Cushner, McClelland, and Safford (1996) defined diversity as a notion needed to "to include differences based on gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and handicapping conditions" (p. xvii). Diversity is not simply "a notion of "other" ... that all Americans are, to some degree, multicultural because they live in a multicultural society" (p.xvii). The idea of diversity being more than simply understanding the multicultural heritage of employees, and culture-specific approaches to team-building can lead to problems.Leadership as it is traditionally known (command and control) does not address the rapid social, cultural, and organizational changes that are occurring around the world. Future leaders must have a global perspective and an acute awareness of cultural factors. With increasing cultural diversity , the changing workforce, and globalization, the ability to understand and interact with other cultures in a nonjudgmental manner is crucial. Further, the increase in the number of women, people with disabilities, and other traditionally underrepresented groups can lead to difficulties in communication, work and scheduling management (maternity leave, ADA and Affirmative Action/EEOC rules), and other issues. Creating high-performance teams out of diverse workforces is thus the essential challenge of business in the 21st century.
[...] As an evolving and future conceptualization, pluralism takes diversity further towards a fuller integration of differences, by embracing distinct and legitimate co- existence of differences and permitting the maintenance of individual and collective identities. Diversity awareness and promotion is a multifaceted phenomenon that could be positively affected by various leadership perspectives and organizational strategies together these can be referred to as a "diversity orientation." (Richard, 2000). The term "diversity orientation" refers to policies and practices an organization must follow to properly engage in diversity management. [...]
[...] Next there was racial awareness that emphasized understanding racial characteristics mostly from a black-white orientation. The third movement was equity that focused on both, race and gender justice, fair treatment and impartiality. The fourth development was multicultural awareness which stressed the acceptance and existence of many cultures interwoven in the American culture, permitting the recognition of differences beyond blacks and whites. The fifth progression is diversity that acknowledges different worldviews, race, socioeconomic status, lifestyles and other demographics. The final (yet not as widely used) development is pluralism. [...]
[...] Social identity theory is a powerful tool for understanding the dynamics of demographically diverse groups. As mentioned above, social identity theory suggests that in-group members tend to get along better than do members of diverse groups and the organizational literature empirically demonstrates this supposition. White males tend to have management and executive positions, while women (Kersten, 2000) and non-whites tend to occupy subordinate positions, which tends to perpetuate the division known as the "glass ceiling" while increasing animosity between managers and subordinates. [...]
[...] It is also not surprising that Williams and O'Reilly's (1998) forty-year literature review demonstrated mixed results when examining the link between diversity and organizational performance. Diversity, when not managed and when not treated as an explicit advantage, can lead to the creation of hostilities between groups, specifically the white male group" and women and minority-themed outgroups. Everything from work processes and promotions to informal issues such as religion, office gossip, and modes of dress. Indeed, these informal issues are somewhat more prone to become faultlines for intragroup conflict. [...]
[...] P. (1993) "Diversity in Higher Education : Why Corporate America Cares." Diversity Digest, 3-9. Cushner K., McClelland A., & Safford P (1996) .Human diversity in education. An integrative approach . New York: McGraw-Hill Combs, Gwendolyn M. (2002) "Meeting the Leadership Challenge of a Diverse and Pluralistic Workplace: Implications of Self-Efficacy for Diversity Training." Journal of Leadership Studies 1-17. Ely, R. J., and Thomas, D. A. (2001). "Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity [...]
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