Please make sure the response is at least 300 words and use the reading material I have uploaded
INTEGRATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING OB Demographics are a key input that affects important OB processes, most particularly perceptions, which in turn affect the individual-level outcome of well-being/flourishing and the organizational outcomes of being an employer of choice and corporate reputation. Page 111 winning at work PERCEPTION PLAYS A KEY ROLE IN GETTING A JOB A recent survey of 400 humanresource professionals uncovered results that are important to college graduates looking for a job. The overwhelming conclusion? That “entry-level workers are an entitled, unprofessional bunch.” About 45 percent of the HR professionals believed that the work ethic of new college graduates had slipped in the past five years.1 Let’s consider how you can avoid being perceived so negatively.
IMPRESSIONS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA The Internet is a gold mine of information for recruiters, and some of it creates a bad impression. Photos of drunken behavior, or rants with foul language or that “bash” your employer, won’t improve a recruiter’s perception. You need to be careful about your online presence because approximately 20 percent of all organizations browse sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to help screen employees. Consider the experience of Pete Maulik, chief strategy officer at Fahrenheit 212. Maulik was ready to make an offer to an applicant, but first decided to check out the man’s LinkedIn profile—and decided that the applicant was not a team player. “He took credit for everything short of splitting the atom,” Mr. Maulik said. “Everything was ‘I did this.’ He seemed like a lone wolf. He did everything himself.” Maulik recalls another good applicant who used his Twitter account “to disparage just about every new innovation in the marketplace.” Maulik concluded that the applicant “was much more comfortable as the critic than the collaborative creator.”2 This candidate was not hired either. IMPRESSIONS FROM YOUR RÉSUMÉ Typos, gaps in employment, and too much work history can leave negative impressions. Career coach Cheryl Palmer notes that using your employer’s e-mail sends the message to potential employers “that the job seekers will not hesitate to use their equipment for personal use.”3 RECOMMENDED TIPS The following suggestions can help you manage the impression you are sending when applying for a job. Do’s •Adjust your Facebook privacy settings so potential employers can’t see your party photos. •Use Twitter and LinkedIn to play up your professional interests (like posting relevant news articles). •Cross-check your résumé and LinkedIn profile to make sure there aren’t discrepancies.
Don’ts •Don’t badmouth a current or former employer, colleague, or company. •Avoid using foul language and making negative remarks. •Don’t post anything that might be perceived as racist, biased, or illegal.4 Note: We cover impression management in more depth in Chapter 12. FOR YOUWHAT’S AHEAD IN THIS CHAPTER We want to help you enhance your understanding of the perceptual process so you won’t fall victim to common perceptual errors. We especially want to show you how perception influences the manner in which managers manage diversity. We discuss two of the outcomes of this perceptual process: stereotypes and causal attributions. Diversity should matter to you because how a business deals with diversity affects how you are perceived as an individual. Diversity should matter to the organization because it means taking advantage of the fullest range of human skill and talent. And we discuss barriers and challenges to managing diversity, and the practices organizations use to do so. Page 112 4.1A SOCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL OF PERCEPTION MAJOR QUESTION How does the perception process affect the quality of my decisions and interpersonal relationships? THE BIGGER PICTURE Understanding the mechanics of how you process information will help you see how perception can impact a variety of important processes and outcomes in OB, as indicated in the Integrative Framework. You’re driving on a winding mountain road at dusk and suddenly you see something in the road. Is the object an animal, a rock, or a person?
Should you stop, or just maneuver around it? Or you’re in a team meeting and one of your teammates makes a negative statement about your work. Is the person being political or just having a bad day? Your mind is quickly trying to answer these questions before you make a response. Perception is key to resolving the above situations. Perception is a cognitive process that enables us to interpret and understand our surroundings. Recognition of objects is one of this process’s major functions. For example, both people and animals recognize familiar objects in their environments. You would recognize that the object in the road was a deer; dogs and cats can recognize their food dishes. People must recognize objects to meaningfully interact with their environment. But since organizational behavior’s (OB’s) principal focus is on people, the following discussion emphasizes social perception rather than object perception. (See the Example box on the perception of apologies in business.) EXAMPLEHow Perception of Apologies Differs in the United States and Japan The frequency and meaning of apologies like “I’m sorry” vary around the world, particularly between Americans and Japanese. A recent study revealed that US students apologized 4.51 times a week while Japanese students used some type of apology 11.05 times a week.
The findings highlight the importance of social perception. WHAT DOES AN APOLOGY MEAN?“Americans see an apology as an admission of wrongdoing, whereas Japanese see it as an expression of eagerness to repair a damaged relationship, with no culpability necessarily implied.” American students thus are less likely to apologize because they view it as an admission of guilt. This is consistent with the “psychological tendency among Westerners to attribute events to individuals’ actions.”5 In contrast, Japanese students apologized even when they were not responsible. This is partly due to the fact that Asian countries possess more collective or group-oriented values that focus on doing things for the greater good over self-interests. NEVER APOLOGIZE AND NEVER EXPLAINAn old John Ford film, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, followed a cavalry brigade in the 1800s posted in the Indian Territory; it popularized a strand of American individualism in a phrase you may still hear today. John Wayne’s character says, “Never apologize and never explain. It’s a sign of weakness.” But apologies do have a role in American business. THE BUSINESS IMPACT OF APOLOGIESApologizing can right legitimate wrongs, and it can save money for organizations. A study of medical malpractice suits revealed that 16 percent would not have sued had the hospital offered an apology. The University of Michigan Medical Center put these results to practice and “adopted a policy of ‘full disclosure for medical errors,’ including an apology; its rate of lawsuits has since dropped 65 percent.”6 Page 113 “Apologizing by admitting a mistake—to co-workers, employees, customers, clients, the public at large—tends to gain credibility and generate confidence in one’s leadership,” says Linda Stamato, of the Center for Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She cites the apology by David Neeleman, chairman of Jet Blue, attempting to restore consumer trust, in his letter of apology to those ill-served by the air carrier during the havoc of winter storms in 2006.
Although business leaders feel ambivalent about apologizing, Stamato says, “Taking responsibility for an error earns the privilege of being forgiven, and thus granted a second chance. Employees may well be relieved—after all, who has not made a mistake?—and more willing to help make the corrective action work better.”7 YOUR THOUGHTS? 1.Do you think it pays to apologize even if you did not do something wrong? Explain. 2.What is your opinion about hospitals apologizing for medical errors? 3.What are some right ways and wrong ways to apologize in business settings? Perception is an important process in the Integrative Framework for Understanding and Applying OB because it affects our actions and decisions. For example, The Wall Street Journal reported on a recent study that suggested “men with shaved heads are perceived to be more masculine, dominant and, in some cases, to have greater leadership potential than those with longer locks or with thinning hair.”8 Clearly, it is foolish to make hiring decisions based on the amount of hair on someone’s head. But if you know the perceptual error, you can avoid it! You can learn to avoid perceptual errors by understanding the process that guides perception. Figure 4.1 illustrates four stages of perception. Three of the stages—selective attention/comprehension, encoding and simplification, and storage and retention—describe how specific social information is observed and stored in memory. The fourth and final stage, retrieval and response, involves turning mental representations into real-world judgments and decisions. We’ll look at the four stages of social perception by following a simple everyday example. Suppose you were thinking of taking a course in, say, personal finance. Three professors teach the same course, using different types of instruction and testing procedures. Through personal experience, you now prefer good professors who rely on the case method of instruction and essay tests. According to social perception theory, you would likely arrive at a decision regarding which course to take based on the instructor, following the steps outlined in the following sections.
Stage 1: Selective Attention/Comprehension People are constantly bombarded by physical and social stimuli in the environment. To avoid being overwhelmed, they selectively perceive subsets of environmental stimuli. This is where attention plays a role. Attention is the process of becoming consciously aware of something or someone. The object of attention can come from the environment or from memory. Research has shown that people tend to pay attention to salient stimuli. FIGURE 4.1SOCIAL PERCEPTION: A SOCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL SOURCE: From R. Kreitner and A. Kinicki, Organizational Behavior, 10th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2013, p. 181. Reprinted with permission of McGraw-Hill Education. Page 114 Salient StimuliSomething is salient when it stands out from its context. A 250-pound man would certainly be salient in a women’s aerobics class but not at a meeting of the National Football League Players’ Association. One’s needs and goals often dictate which stimuli are salient. For a driver whose gas gauge shows empty, an Exxon or Shell sign is more salient than a McDonald’s or Burger King sign.
