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Intercultural Management

Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity: Theory, cases and exercises (2nd Edition) Kathryn A. Canas and Harris Sondak
Perason Education, Inc., publishing Prentice Hall, One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ

1. In Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity, pages 7-11 of Chapter 1 compare seven definitions of diversity as proposed by various groups and individuals. In your opinion, which definition is the most accurate? Justify your response.

According to our text, there are seven definitions of diversity: (1) Society for Human Resources, (2) Marilyn Loden, (3) Anita Rowe and Lee Gardenwartz, (4) R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr., (5), Myrtle P. Bell, (6) David A. Thomas and Robin J. Ely and (7) Michalle E. Mor Barak. The one I feel that is the most accurate is

2. Race, national origin, and color of skin are all covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Explain the differences between these three concepts. How are they related? How are these concepts related to one's culture?

3. Chapter 1 of Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity describes the leadership-based organizational paradigms for managing diversity. Give a brief description of each of the four paradigms, and identify which paradigm(s) you see in your own workplace.

(1) Resistance Paradigm, (2) Discrimination-and-Fairness Paradigm, (3) Access-and-Legitimacy, (4) Integration-and-Learning Paradigm

4. According to the systematic approach to managing diversity, recruitment and retention are a critical component of diversity management. Summarize the issues involved in recruiting and retaining a culturally diverse workforce. Regarding diverse employees and diverse markets, Cañas and Sondak argue that better-performing companies may simply attract the best talent among all groups of workers. Explain the meaning, and discuss whether you agree or disagree.

5. In Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity, Chapter 1 describes the integration-and-learning diversity management paradigm, and the systematic approach to managing diversity addressed in Chapter 3 is an expansion of this paradigm. Discuss the six diversity components and associated diversity initiatives that make up the systematic approach to diversity management. Why are these components important to managing diversity?

Systemic Approach to Managing Diversity: (1) Leadership Commitment (2) Communication (3) Recruitment and Retention (4) Diversity Incorporated into Main Work of Organization (5) Initiatives Linked to Outcomes (6) External Relations

6. What is the value of diversity in the workplace? Describe the aspects of business that are positively influenced as a direct result of a diverse workforce.

7. On a global level, intercultural management is often associated with international management and multinational business. However, in a diverse population such as in the United States, intercultural management refers to managing diversity in a domestic setting. Summarize the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What is the relationship between Title VII and intercultural/diversity management?

8. What is affirmative action? Has affirmative action helped to alleviate discrimination in the workplace?

Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity: Theory, cases and exercises (2nd Edition) Kathryn A. Canas and Harris Sondak
Perason Education, Inc., publishing Prentice Hall, One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ

Solution Preview

Challenging and Improving the Teaching of Diversity Management. By: Cañas, Kathryn; Sondak, Harris. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations, May2010, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p139-158, 20p

1. In Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity, pages 7-11 of Chapter 1 compare seven definitions of diversity as proposed by various groups and individuals. In your opinion, which definition is the most accurate? Justify your response.

The definition of diversity is predicated upon whom is defining this term as a myriad of different explanations are used to explain this term. Michàlle Barak alludes to the fact diversity cannot be marginalized for one all-encompassing term, therefore; the management of any organization should focus their efforts toward designing and implementing policies and programs that deliberately generate greater inclusions of employees from various backgrounds into the formal and informal organizational structures of the organization. According to Loden, diversity represents characteristics in humans that are important to how individuals view themselves and others at work according to the values and opportunities that have been experienced throughout one's life.

Rowe and Gardenswartz elucidate upon Loden's definition and posit that at the center of the diversity model is "personality" with the next layer representing "internal dimensions" followed by external dimensions. The last layer of the diversity model, which incorporates the outer layer is organizational characteristics that when brought together with the other 3 layers form a divsity filter.

Bells definition of diversity is the most explanatory definition and the one that I adhere to personally. Bell posits that diversity is permeated around race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, physical and mental ability, sexual orientation, work and family status, and weight and appearance. The impetus for these traits representing diversity is steeped within the fact that historically in the workforce these traits have determined which groups would be marginalized and have established power dominance relations between groups, particularly white males who have had most of the power throughout recent history. In addition, these areas are evident and cannot be changed in most instances representing strong sources of personal identity, and have resulted in historical disparities in treatment, opportunities, and outcomes within the workforce throughout history.

David A. Thomas and Robin J. Ely consider diversity to represent the varied perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups bring into the organization.

2. Race, national origin, and color of skin are all covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Explain the differences between these three concepts. How are they related? How are these concepts related to one's culture?

The difference between race, national origin, and color of skin are complicated but able to be explained through a particular cultures view on these issues. In America, anyone born in America has a national origin of American but American society is highly predicated upon race and color of skin. Those with African features are considered Black because the color of their skin is Black while others such as Mexicans, Asians, and some from the Caribbean may classify themselves as white. The color of these races skin, which may be similar to what is considered white in America, enables them to identify as white on job applications, which can be beneficial in America still. This is because of the racist history of America that was and to a large extent is still predicated upon race.

If you were to go to a country such as Sudan,D the ideas of race, national origin, ...

Solution Summary

The opportunities and challenges of workplace diversity are examined. The various groups and individuals are determined.

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