2 Discussion TopicIs there a business case for equal opportunities and diversity management at the workplace?
3 What is the Business Case? A structured proposal for business changeJustified in terms of costs and benefitsAddresses the business need that the project seeks to resolvereasons for the projectexpected business benefitsthe options consideredexpected costs of the projecta gap analysisexpected risks
4 Equal Opportunity (EO) “Equal opportunity policies can be seen as an attempt to eradicate consideration of social differences from organizational decision-making using bureaucratic means” (Liff, 1999).
5 Equal Opportunities Initiatives As stated by Dickens, EO initiatives concern policy and practice designed to tackle the differential distribution of opportunities, resources and rewards between workers, usually based on their membership of a social group.Equality commissions:Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)Disability Rights Commission (DRC)
6 Reasons for Implementing Equal Opportunity Positive Pursuit of Organization BenefitsPenalty avoidance through legal compliance
7 Positive Pursuit of Organization Benefits The image of a “good employer”- improving recruitment- better retention of existing staffOrganizational Effectiveness- lower turnover rates- better employment relations- greater creativity
8 Avoidance of Lawsuits Extensive national legislation Wider scope of the anti-discrimination legislationDealing with lawsuits are costly!
9 Problems of translating EO prescription into practice Work is a place where identities are shaped and lived outDivisions between ‘disadvantaged’ groupsHuman resource concepts and policies disseminate workplace inequality
10 Rhetoric and Reality of HRM Critical and empirically-based evaluations of HRM indicate a ‘reality’ which includes:- work intensification- job segregationThus, HRM emerges as ‘bad news’ for workers (Dickens).How does HRM facilitate inequality?Examine through two important concepts in the HRM model (Guest, 1987):CommitmentFlexibility
11 Distinction Between EO & Diversity paradigm Work Foundation (formerly the Industrial Society) suggests that:“Where equality policies open doors, policies designed to value diversity offer a more strategic way of moving the business forward, backed up by a strong business and ethical case. Valuing diversity goes further than equality” (Barmes and Ashtiany, 2003).Equal opportunities policies are legislation led, remedial and based on the assumption that minority groups will assimilate into the dominant culture.Valuing diversity is visionary in aiming to create a positive work environment in which everyone benefits and can work to their full potential in pursuit of organisational goals, aims and objectives.
12 Diversity Management Definition: Requires an appreciation that people are differentEmphasize managerial skills and policiesOptimize each employee’s contribution to the overall organizational goalsEnhance organizational morale, productivity and benefits
13 Types of Diversity 1. Superficial or “Surface-Level" Diversity e.g. differences in Gender, Nationality…2. “Deep-Level" Diversitye.g. differences in knowledge, differences in values …
14 Business Case of Diversity Mirrors the demographics of the marketplace in a global and diverse marketplace (In a global and diverse marketplace, a company whose race and sex composition mirrors the demographics of the marketplace it serves is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company whose appearance is different from its market's appearance).
15 Why Diversity Management? Believe differences can bring sustained business advantage through good management practiceSurvive in an increasingly competitive global marketplace
16 Expected Benefits from Diversity Management Addressing Skill DeficienciesImprove Team EffectivenessManaging ChangeRecruitment and Retention of StaffReflecting Diversity of Customer BaseOpportunity to Create and Develop Inter-organizational RelationshipsIncrease flexibility - necessary for survivalReduced Risk of litigation
17 ConclusionThere is a business case for equal opportunity and diversity management at the workplace