Moreover, research shows that people tend to find negative information more salient than positive information. This leads to a negativity bias.9 This bias helps explain the gawking factor that slows traffic to a crawl following a car accident, and it can affect employee behavior at work. Our ExampleYou begin your search for the “right” personal finance professor by asking friends who have taken classes from the three available professors. You also may interview the various professors who teach the class to gather still more relevant information. In Figure 4.1, all the information you obtain shows as competing environmental stimuli labeled A through F. You interpret and categorize your notes. Stage 2: Encoding and Simplification Memory does not store observed information in its original form; encoding is required. Our brains interpret or translate raw information into mental representations. To accomplish this, perceivers assign pieces of information to cognitive categories. “By category we mean a number of objects that are considered equivalent. Categories are generally designated by names, e.g., dog, animal.”10 Imagine the memory this individual has for parachuting off a mountain. He probably remembers the day, the weather, and the thrill of it all. Details from highly salient events like this are more likely to be remembered. Do you have any desire to engage in this activity? We don’t! In social information processing theory, a particular category builds on a schema. A schema represents a person’s mental picture or summary of a particular event or type of stimulus. For example, picture a sports car. Does the picture show a smaller vehicle with two doors? Is it red? If you answered yes, you would tend to classify all small, two-door, fire-engine-red vehicles as sports cars because this type of car possesses characteristics that are consistent with your sports car schema. We interpret and evaluate people, events, and objects by comparing their characteristics with information contained in schemata (the plural of schema). EncodingWe use encoding to interpret and evaluate our environment, using schemata and cognitive categories. We also use encoding and schemata to help us organize and remember information. SimplificationRelying on encoding helps us to simplify what might be a bewildering range of inputs. Encoding and schemata make the world more manageable. Our ExampleLet’s say you simplify by focusing on categories most salient to you: the method of instruction, testing procedures, and past grade distributions. Figure 4.1 shows these three salient pieces of information as lines A, C, and F. Having collected relevant information about the three personal finance professors and their approaches, you compare this information with other details contained in schemata. This comparison leads you to form an impression of what each professor’s course might be like. In turn, the relevant information (lines A, C, and F in Figure 4.1) are passed along to the third stage. Stage 3: Storage and Retention Page 115 Long-term memory is like an apartment complex consisting of separate units connected to common areas. The different people in each apartment will sometimes interact. In addition, large apartment complexes have different wings, separately identifiable but connected. Long-term memory similarly consists of separate but related categories. Specifically, long-term memory comprises three compartments (or wings), one each for events, semantic materials, and people.11 Event MemoryThis compartment includes categories with information about both specific events (relying on unique details) and general events (relying on schemata).
These memories describe appropriate sequences of events in well-known situations, such as going to a restaurant, going on a job interview, going to a food store, or going to a movie. Semantic MemorySemantic memory refers to general knowledge about the world, as a kind of mental dictionary of concepts. Each concept includes a definition (e.g., a good leader) and associated traits (outgoing), emotional states (happy), physical characteristics (tall), and behaviors (works hard). Concepts in semantic memory are stored as schemata; such schemata are often subject to cultural differences. Person MemoryCategories within this compartment supply information about a single individual (your professor) or groups of people (professors). You are more likely to remember information about a person, an event, or an advertisement if it contains characteristics that are similar to something stored in the compartments of memory.
Our ExampleAs the time draws near for you to decide which personal finance professor to choose, your schemata of them are stored in the three categories of long-term memory. These schemata are available for immediate retrieval and comparison. Stage 4: Retrieval and Response People retrieve information from memory when they make judgments and decisions. How Judgments ComeUltimately judgments and decisions come about in one of two ways. Either we draw on, interpret, and integrate categorical information stored in long-term memory or we retrieve a summary judgment that was already made. Do you think that this woman may have any implicit cognitions that are affecting her dinner selection? Because she is drinking white wine, maybe this choice already activated a preference for fish or chicken. Do implicit cognitions affect your choices when dining out? Our ExampleOn registration day you have to choose which professor to take for personal finance. After retrieving your schemata-based impressions from memory, you select a good professor who uses the case method and gives essay tests (line C in Figure 4.1). In contrast, you may choose your preferred professor by simply recalling the decision you made two weeks ago. Managerial Implications Social cognition is the window through which we all observe, interpret, and prepare our responses to people and events. A wide variety of managerial activities, organizational processes, and quality-of-life issues are thus affected by perception. We’ll touch on hiring, performance appraisal, and leadership. HiringInterviewers make hiring decisions based on their impression of how an applicant fits the perceived requirements of a job. Unfortunately, many of these decisions are made on the basis of implicit cognition. Implicit cognition represents any thoughts or beliefs that are automatically activated from memory without our conscious awareness. The existence of implicit cognition leads people to make biased decisions without an understanding that it is occurring.12 A recent study in the Netherlands demonstrated that the odds of being rejected for job openings were four times larger for Arabs than for Dutch applicants: The applicants were equally qualified.13 Experts recommend two solutions for reducing the biasing effect of implicit cognition. First, managers can be trained to understand and reduce this type of hidden bias. Second, bias can be reduced by using structured as opposed to unstructured interviews, and by relying on evaluations from multiple interviewers rather than just one or two people. More and more companies are using virtual interviews as a tool for reducing problems associated with implicit cognition (see the Example box below). Page 116 EXAMPLEVirtual Interviews Can Improve the Accuracy of Job Interviews and Reduce Costs A survey of managers from 500 companies revealed that 42 percent were using web-based video interviews as one component of the hiring process. Ocean Spray, a juice company in Massachusetts, is a good example. The company sends applicants an e-mail link that contains preset interview questions. The answers are recorded via webcam. BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL INTERVIEWSStandardization drives several benefits of virtual interviews. Consistency. Video-enabled interviews standardize the process, which in turn leads to more reliable evaluations. For example, Walmart uses video interviews to help select pharmacists. Walmart recruiters believe that these interviews provide them with a better idea of how people will interact with customers. T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant similarly uses video interviews to select restaurant managers for the same reason. Collaboration. Experts suggest that “recruiters use recorded or live video interviews to foster collaboration around hiring decisions. With more stakeholders participating—by logging on to live interviews from multiple locations or leaving comments for colleagues to read on recorded interviews—more input leads to better candidate selection.” Saving Time and Money. Ocean Spray was experiencing an average cost of $1,000 per candidate for an in-person interview. Martin Mitchell, the company’s manager of talent and diversity, said that “video interviews eliminated these costs” and they allowed the company to interview people more quickly while not forcing applicants to take time off work to travel for an interview.14 YOUR THOUGHTS? 1.The discussion you just read focuses on the positive aspects of this approach; what are the negative aspects of using video interviews? 2.How might you prepare for a video interview? 3.If you were relying on the videos to select candidates for a job, what would you look for? Performance AppraisalFaulty schemata about good versus poor performance can lead to inaccurate performance appraisals, which erode morale. A study of 166 production employees indicated that they trusted management more when they perceived that their performance appraisals were accurate.15 Therefore, managers must accurately identify and communicate the behavioral characteristics and results they look for in good performance at the beginning of a review cycle. Furthermore, because memory for specific instances of employee performance deteriorates over time, managers need a mechanism for accurately recalling employee behavior. Research shows that individuals can be trained to more accurately rate performance.16 (See Chapter 6 for techniques to overcome common perception errors in the performance appraisal.) LeadershipResearch demonstrates that employees’ evaluations of leader effectiveness are influenced strongly by their schemata of good and poor leaders. For example, a team of researchers found that in the employees’ schema, good leaders would exhibit these behaviors: 1.Assigning specific tasks to group members. 2.Telling others that they had done well. 3.Setting specific goals for the group. 4.Letting other group members make decisions. 5.Trying to get the group to work as a team. 6.Maintaining definite standards of performance.17 Page 117 4.2STEREOTYPES MAJOR QUESTION How can I use knowledge of stereotypes to make better decisions and manage more effectively? THE BIGGER PICTURE Don’t say you don’t stereotype; that’s how we humans think. Stereotypes help us process information faster. If you didn’t rely on stereotypes, the world would seem chaotic. But stereotypes can also lead to bad decisions and undermine personal relationships. Understanding stereotypes can save you from such pitfalls. Stereotypes represent a key component of the perception process because they are used during encoding. “A stereotype is an individual’s set of beliefs about the characteristics or attributes of a group.”18 Stereotypes are not always negative. For example, the belief that engineers are good at math is certainly part of a stereotype. Stereotypes may or may not be accurate. Engineers may in fact be better at math than the general population. Unfortunately, stereotypes can lead to poor decisions. Specifically they can create barriers for women, older individuals, people of color, and people with disabilities, all while undermining loyalty and job satisfaction. Examples follow. Gender. A summary of research revealed that: •People often prefer male bosses. •Women have a harder time being perceived as an effective leader. (The exception: Women were seen as more effective than men only when the organization faced a crisis and needed a turnaround.) •Women of color are more negatively affected by sex-role stereotypes than white women or men in general.19 Race. Studies of race-based stereotypes also demonstrated that people of color experienced more perceived discrimination, more racism-related stress, and less psychological support than whites.20 Age. Another example of an inaccurate stereotype is the belief that older workers are less motivated, more resistant to change, less trusting, less healthy, and more likely to have problems with work–life balance. A recent study refuted all of these negative beliefs about age.21 Stereotype Formation and Maintenance Stereotyping is based on the following four-step process: 1.Categorization. We categorize people into groups according to criteria (such as gender, age, race, and occupation). 