employers who violate their constitutional or legal rights. Second, AA laws safeguard the employment privileges of selected groups of individuals only in America, such as Americans living with disabilities, native Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics, employees with over 40 years, and Asian Americans. Third, AA laws ensure that directors and managers recognize employees on the basis of expertise and knowledge to acquire and generate a creative workforce. Fourth, diversity management programs allow people from different backgrounds to work harmoniously. Five, employees and managers view AA programs negatively on the basis of negative principle (how should we rectify selection and staffing processes to show an effort of good faith to attain a representative labor force and evade courts and AA compliance organizations?). Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens point out that successful managers’ embrace diversity in their companies.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens mention that diversity management necessitates modifications in organizational culture, such as HRM practices and policies; staffing and retention policies; job design; education and training programs; including productivity enhancement and performance measurement programs (170). The authors point out that the company aspiring to draw and maintain a diversified labor force must alter their organizational culture to foster a productive, comfortable, and warm climate.
In the chapter, Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens propose several standards for employers to evade negative results from ineffective diverse management programs. The standards include an extensive description of diversity, organized reviews of the current culture; initiation of commitment to diversity by top management; institution of specific objectives; activities coordination; and frequent assessment and improvement.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens urge managers to embrace employee development because it concentrates on planning and budget review on human reserves; assists in cost benefit reviews on existing training and growth activities; as well as improving commitment and communication of company targets through personnel involvement. They add that managers can also reinforce employee growth by embracing diversity based on generation and gender identification/sexual orientation. Additionally, the chapter advocates for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) when solving conflicts in companies.
Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens reveal the milestone that managers’ have attained in realizing fairness and productivity in the United States. The authors’ also identify the positive impacts of AA on women and minorities employment, such as reduced court cases based on employee discrimination. Alternatively, they point out that not all Americans have accepted diversity and that tension amongst contradictory principles will persist. At the same time, they anticipate improved workforce diversification due to economic demands for improved productivity and political demands for economic representation. Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens also think that responses to opposing these demands will lead to resistance from groups that feel threatened by diversity or regime formalism when implementing diversification programs.

Personal Commentary

Klingner, Nalbandian, Llorens write about how managers can administer discipline and guarantee social equality in diverse workplaces. The chapter resonates well with the situation in my workplace. I work for a company that has employed employees from different backgrounds and ethnicities; African-Americans, Asians, Caucasian, and Hispanics. Just like other companies, employees’ differences in the company create disunity where some employees feel that one group feels superior to the other. The situation escalated when a rumor started going around that the company would open another branch in a neighborhood with diverse communities. One day, the management confirmed the rumor after announcing that it was opening another branch, but it was considering involving bilingual employees (employees who use more than one language) only. The management had decided to shift some employees to the new office in order to help with the culturally diverse customers from the region. The announcement created problems in the company for some employees. They wondered why the company would make that decision.
The employees selected a leader who would take their grievances to the management regarding the issue. However, the management was not ready to listen to the employees, thus making our efforts futile. The climate at the workplace changed the following day because employees began to segregate all employees from the Hispanic community. Other employees assumed the management would favor them because of speaking Spanish and English at the same time. Nonetheless, Klingner, Nalbandian, Llorens advice management to be fair while dealing with diversified workplaces especially during job promotions. Alternatively, the management in my company did not understand the importance of having a united workforce. Most projects were delayed because no one reported to work the following day. The company lost millions of dollars due to reduced production levels. We all vowed to report to work once the management hears our grievances.
Then the management made another grave mistake by deciding to fire all employees who had planned and participated in the strike. Nevertheless, every employee had participated. Negotiations took place between our leader and the management and reached a decision. The management remained adamant to change its initial decision of hiring bilingual employees’ only at first, but it revoke it after several days of negotiation.
After one week, all employees were asked to go back to work because the management had an announcement to make. We all reported back hoping to have changed the management’s mind. Luckily, the management identified the social inequality shown by the managers even in other instances. It was proclaimed that the company had decided to train employees selected to work at the new branch. The process was to be based on employees’ abilities and expertise rather than their ability to use more than one language. The tension reduced instantly after the announcement and we were all ready to put our issues aside and work together as we used to.
Regrettably, the climate at the office did not change because we had only resolved issues with the management but overlooked the issues we had as employees. People who used to exchange greetings in the morning, attending each other’s occasions, and protect each other had become strangers. Some Hispanic employees felt that we had been unfair for subjecting them to the pain of not accepting them.
At that point in time, the executive discovered that the issues were much intense that earlier thought. The company arranged for a meeting to discuss the problems affecting all employees. That meeting brought up many issues, but the company guaranteed a diverse and peaceful workplace for all employees. It was difficult to mend the rift created by the earlier problems, but everyone was ready to forget and forge ahead. We encounter problems sometimes, but we always respect each other at the company.
The situation resonates with this chapter as Klingner, Nalbandian, Llorens advice managements to embrace workplace diversity to avoid problems. Companies that make a decision without consulting employees suffer in the end. I believe that companies avoid embracing diversity at the expense of other people. For instance, it would be unfair for firms to delay other people’s development opportunities in order to correct their past mistakes on minorities. Such plans would cause a lot of conflicts within the company. It is important for companies to devise policies that embrace diversity, but at the same time promote unity for all. It’s also the government’s initiative to ensure that its representatives, either in the law enforcement or other public offices, embrace diversity. This chapter resonates well with the current situation in the country where most Americans have faulted law enforcement officers for being. The situation gives a clear image of how people react to any regime that fails to act swiftly. People should also prevent discrimination society through mutual respect and understanding. Additionally, this chapter is very informative for people working in diversified workplaces or living in diversified neighborhoods. Klingner, Nalbandian, and Llorens have added my knowledge in social equality, and I plan to use it today and in the future. They have renewed my belief that America will one day embrace other people despite their differences.


Klingner, D., Nalbandian, J., & Llorens, J. (2010). Public Personnel Management: Contexts and Strategies. (6th eds.). New York: Longman/Pearson

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