Making Differences Matter By David A. Thomas and robin J. Ely Concept…
Making Differences Matter
By David A. Thomas and robin J. Ely
Concept Map by Amanda Newton
: We are all the same.
: We celebrate differences.
: transcends assimilation and differentiation by promoting equal opportunity and valuing differences.
Suggestions for achieving integration paradigm
Encourage open discussion of cultural backgrounds
Eliminate all forms of dominance that inhibit full contribution.
Secure organizational trust.
Diversity concerns transitioning from "discrimination is wrong", to "a more diverse workforce will increase organizational effectiveness."
"This article offers an explanation for why diversity efforts are not fulfilling their promise and presents a new paradigm for understanding - and leveraging-diversity. It is our belief that there is a distinct way to unleash the powerful benefits of a diverse workforce...the desired transformation requires a fundamental change in the attitudes and behaviors of an organization's leadership...that will only come when senior managers abandon an underlying, and flawed assumption about diversity and replace it with broader understanding."
Don't we always here the upper management argument? Are we sure these flawed underlying assumptions are built on upper management? Could there be an institutional or systematic flawed understanding of diversity in the workforce????
Research: six years investigating underrepresented identity groups and their link to organizational effectiveness.
Found that thinking of diversity in terms of identity-group representation inhibited effectiveness.
Typical paths to managing diversity (still hate that term): encourage diverse members to blend in OR set them apart in jobs related to their backgrounds.
Neither path seems that great. TBH
"Diversity should be understood as the varied perspectives and approaches to work that members of different identity groups bring."
Say it louder for the people in the back.
a holistic discussion of diversity beyond how someone looks
Discrimination-and Fiarness Paradigm
The dominant way of understanding diversity. Leaders look through diversity as compliance with legal practices. This paradigm also provides opportunity for growth and mentoring.
This is successful when organizations run by leaders who value due process and equal treatment of all employees and have the authority to use top-down directives to enforce those attitudes. This also works effectively in organizations that have very clear and observable culture that values fairness. EX: Military
Iversen case example
clash between project leaders from different diverse backgrounds.
Acceptance and celebration of difference in an organization.
Acknowledges diverse backgrounds bus does not dig deeper into how those differences can empower the company.
The Emerging Paradigm
Connecting Diversity to Work Perspectives
Incorporating employees diverse experiences
Eight Preconditions of Making a Paradigm Shift
The leadership must understand that a diverse workforce must embody different perspectives and approaches to work.
The leadership must recognize both learning opportunities and the challenges that the expression of different perspectives presents for an organization.
the organizational culture must create an expectation of high standards of performance from everyone.
the organizational culture must stimulate personal development.
the organizational culture must encourage openness.
the organizational culture must make workers feel valued.
The organization must have a well-articulated and widely understood mission.
the organization must have a relatively egalitarian non-bureaucratic structure.