2.Inferences. Next, we infer that all people within a particular category possess the same traits or characteristics: women are nurturing, older people have more job-related accidents, African Americans are good athletes, and professors are absentminded. Page 118 3.Expectations. We form expectations of others and interpret their behavior according to our stereotypes. 4.Maintenance. We maintain stereotypes by: •Overestimating the frequency of stereotypic behaviors exhibited by others. •Incorrectly explaining expected and unexpected behaviors. •Differentiating minority individuals from ourselves. Research shows that it takes accurate information and motivation to reduce the use of stereotypes.22 Managerial Challenges and Recommendations The key managerial challenge is to reduce the extent to which stereotypes influence decision making and interpersonal processes throughout the organization. We suggest three ways that this can be achieved. 1.Managers should educate people about stereotypes and how they can influence our behavior and decision making. We suspect that many people do not understand how stereotypes unconsciously affect the perception process. 2.Managers should create opportunities for diverse employees to meet and work together in cooperative groups of equal status. Social scientists believe that “quality” interpersonal contact among mixed groups is the best way to reduce stereotypes because it provides people with more accurate data about the characteristics of other groups of people. 3.Managers should encourage all employees to strive to increase their awareness regarding stereotypes. Awareness helps reduce the application of stereotypes when making decisions and when interacting with others. What stands out in this photo? Did you notice the man working from a wheelchair? Do you think some people have negative stereotypes about people with disabilities? Research shows that there is a tendency to have such stereotypes. Page 119 4.3CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS MAJOR QUESTION How do I tend to interpret employee performance? THE BIGGER PICTURE Consciously or unconsciously, you use causal attributions when you seek to explain the causes of behavior. So do most managers. You can avoid the fundamental attribution bias and self-serving bias if you learn how they distort our interpretation of observed behavior. Attribution theory is based on a simple premise: People infer causes for observed behavior. Rightly or wrongly, we constantly formulate cause-and-effect explanations for how we and others behave. Formally defined, causal attributions are suspected or inferred causes of behavior. Managers need to understand how people formulate these attributions because the attributions profoundly affect organizational behavior. Consider the table below, in which how the manager understands the observed behavior drives him to take very different actions. OBSERVED BEHAVIOR MANAGER’S ATTRIBUTION MANAGERIAL ACTION Fails to meet minimum standards Lack of effort Reprimand Fails to meet minimum standards Lack of ability Training Kelley’s Model of Attribution Current models of attribution build on the pioneering work of the late Fritz Heider. Heider, the founder of attribution theory, who proposed that behavior can be attributed either to internal factors within a person (such as ability) or to external factors within the environment (such as a difficult task). Following Heider’s work, Harold Kelley attempted to pinpoint specific antecedents of internal and external attributions. Kelley hypothesized that people make causal attributions by observing three dimensions of behavior: consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency.23 These dimensions vary independently, forming various combinations and leading to differing attributions. •Consensus compares an individual’s behavior with that of his or her peers. There is high consensus when one acts like the rest of the group and low consensus when one acts differently. •Distinctiveness compares a person’s behavior on one task with his or her behavior on other tasks. High distinctiveness means the individual has performed the task in question in a significantly different manner than he or she has performed other tasks. •Consistency judges if the individual’s performance on a given task is consistent over time. Low consistency is undesirable for obvious reasons, and implies that a person is unable to perform a certain task at some standard level. High consistency implies that a person performs a certain task the same way, with little or no variation over time. Page 120 FIGURE 4.2SAMPLE CHARTS OF CONSENSUS, DISTINCTIVENESS, AND CONSISTENCY IN PERFORMANCE SOURCE: From K. A. Brown, “Explaining Group Poor Performance: An Attributional Analysis,” Academy of Management Review, January 1984, p. 56. Copyright © 2001 by Academy of Management. Reprinted with permission of Academy of Management, via Copyright Clearance Center. Figure 4.2 provides sample charts of these dimensions in both low and high incidence. So how do these three dimensions of behavior lead to specific attributions? Kelley theorized that people attribute behavior to either internal causes (personal factors) or external causes (environmental factors) depending on the ranking of consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency as shown: While other combinations are possible, the two options shown above have been most frequently studied. Note: For another view of Kelley’s theory, return to Figure 4.2. In the figure, we provided charts that, taken together, indicate Internal Attributions on the left-hand side and External Attributions on the right-hand side. Page 121 TAKE-AWAY APPLICATION—TAAP 1.Think of someone who recently disappointed you. It could be work-related (e.g., a peer did not complete part of a group assignment) or personal (e.g., a friend failed to remember your birthday). 2.Use Kelley’s model to identify whether the unexpected behavior was due to internal or external causes. 3.Based on this attribution, what should you say or do to ensure that this type of behavior does not happen again? Attributional Tendencies Researchers have uncovered two attributional tendencies that distort one’s interpretation of observed behavior—fundamental attribution bias and self-serving bias. Fundamental Attribution BiasThe fundamental attribution bias reflects one’s tendency to attribute another person’s behavior to his or her personal characteristics, as opposed to situational factors. This bias causes perceivers to ignore important environmental factors (again refer to the Integrative Framework) that often significantly affect behavior. This leads to inaccurate assessments of performance, which in turn foster inappropriate responses to poor performance. Self-Serving BiasThe self-serving bias represents one’s tendency to take more personal responsibility for success than for failure. The self-serving bias suggests employees will attribute their success to internal factors (high ability or hard work) and their failures to uncontrollable external factors (tough job, bad luck, unproductive coworkers, or an unsympathetic boss). This tendency plays out in all aspects of life. Managerial Application and Implications Attribution models can explain how managers handle poorly performing employees. One study revealed that managers gave employees more immediate, frequent, and negative feedback when they attributed their performance to low effort. Another study indicates that managers tended to transfer employees whose poor performance was attributed to a lack of ability. These same managers also decided to take no immediate action when poor performance was attributed to external factors beyond an individual’s control.24 The preceding observations offer useful lessons for all of us: •We tend to disproportionately attribute behavior to internal causes. This can result in inaccurate evaluations of performance, leading to reduced employee motivation. The Integrative Framework for Understanding and Applying OB offers a simple solution for overcoming this tendency. You must remind yourself that behavior and performance are functions of both person factors and environmental characteristics. •Other attributional biases may lead managers to take inappropriate actions. Such actions could include promotions, transfers, layoffs, and so forth. This can dampen motivation and performance. •An employee’s attributions for his or her own performance have dramatic effects on subsequent motivation, performance, and personal attitudes such as self-esteem. For instance, people tend to give up, develop lower expectations for future success, and experience decreased self-esteem when they attribute failure to a lack of ability. Employees are more likely to display high performance and job satisfaction when they attribute success to internal factors such as ability and effort.25 Page 122 4.4DEFINING AND MANAGING DIVERSITY MAJOR QUESTION How does awareness about the layers of diversity help organizations effectively manage diversity? THE BIGGER PICTURE Like seashells on a beach, people come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The global nature of your life requires you to interact with various and diverse people. It is important to be aware of the different layers of diversity and to know the difference between affirmative action and managing diversity. Do you have any preconceived notions regarding diversity that are worth considering? Let’s take a reality check: •Assumption: Gender diversity on boards of directors does not impact firm performance. Wrong, says a study by the Credit Suisse Research Institute. Results from a study of 2,400 companies from 2005 to 2012 showed that “companies with at least one woman on the board would have outperformed stocks with no women on the board by 26 percent over the course of the last 6 years.”26 •Assumption: Organizations are having a hard time finding qualified employees during the recessionary period 2012–2013. Yes, according to a study of 3,400 HR professionals. Two-thirds of the respondents said they had a hard time filling specific job openings; the most difficult jobs to fill included scientists, engineers, technicians and programmers, nurses, doctors, and executives; the biggest skill gaps involved critical thinking, problem solving, written communications, work ethic, and leadership.27 •Assumption: Whites will constitute the majority among US racial groups through 2050. No, according to the Census Bureau. Today, whites represent 63 percent of the population and this will drop below 50 percent in 2043.28 The United States is becoming more diverse in its gender, racial, educational, and age makeup—more working parents, more nonwhite, older, and so on—and the consequences are not always what you might expect.
Demographics are the statistical measurements of populations and their qualities (such as age, race, gender, or income) over time. The study of demographics helps us to better appreciate diversity and helps managers to develop human resource policies and practices that attract, retain, and develop qualified employees. In the remainder of this chapter we hope to further your understanding of diversity and its managerial challenges. Layers of Diversity Diversity represents the multitude of individual differences and similarities that exist among people, making it an input in the Integrative Framework for Understanding and Applying OB. As you will learn, however, managing diversity impacts a variety of processes and outcomes within the Integrative Framework. This is why the topic is so important to managers. Moreover, diversity pertains to everybody. It is not an issue of age, race, or gender; of being heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; or of being Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, or Muslim.
