July 9, 2014

Diversity and Ethics Issues - Relevance to Organizational Behavior

Specific characteristics of diversity


In USA, work force is getting progressively older. Now with no mandatory retirement age, number of age discrimination complaints are increasing.


Women are entering employment in record numbers. By end of century, that by end of 2000, in USA women are likely to make up half the workforce.


According to census projections by 2050 US population will increase to 392 million, and Latinos will emerge as the nation's largest minority overtaking African Americans.


Educational level of the US workforce is increasing.

In addition to the above language also may become diversity issue.

Organizational behavior recognizes the increasing diversity in the society and workforce and therefore is advocating development of multicultural organizations.

Some featues of multicultural organizations

1. They reflect the contributions and interests of diverse cultural and social groups in their mission, operations, and product or services.
2. Acts on a commitment to eradicate social oppression in all forms within the organization.
3. Includes the members of diverse cultural and social groups as full participants, especially in decisions that shape the organization.
4.Supports efforts in society and in other organizations efforts to eliminate all forms of social oppression.

Managers have to learn about personal values of various constituent groups and how the individuals would like to be treated. They also have to practice empathy. They have put themselves in the place of others and see things from their point of view to know their challenges.

Organizational Approaches to Managing Diversity

Testing: Test conducted for recruitment were modified to prevent culturally bias that leads to handicap for certain groups.

Mentoring: Mentors used to remove handicaps faced by disadvantaged groups.

Work/Family Programs: To take care of gender diversity,  very innovative family-friendly programs are emerging.

Ethics and Ethical Behavior in Organizations

Ethics involves moral issues and deals with right and wrong behavior. Cultural , organizational and external environment determine ethical behavior. Cultural influences on ethical behavior come from family, friends, neighbors, education, religion, and the media. Organizational influences come from ethical codes, role models, policies and practices, and reward and punishment systems. The external forces that impact ethical behavior include political, legal, economic, and international developments.

Luthans indicated that in the area of ethical behavior, issues related to sexual harassment, discrimination in pay and promotion, and the right to privacy are especially relevant to the study of organizational behavior.

Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment in the workplace can be defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Employers have to uphold the rights of employees to a work environment free of sexual harassment.

One of the important organizational mechanism is to created a state of the art policy.

Pay and Promotion discrimination

Organizations must design and implement programs that systematically attack discrimination and segregation at multiple levels of the structure.

Employee Privacy Issues

The Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA) makes employers potentially liable for invading employees' email or stored communications.

July - Management Knowledge Revision

Updated   9.7.2014, 24.2.2014

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