Chapter 3 – Diversity, Culture, and Values
Person Perception and Workforce Diversity
•Workforce Diversity: Differences among recruits and employees in characteristics
such as gender, race, age, religion, cultural background, physical ability, or sexual
The Changing Workplace
•Used to be mainly Caucasian and male, but now it includes women, immigrants, and
aging baby boomers.
•Organizations are seeking to recruit people who reflect their diverse customer base.
•Globalization, mergers, and strategic alliances => many employees are required to
interact with people from substantially different national or corporate cultures.
•Diversity and its proper management can yield strategic and competitive advantages
– potential for improved problem solving and creativity and improved recruiting and
marketing when the firm’s human resources profile matches that of the labour pool
and customer base.
Competitive Advantages to Valuing and Managing a Diverse Workforce
1.Cost ArgumentAs organizations become more diverse, the cost of a poor
job in integrating workers will increase. Those who
handle this well will thus create cost advantages over
those who don’t.
Companies develop reputations on favourability as
prospective employers for women and ethnic minorities.
Those with the best reputations for managing diversity
will win the competition for the best personnel. As the
labour pool shrinks and changes composition, this edge
will become increasingly important.
3.Marketing ArgumentFor multinational organizations, the insight and cultural
sensitivity that members with roots in other countries
bring to the marketing effort should improve these efforts
in important ways. The same rationale applies to
marketing to subpopulations within domestic operations.
4.Creativity ArgumentDiversity of perspectives and less emphasis on
conformity to norms of the past (which characterize the
modern approach to management of diversity) should
improve the level of creativity.
Heterogeneity in decision and problem solving groups
potentially produces better decisions through a wider
range of perspectives and more through critical analysis
An implication of the multicultural model for managing
diversity that the system will become less determinant,
less standardized, and therefore more fluid. The
increased fluidity should create greater flexibility to
react to environmental changes (i.e., reactions should be
faster and at less cost).
Stereotypes and Workforce Diversity
•Stereotype Threat: members of a social group feel they might be judged or treated
according to a stereotype and that their behaviour or performance will confirm the
stereotype. Undermines a person’s performance.
Racial and Ethnic Stereotypes
•Pervasive, persistent, frequently negative, and often self-contradictory.
•Personal experience is unnecessary for stereotype formation.
•Some stereotypes are contradictory e.g., one may describe a particular group as
being too lazy, while at the same time criticize it for taking one’s job opportunities
•Visible minorities perceive less career satisfaction and advancement opportunities
compared to whites.
•Attributions can play an important role in determining how job performance is
interpreted e.g., others may perceive a black person’s good job performance as due to
•If prejudice, negative stereotyping, ethnocentrism, and discrimination exist within
the environment that an organization inhabits, it is very likely that these problems
will surface within the organization itself.
•Although women occupy a significant proportion of entry- and mid-level
management positions, they are significantly under-represented in top-level
•Successful middle managers are seen as more similar to men in qualities such as
leadership ability, competitiveness, self-confidence, ambitiousness, and objectivity.
Stereotypes of successful middle managers do not correspond to stereotypes of
•Gender stereotypes favour women when it comes to “women’s” jobs (e.g., nurse) or
“women’s” tasks (e.g., supervising other women).
•When women are successful in traditional male jobs, they are less liked. And being
disliked has a negative effect on their evaluations and recommendations for rewards.
•Women suffer from a stereotype that is detrimental to their hiring, development,
promotion, and salaries.
•Female managers are also more likely than male managers to have to make off-the-
job sacrifices and compromises in family life to maintain their careers.
•Detrimental effects of stereotypes are reduced or removed when decision makers
have good information about the qualifications and performance of particular women
and an accurate picture of the job that they are applying for or seeking promotion
•Firms with the highest representation of women in senior management positions
have a 35% higher return on equity and a 34% greater return to shareholders than
firms with the fewest women in senior positions.
•Industries that tend to be stereotypically male continue to have the lowest
representation of women in senior positions.
•Assumptions about physical, psychological, and intellectual capabilities based on
•Stereotypes about older workers – less capacity for performance, less potential for
development, and more stable (more honest, dependable, and trustworthy). Age
seldom limits the capacity for development. Age and performance are unrelated.
•Affect decisions regarding hiring, promotion, and skills development.
•Diversity needs to be managed to have a positive impact on work behaviour and an
Chapter 3 diversity, culture, and values: 84-109. Person perception and workforce diversity: workforce diversity: differences among recruits and employees in characteristics such as gender, race, age, religion, cultural background, physical ability, or sexual orientation. Valuing diversity: diversity and its proper management can yield strategic and competitive advantages. Potential for improved problem solving and creativity and improved recruiting and marketing when the firm"s human resources profile matches that of the labour pool and customer base. Competitive advantages to valuing and managing a diverse workforce: cost argument, resource-acquisition. As organizations become more diverse, the cost of a poor job in integrating workers will increase. Those who handle this well will thus create cost advantages over those who don"t. Companies develop reputations on favourability as prospective employers for women and ethnic minorities. Those with the best reputations for managing diversity will win the competition for the best personnel. As the labour pool shrinks and changes composition, this edge will become increasingly important.