Diversity pertains to the host of individual differences that make all of us unique and different from others. Page 123 FIGURE 4.3THE FOUR LAYERS OF DIVERSITY *Internal dimensions and external dimensions are adapted from M. Locken and J. B. Rosener, Workforce America! (Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin, 1991). SOURCE: Reprinted from Diverse Teams at Work: Capitalizing on the Power of Diversity by L. Gardenswartz and A. Rowe, with permission of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). © 2003 SHRM. All rights reserved. Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe, a team of diversity experts, identified four layers of diversity to help distinguish the important ways in which people differ (see Figure 4.3). Taken together, these layers define your personal identity and influence how each of us sees the world. Figure 4.3 shows that personality is at the center of the diversity wheel because it represents a stable set of characteristics responsible for a person’s identity. These are the dimensions of personality we discussed in Chapter 3. The next layer of diversity includes internal dimensions that are referred to as surface-level dimensions of diversity. “Surface-level characteristics are those that are quickly apparent to interactants, such as race, gender, and age.”29 Because these characteristics are viewed as unchangeable, they strongly influence our attitudes, expectations, and assumptions about others, which, in turn, influence our behavior. Take the encounter experienced by an African-American woman in middle management while vacationing at a resort. While she was sitting by the pool, “a large 50-ish white male approached me and demanded that I get him extra towels. I said, ‘Excuse me?’ He then said, ‘Oh, you don’t work here,’ with no shred of embarrassment or apology in his voice.”30 Stereotypes regarding one or more of the primary dimensions of diversity most likely influenced this man’s behavior toward the woman. Page 124 Figure 4.3 shows that the next layer of diversity comprises external influences. They represent individual differences that we have a greater ability to influence or control. Examples include where you live today, your religious affiliation, whether you are married and have children, and your work experiences. These dimensions also exert a significant influence on our perceptions, behavior, and attitudes. The final layer of diversity includes organizational dimensions such as seniority, job title and function, and work location. Integrating these last two layers results in what is called deep-level characteristics of diversity. “Deep-level characteristics are those that take time to emerge in interactions, such as attitudes, opinions, and values.”31 These characteristics are definitely under our control. Affirmative Action vs. Managing Diversity Affirmative action and managing diversity are driven by very different values and goals. This section highlights these differences. Affirmative ActionIt’s important to understand that affirmative action is not a law in and of itself. It is an outgrowth of equal employment opportunity (EEO) legislation. The goal of this legislation is to outlaw discrimination and to encourage organizations to proactively prevent discrimination. Discrimination occurs when employment decisions about an individual are due to reasons not associated with performance or are not related to the job. For example, organizations cannot discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical and mental disabilities, and pregnancy. Affirmative action is an artificial intervention aimed at giving management a chance to correct an imbalance, injustice, mistake, or outright discrimination that occurred in the past. Do the number of white males stand out in this picture? Congress is sometimes criticized for its lack of diversity. Congress is composed of 87 percent whites and 90 percent males. Page 125 Affirmative action: •Can refer to both voluntary and mandatory programs. •Does not legitimize quotas. Quotas are illegal. They can only be imposed by judges who conclude that a company has engaged in discriminatory practices. •Does not require companies to hire unqualified people. •Has created tremendous opportunities for women and minorities. •Does not foster the type of thinking that is needed to manage diversity effectively. Is the last point surprising? Research on affirmative action uncovered the following divisive trends. Affirmative action plans are: 1.Perceived more negatively by white males than women and minorities because white males see the plans as working against their own self-interests. 2.Viewed more positively by people who are liberals and Democrats than conservatives and Republicans. 3.Not supported by people who possess racist or sexist attitudes.32 4.Found to negatively affect the women and minorities expected to benefit from them. Research demonstrates that women and minorities, supposedly hired on the basis of affirmative action, feel negatively stigmatized as unqualified or incompetent.33 Helena Morrissey, CEO of Newton Investment, is a good example on that last point. When asked by a reporter to comment on women being selected to the company board in order to fill a quota, she said, “I find quotas condescending. I wouldn’t want to be part of a board because I’m filling a quota.”34 Managing DiversityManaging diversity enables people to perform up to their maximum potential. It focuses on changing an organization’s culture and infrastructure such that people provide the highest productivity possible. Ann Morrison, a diversity expert, attempted to identify the type of initiatives that companies use to manage diversity. She thus conducted a study of 16 organizations that successfully managed diversity. Her results uncovered three key strategies for success: education, enforcement, and exposure. She describes them as follows: •The educational component. This “strategy has two thrusts: one is to prepare nontraditional managers for increasingly responsible posts, and the other is to help traditional managers overcome their prejudice in thinking about and interacting with people who are of a different sex or ethnicity.”35 •The enforcement component. This strategy “puts teeth in diversity goals and encourages behavior change.”36 •The exposure component. This strategy exposes people to others with different backgrounds and characteristics, which “adds a more personal approach to diversity by helping managers get to know and respect others who are different.”37 In summary, both consultants and academics believe that organizations should strive to manage diversity rather than being forced to use affirmative action. Page 126 4.5BUILDING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR MANAGING DIVERSITY MAJOR QUESTION What is the business rationale for managing diversity? THE BIGGER PICTURE After reviewing the business case for managing diversity, we also look at the demographic changes occurring in the US workforce that make the need to manage diversity all the more urgent. These demographic changes have major implications for OB. The growing diversity in the United States is not a business initiative; it is a reality. Businesses can consciously choose to manage diversity or get caught short by the demographic changes facing the country. Business Rationale The rationale for managing diversity is more than its legal, social, or moral dimension. Quite simply, it’s good business. Managing diversity gives the organization the ability to grow and maintain a business in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Here’s what William Weldon, former chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said: Diversity and inclusion are part of the fabric of our businesses and are vital to our future success worldwide. The principles of diversity and inclusion are rooted in Our Credo [the company’s values] and enhance our ability to deliver products and services to advance the health and well-being of people throughout the world. We cannot afford to reduce our focus on these critical areas in any business climate.38 Companies like Johnson & Johnson and Sodexo understand and endorse this proposition. Research also supports the logic of the strategy. For example, a recent study of 739 retail stores found support for the access-and-legitimacy perspective, defined in the following manner: An access-and-legitimacy perspective on diversity is based in recognition that the organization’s markets and constituencies are culturally diverse. It therefore behooves the organization to match the diversity in parts of its own workforce as a way of gaining access to and legitimacy with those markets and constituent groups.39 This particular study discovered that customer satisfaction and employee productivity were higher when the racio-ethnic composition of customers matched that of store employees.40 These favorable results were taken one step further by another team of researchers. They wanted to know if customers would spend more money in stores when they perceived themselves as similar to the sales representatives. Results from 212 stores supported the idea that customer-employee similarity leads to more spending.41 We hope you get the point. It pays to manage diversity, but organizations cannot use diversity as a strategic advantage if employees fail to contribute their full talents, abilities, motivation, and commitment. It is thus essential for an organization to create an environment or culture that allows all employees to reach their full potential. Managing diversity is a critical component of creating such an environment. To help you in this endeavor, we review demographic characteristics of the US workforce and then discuss the managerial implications of demographic diversity. Page 127 Companies increasingly are trying to match the race of their workforce with that of their customers. Here we see African-American customers being helped by an employee of similar race. Why would customers prefer to be helped by someone of a similar race? Trends in Workforce Diversity How is the US workforce changing? Let’s examine five categories—gender, race, education, sexual orientation, and age. Women Break the Glass Ceiling—but Navigate a LabyrinthCoined in 1986, the term glass ceiling is used to represent an invisible but absolute barrier or solid roadblock that prevents women from advancing to higher-level positions. Various statistics support the existence of a glass ceiling. The pay gap between men and women is one example. In 2012, the median weekly income in full-time management, professional, and related occupations was $1,328 for men in contrast to $951 for women. This gap continued for MBA graduates. Female graduates from top MBA programs earned 93 cents for every dollar earned by a male graduate, and the pay gap tends to increase over time.42 Also, a recent WSJ/NBC national poll revealed that 40 percent of the women reported experiencing gender discrimination.43 Alice Eagly and her colleague Linda Carli conducted a thorough investigation into the organizational life of women and in 2007 published their conclusions that women had finally broken through the glass ceiling.44 We updated data originally reported in Eagly and Carli’s book and that led to their conclusion. There were many more female CEOs in 2014 (24 and 50 female CEOs within Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 firms, respectively) and more women in managerial, professional, and related occupations than there were in the 1980s and 1990s.45 Statistics further showed that women had made strides along several measures: 1.Educational attainment (women earned the majority of bachelor’s and master’s degrees from 2006 through 2012). 2.Seats on boards of directors of Fortune 500 firms (9.6% in 1995 and 16.6% in 2013). 3.Leadership positions in educational institutions (in 2010, women represented 18.7% of college presidents and 29.9% of board members). 4.Federal court appointments (in 2013, 32% and 30% of federal courts of appeals and US district court judges, respectively, were women).46 You can interpret the above statistics in one of two ways. •No Change. On the one hand, you might see proof that women remain underpaid and underrepresented in leadership positions, victims of discriminatory organizational practices. •Positive Change. Alternatively, you can agree with Eagly and Carli’s conclusion that “men still have more authority and higher wages, but women have been catching up. Because some women have moved into the most elite leadership roles, absolute barriers are a thing of the past.”47 Eagly and Carli propose that a woman’s career follows a pattern more characteristic of traveling through a labyrinth. They use the labyrinth metaphor because they believe that a woman’s path to success is not direct or simple, but rather contains twists, turns, and obstructions, particularly for married women with children. Racial Groups Face Their Own Glass Ceiling and Perceived DiscriminationThe US workforce is becoming increasingly diverse. Between 2012 and 2060, the Census Bureau predicts the following changes in ethnic representation: •Growth: The Asian population (from 5.1% to 8.2%). •Growth: The Hispanic population (from 17% to 31%). •Mild growth: The African-American population (from 13.1% to 14.7%). •Decline: Non-Hispanic whites (from 63% to 43%).48 Page 128 A female’s career is thought to resemble a labyrinth like this. Note the twists and turns that are needed to get through this maze. Have you experienced twists and turns in your career? All told, the so-called minority groups will constitute approximately 57 percent of the workforce in 2060, according to the Census Bureau.49 And yet, three additional trends suggest that current-day minority groups are stalled at their own glass ceiling. Smaller percentage in the professional class. Hispanics, or Latinas/os, and African Americans have a smaller relative hold on managerial and professional jobs within their racial groupings. Women generally do better than men. The percentages shown below are the percentages of professionals within each category. When the listing shows Asian men with a 48 percent ranking in managerial/professional jobs, it does not mean that Asian men have 48 percent of all such jobs, but that among all working Asian males, almost one in two is a manager or a professional.50 More discrimination cases. The number of race-based charges of discrimination that were deemed to show reasonable cause by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission increased from 294 in 1995 to 957 in 2013. Companies paid a total of $112 million to resolve these claims outside of litigation in 2013.51 Lower earnings. Minorities also tend to earn less personal income than whites. Median weekly earnings in 2010 were $1,103, $884, $1,275, and $895 for whites, blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, respectively. Interestingly, Asians had the highest median income.52 Mismatch between Education and OccupationApproximately 37 percent of the labor force has a college degree, and college graduates typically earn substantially more than workers with less education.53 At the same time, however, three trends suggest a mismatch between educational attainment and the knowledge and skills needed by employers. First, recent studies show that college graduates, while technically and functionally competent, are lacking in terms of teamwork skills, critical thinking, and analytic reasoning. Second, there is a shortage of college graduates in technical fields related to science, math, and engineering. Third, organizations are finding that high-school graduates working in entry-level positions do not possess the basic skills needed to perform effectively. This latter trend is partly due to a national highschool-graduation rate of only 75 percent and the existence of about 32 million adults in the United States who are functionally illiterate.54 Literacy is defined as “an individual’s ability to read, write, and speak English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job and in society, to achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential.”55 Many studies on illiteracy refer to illiteracy costing America around $60 billion a year in lost productivity. Such costs are worrisome to both government officials and business leaders (see the Example box). Generational Differences in an Aging WorkforceAmerica’s population and workforce are getting older, and the workforce includes greater generational differences than ever before. We already see four generations of employees working together, soon to be joined by a fifth (see Table 4.1). Managers need to deal effectively with these generational differences in values, attitudes, and behaviors. Many companies (including IBM, Lockheed Martin, Ernst & Young LLP, and Aetna) address this issue by providing training workshops on generational diversity. Page 129 EXAMPLEWhy Is a Skills Gap Important to the United States? The answer is all about the relationship between human capital and economic growth. Results from a global study presented in The Wall Street Journal showed that “countries with higher math and science skills have grown faster than those with lower-skilled populations.”56 WHERE DOES THE UNITED STATES STAND AGAINST OTHER COUNTRIES?The United States, once the envy of the world, in 1990 had the largest percentage of 25- to 34-year-olds with at least a college degree. Now the United States lags behind 14 other developed countries according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).57 More specifically, in 2009 the United States ranked 31st in math—similar to Portugal and Italy—on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. If you consider “advanced” performance on math, “16 countries produced twice as many high achievers per capita than the U.S. did.” WHY IS THE UNITED STATES FALLING BEHIND?There are several reasons. Too many high school dropouts is one. Another has to deal with the degrees students are pursuing. “Not all bachelor’s degrees are the same,” Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce said in an extensive analysis issue last year. “While going to college is undoubtedly a wise decision, what you take while you’re there matters a lot, too.”58 Many students simply are majoring in subjects that are not in demand.
