Diversity Education Corporate Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Diversity Education

The American workplace has become increasingly diverse, a reflection of the American urban environment. Diversity training serves a few different purposes in organizations. The first is that it promotes an atmosphere of tolerance in the company, but many scholars have also made a business case for diversity. Some earlier writings on the subject outlined that diversity training helps to resolve internal conflict, improve communication flows within the company, align the company better with its market, and can also help improve organizational creativity by introducing new ideas to organizations (Cox & Blake, 1991). Later writers noted that the effects of diversity were complex, something that should be reflected in the way that the organization trains for diversity (Milliken & Martins, 1996).

As awareness of diversity grows, and the case for diversity training increases, it is evident that more companies are including a diversity component in their training programs. Initially, diversity training was oriented towards compliance issues, following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but by the 1990s the tone of diversity training shifted. The focus at that point was on improving working relationships, and by the 2000s the focus for diversity training had shifted again, this time towards leveraging diversity for
...As the workplace becomes increasingly diverse, it is necessary to ensure that the transition to diversity is smooth. Yes, there are compliance issues at work, and this is something that the company must be aware of. But the change in how organizational diversity is viewed and trained reflects the belief today that diversity can be a powerful source of advantage. The current economic environment is so globalized that no company is without workers, suppliers, customers or competitors from other cultures, and therefore it is necessary to provide some education as to how this can be utilized for advantage.

This is not to say that there are no ethical issues with regards to diversity training. One point of opposition to diversity training has arisen, not so much with the idea in general, but in the way that diversity is taught. In many spheres, diversity training has a tendency to focus on the idea that all are equal, and indeed more or less the same. This view, possibly rooted in Eurocentric guilt for past oppressions, ends up whitewashing people, when the reality is that people from different cultures can be very different from each other. This has led to criticism of one of the underlying assumptions around which much diversity training is built. It points to a different form, a new evolution, of diversity training, in which organizations accept differences.…

Sources Used in Documents:


Anand, R. & Winters, M. (2008). A retrospective view of corporate diversity training from 1964 to present. Academy of Management Learning & Education. Vol. 7 (3) 356-372.

Cox, T. & Blake, M. (1991). Managing cultural diversity: Implications for organizational competitiveness. Academy of Management Executive. Vol. 5 (3) 45-56.

Milliken, F. & Martens, L. (1996). Searching for common threads: Understanding the multiple effects of diversity in organizational groups. Academy of Management Review. Vol. 21 (2) 402-433.

Swoyer, C. (2003). Relativism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/relativism/#2.5

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