HOW IS THE UNITED STATES TRYING TO OVERCOME THE SKILLS GAP?Referencing this gap, President Obama declared that “by 2020 America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”59 While such rhetoric won’t get the job done, it does point the country in the right direction. The president is also pushing for more student aid. Calls for federal and state governments, educators, associations, work councils, and organizations to cooperatively work together to solve this problem may yield results. One renewed idea is an increase in the use of apprenticeships. Apprenticeships let an organization train employees on the skills needed by the business. There were more than 375,000 people registered for apprenticeship programs in 2013.60 Educators are retooling the content of what they teach.
Ellen Van Velso, a senior fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership, noted that “while undergraduate business administration and MBA programs provide students with a variety of technical skills, leadership and other soft skills are virtually absent in many programs.”61 Educators are also changing how they teach, for example, with personalized learning. Personalized learning entails combining “a new generation of sophisticated adaptive courseware” with the “best of teacher- and computer-delivered instruction.” In this vein, some schools in New York City are experimenting with a “comprehensive math program called School of One, in which each student receives a unique daily schedule, called a playlist, based on his or her academic strengths and needs. Students in the same classroom receive substantially different instruction every day, often from several teachers, both in person and online.”62 YOUR THOUGHTS? 1.Are you hopeful that the United States can regain its dominance in human capital? 2.How valuable do you see each of the specific efforts to reduce the skills gap identified above? 3.What else would you recommend as a solution to cure the skills gap? Based on the labels used in Table 4.1, how many different generations do you see? Do you think it’s harder for a boomer to supervise a Millennial or vice versa? Table 4.1 summarizes generational differences using common labels: Traditionalists, baby boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials/Gen Ys, and the incoming Gen 2020s. We use such labels (and resulting generalizations) for sake of discussion. There are always exceptions to the characterizations shown in Table 4.1.63 Millennials account for the largest block of employees in the workforce, followed by baby boomers. This is important because many Millennials are being managed by boomers who possess very different values and personal traits. Traits, discussed in Chapter 3, represent stable physical and mental characteristics that form an individual’s identity. Conflicting values and traits are likely to create friction between people. For example, the workaholic and competitive nature of boomers is likely to conflict with the entitled and work–life balance perspective of Millennials. Managers and employees alike will need to be sensitive to the generational differences highlighted in Table 4.1. Page 130 TABLE 4.1GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES SOURCE: Adapted from J. C. Meister and K. Willyerd, The 2020 Workplace (New York: Harper Collins, 2010), 54–55; and R. Alsop, The Trophy Kids Grow Up (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008), 5. Have age-related differences at school or work caused any conflicts for you? The following Self-Assessment was created to assess your attitudes toward older employees. Because the term “older” is relative, we encourage you to define “older employees” in your own terms when completing the assessment. SELF-ASSESSMENT 4.1Attitudes about Working with Older Employees Go to connect.mheducation.com and take Self-Assessment 4.1. Then consider the following questions: 1.What is your attitude about working with older employees? Are you surprised by the results? 2.What is your level of satisfaction working with older employees? 3.Based on your results, what can you do to improve your satisfaction associated with working with older employees? Page 131 4.6BARRIERS AND CHALLENGES TO MANAGING DIVERSITY MAJOR QUESTION What are the most common barriers to implementing successful diversity programs? THE BIGGER PICTURE Wouldn’t you rather know what obstacles lay ahead, instead of discovering them too late? We share 11 common challenges in effectively managing diversity. Diversity is a sensitive, potentially volatile, and sometimes uncomfortable issue for people. For example, some think that diversity programs serve to create reverse discrimination against whites, and others believe that it is immoral to be anything other than heterosexual. It is therefore not surprising that organizations encounter significant barriers when trying to move forward with diversity initiatives. The following is a list of the most common barriers to implementing successful diversity programs:64 1.Inaccurate stereotypes and prejudice. This barrier manifests itself in the belief that differences are viewed as weaknesses. In turn, this promotes the view that diversity hiring will mean sacrificing competence and quality. A good example can be seen by considering a particular stereotype that significantly disadvantages women during salary negotiations. “Women are generally seen as low in competence but high in warmth, and men are seen as high in competence but low in warmth.”65 Research shows that women experience backlash when they engage in genderincongruent behaviors like being an aggressive negotiator. The end result is that recruiters or hiring managers lose interest in hiring or working with women who violate the high-warmth, low-competence stereotype.66 2.Ethnocentrism. The ethnocentrism barrier represents the feeling that one’s cultural rules and norms are superior or more appropriate than the rules and norms of another culture. 3.Poor career planning. This barrier is associated with the lack of opportunities for diverse employees to get the type of work assignments that qualify them for senior management positions. 4.A negative diversity climate. We define organizational climate in Chapter 7 as employee perceptions about an organization’s formal and informal policies, practices, and procedures. Diversity climate is a subcomponent of an organization’s overall climate and is defined as the employees’ aggregate “perceptions about the organization’s diversity-related formal structure characteristics and informal values.”67 Diversity climate is positive when employees view the organization as being fair to all types of employees; the concept of organizational fairness is raised again in Chapter 5. Recent research revealed that a positive diversity climate enhanced employees’ psychological safety. Psychological safety reflects the extent to which people feel safe to express their ideas and beliefs without fear of negative consequences. As you might expect, psychological safety is positively associated with outcomes in the Integrative Framework.68 5.An unsupportive and hostile working environment for diverse employees. Sexual, racial, and age harassment are common examples of hostile work environments. Whether perpetrated against women, men, older individuals, or LGBT people, hostile environments are demeaning, unethical, and appropriately called “work environment pollution.” You certainly won’t get employees’ best work if they believe that the work environment is hostile toward them. Remember, a hostile work environment is perceptual. This means that people have different perceptions of what entails “hostility.” It also is important to note that harassment can take place via e-mail, texting, and other forms of social media. Page 132 6.Lack of political savvy on the part of diverse employees. Diverse employees may not get promoted because they do not know how to “play the game” of getting along and getting ahead in an organization. Research reveals that women and people of color are excluded from organizational networks.69 Some organizations attempt to overcome this barrier by creating employee-resource groups. These groups encourage individuals with similar backgrounds to share common experiences and success strategies. American Express has 16 network groups and Cisco has 11.70 7.Difficulty in balancing career and family issues. Women still assume the majority of the responsibilities associated with raising children. This makes it harder for women to work evenings and weekends or to frequently travel once they have children. Even without children in the picture, household chores take more of a woman’s time than a man’s time. 8.Fears of reverse discrimination. Some employees believe that managing diversity is a smoke screen for reverse discrimination. This belief leads to very strong resistance because people feel that one person’s gain is another’s loss. 9.Diversity is not seen as an organizational priority. This leads to subtle resistance that shows up in the form of complaints and negative attitudes. Employees may complain about the time, energy, and resources devoted to diversity that could have been spent doing “real work.” 10.The need to revamp the organization’s performance appraisal and reward system. Performance appraisals and reward systems must reinforce the need to effectively manage diversity. This means that success will be based on a new set of criteria. For example, General Electric evaluates the extent to which its managers are inclusive of employees with different backgrounds. These evaluations are used in salary and promotion decisions.71 11.Resistance to change. Effectively managing diversity entails significant organizational and personal change. As discussed in Chapter 16, people resist change for many different reasons. Now that you know about the importance of the diversity climate, are you curious about the diversity climate in a current or former employer? If yes, take the Self-Assessment below. It measures the components of an organization’s diversity climate and will enable you to determine if your employer has or had a favorable or unfavorable climate. SELF-ASSESSMENT 4.2Assessing an Organization’s Diversity Climate Go to connect.mheducation.com and take Self-Assessment 4.2. Then consider the following questions: 1.What were the three highest- and lowest-rated survey items? What does this tell you about your employer? 2.Based on these scores, what advice would you give to the person in charge of human resources at the company you evaluated? In summary, managing diversity is a critical component of organizational success. It is not an easy task, but it is important if you want to create an environment that engages and motivates employees to do their best. Page 133 4.7ORGANIZATIONAL PRACTICES USED TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE DIVERSITY MAJOR QUESTION What are organizations doing to effectively manage diversity, and what works best? THE BIGGER PICTURE Whether you manage a diverse work group or find yourself managed within a diverse work group, you’ll do better by understanding the various ways in which organizations attempt to manage diversity. You’ll be able to review eight options in the following. Hint: We recommend mutual adaptation. What are organizations doing to effectively manage diversity? We can answer this question by first providing a framework for categorizing organizational initiatives. Framework of Options One especially relevant framework was developed by R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr., a diversity expert. He identified eight generic action options that can be used to address any type of diversity issue. After describing each action option, we discuss relationships among them.72 Option 1: Include/ExcludeThis choice is an outgrowth of affirmative-action programs. Its primary goal is to either increase or decrease the number of diverse people at all levels of the organization. Shoney’s restaurant chain represents a good example of a company that attempted to include diverse employees after settling a discrimination lawsuit. The company subsequently hired African Americans into positions of diningroom supervisors and vice presidents, added more franchises owned by African Americans, and purchased more goods and services from minority-owned companies.73 Option 2: DenyPeople using this option deny that differences exist. Denial may manifest itself in proclamations that all decisions are color, gender, and age blind and that success is solely determined by merit and performance. Consider Novartis Pharmaceuticals, for example. The company lost a gender discrimination lawsuit to a class of 5,600 female representatives, costing the company $152 million. Holly Waters, one of the plaintiffs, charged that “she was not only paid less than her male equivalents at Novartis, but was fired when she was seven months pregnant after taking a few weeks off on advice of her doctors.” Holly Waters was the highest performer in her district.74 Novartis denied that gender discrimination was a companywide issue despite the fact that 5,600 women will receive compensation.75 Page 134 Option 3: AssimilateThe basic premise behind this alternative is that all diverse people will learn to fit in or become like the dominant group. It only takes time and reinforcement for people to see the light. Organizations initially assimilate employees through their recruitment practices and the use of company-orientation programs. New hires generally are put through orientation programs that aim to provide employees with the organization’s preferred values and a set of standard operating procedures. Employees then are encouraged to refer to the policies and procedures manual when they are confused about what to do in a specific situation. These practices create homogeneity among employees. Option 4: SuppressDifferences are squelched or discouraged when using this approach. This can be done by telling or reinforcing others to quit whining and complaining about issues. The old “you’ve got to pay your dues” line is another frequently used way to promote the status quo. Option 5: IsolateThis option maintains the current way of doing things by setting the diverse person off to the side. In this way the individual is unable to influence organizational change. Managers can isolate people by putting them on special projects. Entire work groups or departments are isolated by creating functionally independent entities, frequently referred to as “silos.” Shoney Inc.’s employees commented to a Wall Street Journal reporter about isolation practices formerly used by the company: White managers told of how Mr. Danner [previous chairman of the company] told them to fire blacks if they became too numerous in restaurants in white neighborhoods; if they refused, they would lose their jobs, too. Some also said that when Mr. Danner was expected to visit their restaurant, they scheduled black employees off that day or, in one case, hid them in the bathroom. Others said blacks’ applications were coded and discarded.76 Option 6: TolerateToleration entails acknowledging differences but not valuing or accepting them. It represents a live-and-let-live approach that superficially allows organizations to give lip service to the issue of managing diversity. Toleration is different from isolation in that it allows for the inclusion of diverse people. However, differences are not really valued or accepted when an organization uses this option. Option 7: Build RelationshipsThis approach is based on the premise that good relationships can overcome differences. It addresses diversity by fostering quality relationships—characterized by acceptance and understanding—among diverse groups. Marriott, for example, has paired younger and older employees into teams so that they can more effectively capitalize on their strengths and weaknesses.77 Marriott hotels is upgrading the look in its hotel rooms to appeal to a wider base of customers. Here we see J.W. Marriott Jr. (right) with his three sons, John (left), Steve (second left), and David pulling on a ceremonial gold rope to unveil a model of the new room design. Option 8: Foster Mutual Adaptation In this option, people are willing to adapt or change their views for the sake of creating positive relationships with others. This implies that employees and management alike must be willing to accept differences and, most important, agree that everyone and everything is open for change. Diversity training is one way to kick-start mutual adaptation. Research shows that such training can positively enhance people’s attitudes and feelings about working with diverse employees.78 Conclusions about Action OptionsAlthough the action options can be used alone or in combination, some are clearly better than others. Exclusion, denial, assimilation, suppression, isolation, and toleration are among the least preferred options. Inclusion, building relationships, and mutual adaptation are the preferred strategies. That said, Thomas reminds us that mutual adaptation is the only approach that unquestionably endorses the philosophy behind managing diversity. In closing this discussion, it is important to note that choosing how to best manage diversity is a dynamic process that is determined by the context at hand. For instance, some organizations are not ready for mutual adaptation. The best one might hope for in this case is the inclusion of diverse people. Page 135 How Companies Are Responding to the Challenges of Diversity We close the chapter by sharing some examples and models that demonstrate how companies are responding to emerging challenges of managing diversity. If you compare the following actions against Thomas’s framework, you’ll find the greatest activity around Options 7 and 8, of building relationships or fostering mutual adaptation. Response: Paying Attention to Sexual OrientationA research project conducted by the Williams Institute at UCLA revealed that about 3.5 percent of adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT). This amounts to 9 million Americans.79 But there are challenges. It is currently legal in 29 states to fire employees whose sexual orientation is something other than heterosexual, and it is legal in 34 states to fire transgender individuals.80 This situation is likely to create negative job attitudes and feelings of marginalization for LGBT people. Corporate law firm Bingham McCutchen and Adobe Systems have tried to overcome this problem by instituting programs such as additional benefits for transgender employees and same-sex-partner benefits.81 Response: Responding to Changing Customer DemographicsA Citizens Union Bank branch in Louisville, Kentucky, designed and staffed the branch with the goal of attracting more Latina/o customers. The interior contains “bright, colorful walls of yellows and blues, large-scale photos of Latin American countries, comfortable couches, sit-down desks, a children’s play area, a television tuned to Hispanic programming and even a vending area stocked with popular Latin American–brand soft drinks and snacks.” The branch also took on a new name: Nuestro Banco, Spanish for “Our Bank.” Branch deposits are setting records, and the CEO is planning to use this same model in other locations.82 The point to remember is that companies need to adopt policies and procedures that meet the needs of all employees. As such, programs such as day care and elder care, flexible work schedules, and benefits such as paternal leaves, less-rigid relocation policies, concierge services, and mentoring programs are likely to become more popular. Response: Helping Women Navigate the Career LabyrinthOrganizations can make navigation easier by providing the developmental assignments that prepare women for promotional opportunities and providing flexible work schedules. For example, Boston Consulting Group “focuses heavily on recruiting and retaining women, offering part-time options, mentoring and professional-development programs.” Companies like McKinsey & Co. and Goldman Sachs Groups are using “on-ramping” programs to attract former female employees to return to work. On-ramping represents the process companies use to encourage people to reenter the workforce after a temporary career break. Goldman, for example, instituted “returnship” programs that offer short-term job assignments to former employees.83 Response: Helping Hispanics SucceedMiami Children’s Hospital and Shaw Industries Inc. in Dalton, Georgia, attempted to improve employee productivity, satisfaction, and motivation by developing customized training programs to improve the communication skills of their Spanish-speaking employees.84 Research further reveals that the retention and career progression of minorities can be significantly enhanced through effective mentoring. Page 136 Response: Providing both Community and Corporate Training to Reduce the Mismatch between Education and Job Requirements To combat this issue on a more global level, companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co. are partnering with local communities. JPMorgan started The Fellowship Initiative (TFI) in New York in 2010 and expanded it to Chicago and Los Angeles in 2014. The goal of the program is to provide intensive academic and leadership training to young men of color. Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan, is committed to the program. He concluded that “these young men need access to high quality education and positive role models in and outside the classroom.” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg applauded JPMorgan’s effort by concluding that “we need more civic-minded companies and organizations to step up and join this work, and I congratulate JPMorgan Chase for being a leader in this effort and for making a real difference in the lives of young men of color in our city.”85 At the individual corporate level, companies like Wheeler Machinery Co. in Salt Lake City have instituted specialized training programs that enable less-qualified people to perform more technically oriented jobs. Lockheed Martin and Agilent Technologies also offer some type of paid apprenticeship or internship to attract high-school students interested in the sciences.86 Response: Retaining and Valuing Skills and Expertise in an Aging WorkforceHere are seven initiatives that can help organizations to motivate and retain an aging workforce: 1.Provide challenging work assignments that make a difference to the firm. 2.Give the employee considerable autonomy and latitude in completing a task. 3.Provide equal access to training and learning opportunities when it comes to new technology. 4.Provide frequent recognition for skills, experience, and wisdom gained over the years. 5.Provide mentoring opportunities whereby older workers can pass on accumulated knowledge to younger employees. 6.Ensure that older workers receive sensitive, high-quality supervision. 7.Design a work environment that is both stimulating and fun.87 You’ll see a number of these tactics at work in the employers who made AARP’s 2013 list of best employers for older workers, as, for example, the training and learning opportunities provided by every employer who made the list. Employers making the list typically offer flextime, compressed work schedules, job sharing, and telecommuting. Representative winners: Scripps Health, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and S&T Bank.88 Response: Resolving Generational DifferencesTraditional and boomer managers are encouraged to consider their approach toward managing the technologically savvy Gen Xers and Gen Ys. Gen Xers and Ys, for instance, are more likely to visit social networking sites during the work day, often perceiving this activity as a “virtual coffee break.” In contrast, Traditional and boomer managers are more likely to view this as wasted time, thereby leading to policies that attempt to shut down such activity. Experts suggest that restricting access to social media will not work in the long run if an employer wants to motivate younger employees. Would you like to improve your working relationships with diverse people? If yes, then the Self-Assessment shown on the following page can help. It asks you to compare yourself with a group of other people you interact with and then to examine the quality of the relationships between yourself and these individuals. This enables you to gain a better understanding of how similarities and differences among people influence your attitudes and behavior. Page 137 SELF-ASSESSMENT 4.3How Does My Diversity Profile Affect My Relationships with Other People? Go to connect.mheducation.com and take Self-Assessment 4.3. Then consider the following questions: 1.Which diversity dimensions have the greatest influence with respect to the quality of your interpersonal relationships? 2.Consider the person with whom you have the most difficulty working. Which dimensions of diversity may contribute to this bad relationship? What can you do to improve the relationship? Response: Keep Working at ItManaging diversity takes commitment. Sodexo is a good example (see the box below). The company went from being highly regarded in managing diversity, to encountering diversity-related problems. The company is working to overcome these issues. solving application Sodexo Encounters Diversity-Related Problems Sodexo, one of the world’s largest providers of food services and management, with nearly 420,000 employees in 80 countries, is a good example of a company that has attempted to effectively manage diversity. Sodexo has a deserved if well-groomed reputation for its diversity efforts, but the company’s record is not perfect. Although the company was rated by DiversityInc in 2013 as the very best company for diversity based on its annual survey of 893 firms, Sodexo still is encountering diversity-related problems.89 Problems at Sodexo. Sodexo began its diversity program in 2002 in response to an anti-discrimination class-action lawsuit, brought by African-American employees who claimed they were not being promoted at the same rate as their white colleagues. The suit was eventually settled for $80 million in 2005. In 2010 NPR reported that “about a quarter of the company’s managers are minorities, but only about 12 percent are black, which is not much of a change from five years ago, when the lawsuit was settled.”90 Sodexo continues to have issues with labor and the law. Since the 2005 settlement, allegations of discrimination have continued, although often local in scope. The company has had other labor problems, with workers complaining about low wages. Also in 2010 Sodexo was called out by the Human Rights Watch in a 2010 report detailing the company’s violations of workers’ rights to unionize at several US locations. On the legal front Sodexo has fought isolated health code violations and charges of pocketing rebates from vendors to the detriment of several state clients.91 In 2013 Sodexo agreed to pay $20 million in one such rebate fraud lawsuit brought by New York.92 Executives from Sodexo speaking to employees. YOUR CALL Apply the 3-Stop Problem-Solving Approach. Stop 1:What is the problem in this case? Stop 2:Identify the OB concepts or theories to use to solve the problem. Stop 3:What would you do to correct this situation? Page 138 what did i learn? You learned that social perception and managing diversity are essential for success. Why? Social perception, so that you can better understand the perception process, improve how you are perceived, and adjust your own perception to avoid common perceptual errors; managing diversity (represented by demographics in our Integrative Framework), so that you can better optimize diversity’s effect on individual and group/team outcomes. Reinforce your learning with the Key Points below. Then, consolidate your learning using the Integrative Framework. Finally, Challenge your mastery of the material by answering the Major Questions in your own words. Key Points for Understanding Chapter 4 You learned the following key points. 4.1A SOCIAL INFORMATION PROCESSING MODEL OF PERCEPTION •Perception is a mental and cognitive process that enables us to interpret and understand our surroundings. •Social perception is a four-stage process. The four stages are selective attention/comprehension, encoding and simplification, storage and retention, and retrieval and response (see Figure 4.1). •Social perception affects a wide variety of organizational activities including hiring decisions, performance appraisals, leadership, and designing web pages. 4.2STEREOTYPES •Stereotypes are used during encoding and represent overgeneralized beliefs about the characteristics of a group. •Stereotypes are not always negative, and they are not always inaccurate. •Common stereotypes involve gender, race, and age. •Stereotyping is a four-step process that includes categorization, inference, expectation formation, and maintenance. •Stereotypes are maintained by (a) overestimating the frequency of stereotypic behaviors exhibited by others, (b) incorrectly explaining expected and unexpected behaviors, and (c) differentiating minority individuals from oneself. 4.3CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS •Causal attributions represent suspected or inferred causes of behavior. •According to Kelley’s model of causal attribution, external attributions tend to be made when consensus and distinctiveness are high and consistency is low. Internal (personal responsibility) attributions tend to be made when consensus and distinctiveness are low and consistency is high. •The fundamental attribution bias involves emphasizing personal factors more than situational factors while formulating attributions. The self-serving bias involves personalizing the causes of one’s success and externalizing the causes of one’s failures. 4.4DEFINING AND MANAGING DIVERSITY •Diversity represents the individual differences that make people different from and similar to each other. •Diversity varies along “surface-level” characteristics like race, gender, and age. It also varies along “deep-level” characteristics such as attitudes, opinions, and values. •Affirmative action is an outgrowth of equal employment opportunity legislation and is an artificial intervention aimed at giving management a chance to correct past discrimination. •Managing diversity entails creating a host of organizational changes that enable all people to perform up to their maximum potential. 4.5BUILDING THE BUSINESS CASE FOR MANAGING DIVERSITY •Managing diversity is predicted to be good business because it aims to engage employees and satisfy customers’ unique needs. •There are four key demographic trends: (a) women navigating a labyrinth after breaking the glass ceiling, (b) racial groups encountering a glass ceiling and perceived discrimination, (c) a mismatch existing between workers’ educational attainment and occupational requirements, and (d) generational differences in an aging workforce. 4.6BARRIERS AND CHALLENGES TO MANAGING DIVERSITY Page 139 •There are 11 barriers to successfully implementing diversity initiatives: (a) inaccurate stereotypes and prejudice, (b) ethnocentrism, (c) poor career planning, (d) a negative diversity climate, (e) an unsupportive and hostile working environment for diverse employees, (f) lack of political savvy on the part of diverse employees, (g) difficulty in balancing career and family issues, (h) fears of reverse discrimination, (i) diversity not seen as an organizational priority, (j) the need to revamp the organization’s performance appraisal and reward system, and (k) resistance to change. 4.7ORGANIZATIONAL PRACTICES USED TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE DIVERSITY •Organizations have eight options that they can use to address diversity issues: (a) include/exclude the number of diverse people at all levels of the organization, (b) deny that differences exist, (c) assimilate diverse people into the dominant group, (d) suppress differences, (e) isolate diverse members from the larger group, (f) tolerate differences among employees, (g) build relationships among diverse employees, and (h) foster mutual adaptation to create positive relationships. The Integrative Framework for Chapter 4 As shown in Figure 4.4, you learned that demographics representing diversity serve as a key input and perceptions and group/team dynamics are crucial processes. These result in a variety of important outcomes, chief among them well-being/flourishing at the individual level and being the employer of choice and reputation at the organizational level. These outcomes appear in boldface. Other outcomes listed were touched upon in the chapter. Challenge: Major Questions for Chapter 4 At the start of the chapter, we told you that after reading the chapter you should be able to answer the following major questions. Unless you can, have you really processed and internalized the lessons in the chapter? Refer to the Key Points, Figure 4.4, the chapter itself, and your notes to revisit and answer the following major questions: 1.How does the perception process affect the quality of my decisions and interpersonal relationships? 2.How can I use knowledge of stereotypes to make better decisions and manage more effectively? 3.How do I tend to interpret employee performance? 4.How does awareness about the layers of diversity help organizations effectively manage diversity? 5.What is the business rationale for managing diversity? 6.What are the most common barriers to implementing successful diversity programs? 7.What are organizations doing to effectively manage diversity, and what works best? FIGURE 4.4INTEGRATIVE FRAMEWORK FOR UNDERSTANDING AND APPLYING OB © 2014 Angelo Kinicki and Mel Fugate. All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited without permission of the authors. Page 140 PROBLEM-SOLVING APPLICATION CASE (PSAC) Seal of Disapproval Wet Seal Inc. sells women’s clothes and accessories under two brands in malls and shopping centers across the country (and Puerto Rico). Under the Wet Seal banner, nearly 470 stores target younger female customers aged 13 to 23 years old. Its Arden B brand, through some 80 stores, targets women aged 21 to 39. These age ranges come from the company itself (at wetsealinc.com), which identifies Wet Seal as a “trend-right fashion retailer” and its target as “girls,” with its core customer at 16 years of age, who loves fashion and shops frequently, both in the mall and online. The company identifies Arden B as a “contemporary fashion destination” with its target as “women,” and its core customer at 28 years of age, who maintains a full social calendar and is always “dressed.” So far so good. But why would the company want to trigger a furor over outrageously callous and nearly unthinkable racist hiring practices? The issue went public in 2012 but has earlier roots. Wrong by Race For Nicole Cogdell the trouble started in 2009 when she and her associates at the Wet Seal store in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, were preparing to welcome visiting Senior Vice President of Store Operations Barbara Bachman. After the meet and greet, Cogdell was shocked by what happened next. “I later overheard her say to the district manager, ‘I was expecting someone with blond hair and blue eyes.’ She also said that I was not the brand image that Wet Seal wanted to project and the regional manager must have been out of her mind to promote an African American as store manager for the King of Prussia store.”93 Cogdell said that her two associates heard the comment too. She was later terminated, and said her district manager told her she was being fired because she was African American. “I was completely embarrassed and humiliated. I was just shocked that someone would say something like that. . . . I never dealt with race discrimination at any of my jobs prior to this situation. I was just overall devastated.” Consolation Job The company offered her a new position. “That job consisted of a demotion from my previous position,” she said, with “less pay and going back to the Springfield store. I declined the offer because the company refused to address their policies. I have always been a professional in the workplace, and I believe you should be judged by your performance and not the color of your skin.” Management Edicts Cogdell’s contention that racial bias was a matter of company policy has surprising collaboration. In a March 2009 e-mail to the Vice President of Store Operations and a district manager, under the heading “Global Issues,” Bachman wrote, “Store Teams need diversity—African Americans dominate—huge issue.” After observing a number of African-American employees working at a store, another senior executive ordered a district manager to “clean the entire store out.”94 Lawsuit In 2012 the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) of the National Association of Colored People (NAACP) filed Cogdell v. Wet Seal. The class action lawsuit alleged that “top executives at Wet Seal directed senior managers to get rid of African American store management employees for the sake of its ‘brand image,’ and to hire more white employees.”95 Joining Cogdell as plaintiffs were two other former Wet Seal employees: Myriam Saint-Hilaire, also from the King of Prussia store, and Kai Hawkins, who had worked at Wet Seal locations in California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs seek back pay, general damages, and punitive damages. Documentation “This case is remarkable in part because the discriminatory policies are documented by former managers, but also in an e-mail from the senior vice president,” Brad Seligman, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said. “There is nothing subtle here.”96 Elsewhere Seligman was quoted as saying, “They perceived that they would reach white markets better if they had more white managers. You have explicit directions from the very top of the company to terminate African American managers.”97 EEOC Determination In November 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced it had found that Wet Seal illegally discriminated against Cogdell. In its statement, citing unusually blatant evidence of racial discrimination, the director of the commission’s Philadelphia office noted that Wet Seal’s “corporate managers have openly stated they wanted employees who had the ‘Armani look, were white, had blue eyes, thin and blond’ to be profitable.’”98 Note: By this time the EEOC had received over 20 complaints against Wet Seal.99 Page 141 Resigned vs. Being Forced Out In the suit, Wet Seal claimed that Cogdell had resigned her position for unknown reasons and therefore the company was not guilty of an adverse employment action. In contrast, the EEOC determination was that the hostile environment forced her to resign and that resignation was her only recourse. Selective Diversity In defending her e-mail in an August 2012 deposition, Bachman said she wrote her comments to stress the importance of having diversity in all stores. The EEOC determination noted that “witness interviews revealed that Bachman never expressed diversity concerns in stores with a predominantly white sales force but encouraged it because the sales force mirrored the community.”100 Bachman, by the way, left Wet Seal in 2011 and is now a retail consultant. Race, Retail, Body Image As of a recent visit to the Wet Seal site (wetseal.com), five photographs showed eight young women in all, with some models appearing more than once. All women were young, thin, and attractive; all but one model were clearly white. The one non-Caucasian model, who may be African American or of mixed race, appeared twice, once alone and once standing with another model. The site also has numerous links at the bottom of the page to stress the company’s commitment to diversity. Online Demographics While Wet Seal does not publish the demographics of its customers beyond targeting specific age groups, a web analytics company purports to do just that. Quantcast Corporation routinely provides free analytics of web traffic to major vendors to induce the vendors to purchase its premium data services. Basically Quantcast extrapolates specific demographic data from known profiles developed from unique computer or ISP identifiers. With caveats that its statistics on wetseal.com are partial and include estimates, the stats are most useful as relative measures compared to the demographics associated with all web users. A recent tally by Quantcast showed wetseal.com traffic in gender to be 64% female (vs. 51% for the net overall). In age, the under 18-component at 36% was highest, followed by the 18–24 group at 28% (vs. 18% and 12% for the net overall). In race, visitors were 49% Caucasian and 26% African American, followed by Hispanic and Asian segments (vs. 75% Caucasian and 9% African American, again followed by Hispanic and Asian). The figures relate only to visits and not sales. Employee View Meanwhile, current employee reviews of Wet Seal as an employer on the employer ranking site glassdoor.com do not mention racial discrimination, but some reviews complain of favoritism, especially on the basis of appearance. Apply the 3-Stop Problem-Solving Approach to OB Use the Integrative Framework in Figure 4.4 along the journey through all three stops to help identify inputs, processes, and outcomes relative to this case. Stop 1.Define the problem. Stop 2.Identify the OB concepts or theories to use to solve the problem. Stop 3.Make recommendations and (if appropriate) take action. And then . . . •Justify your solution. •Tell how you will evaluate the effectiveness of your solution. LEGAL/ETHICAL CHALLENGE Swastikas and Neonatal Care This case involved an incident that occurred at Hurley Medical Center in Michigan. It resulted in a lawsuit. Tonya Battle, a veteran black nurse in Hurley’s neonatal intensive care unit, was taking care of a baby when a man walked into the unit. The man, who had a swastika tattoo, reached for the baby and was stopped by Tonya. She asked to see the wristband that identified him as the baby’s parent. This was apparently hospital policy. “He abruptly told her he wanted to see her supervisor, who then advised Battle she should no longer care for the child.”101 The man requested that no African-American nurses should take care of his child. A note was subsequently put on the assignment clipboard saying, “No African American nurse to take care of baby.” Tonya was “shocked, offended, and in disbelief that she was so egregiously discriminated against based on her race and re-assigned, according to the lawsuit, which asks for punitive damages for emotional stress, mental anguish, humiliation and damages to her reputation.102 Battle could not understand why the hospital would accommodate the man’s request. Although the note was later removed, black nurses were not allowed to care for the child for about a month. Page 142 It is important to note that the “American Medical Association’s ethics code bars doctors from refusing to treat people based on race, gender, and other criteria, but there are no specific policies for handling race-based requests from patients.” Further, a survey of “emergency physicians found patients often make such requests, and they are routinely accommodated. A third of doctors who responded said they felt patients perceive better care from providers of shared demographics, with racial matches considered more important than gender or religion.”103 Your Views What would you have done if you were a medical administrator at the time the request was made? 1.I would not have honored the man’s request. I would have explained why Tonya Battle and other African-American nurses are best suited to take care of his child. 2.I would have done exactly what the hospital did. The man has a right to have his child taken care of by someone with a race or gender of his choosing. What would you do about the lawsuit? 1.Fight it. It’s ridiculous that someone would feel emotional stress and humiliation from simply being reassigned. 2.Settle the lawsuit and create a policy that prohibits honoring future requests like this. 3.Settle the lawsuit but not create a policy prohibiting accommodating such requests. Rather, hold a hospitalwide meeting explaining the rationale for why the hospital needs to accommodate such requests. GROUP EXERCISE Managing Diversity-Related Interactions Objectives 1.To improve your ability to manage diversity-related interactions more effectively. 2.To explore different approaches for handling diversity interactions. Introduction The interpersonal component of managing diversity can be awkward and uncomfortable. This is partly due to the fact that resolving diversity interactions requires us to deal with situations we may never have encountered before. The purpose of this exercise is to help you manage diversity-related interactions more effectively. To do so, you will be asked to read three scenarios and then decide how you will handle each situation. Instructions Presented here are three scenarios depicting diversityrelated interactions. Please read the first scenario, and then answer the three questions that follow it. Follow the same procedure for the next two scenarios. Next, divide into groups of three. One at a time, each person should present his or her responses to the three questions for the first scenario. The groups should then discuss the various approaches that were proposed to resolve the diversity interaction and try to arrive at a consensus recommendation. Follow the same procedure for the next two scenarios. SCENARIO 1 Dave, who is one of your direct reports, comes to you and says that he and Scott are having a special commitment ceremony to celebrate the beginning of their lives together. He has invited you to the ceremony. Normally the department has a party and cake for special occasions. Mary, who is one of Dave’s peers, has just walked into your office and asks you whether you intend to have a party for Dave. A.How would you respond? B.What is the potential impact of your response? C.If you choose not to respond, what is the potential impact of your behavior? SCENARIO 2 You have an open position for a supervisor, and your top two candidates are an African-American female and a white female. Both candidates are equally qualified. The position is responsible for five white team leaders. You hire the white female because the work group likes her. The team leaders said that they felt more comfortable with the white female. The vice president of human resources has just called you on the phone and asks you to explain why you hired the white female. Page 143 A.How would you respond? B.What is the potential impact of not hiring the African American? C.What is the potential impact of hiring the African American? SCENARIO 3 While attending an off-site business meeting, you are waiting in line with a group of team leaders to get your lunch at a buffet. Without any forewarning, one of your peers in the line loudly says, “Thank goodness Terry is at the end of the line. With his size and appetite there wouldn’t be any food left for the rest of us.” You believe Terry may have heard this comment, and you feel the comment was more of a “weight-related” slur than a joke. A.How would you respond? B.What is the potential impact of your response? C.If you choose not to respond, what is the potential impact of your behavior? Questions for Discussion 1.What was the recommended response for each scenario? 2.Which scenario generated the most emotion and disagreement? Explain why this occurred. 3.What is the potential impact of a manager’s lack of response to Scenarios 1 and 3? Explain.
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