Presentation on theme: "Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective"— Presentation transcript:
1 Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective Judith ForemanIntroduction to the concept of valuing or managing diversity; and then link this to widening participation in higher educationThe language of ‘diversity’ has crept in to education . . .The concept of valuing or managing diversity has a very specific meaning and origin – not always captured in the general use of the term diversity.Origin of the valuing diversity perspective: a different national, social and political context.
2 What is ‘managing diversity’? The concept of Managing Diversity embodies two key assumptionsThe heterogeneity and diversity of social groups - discrimination and disadvantage are, therefore, multifacetedOrganisations can benefit from valuing difference and managing diversity effectivelyBoth ideas have implications for organisational change and professional practiceThe term ‘Managing Diversity’ links the terms ‘diversity’ and the ‘business case’ and locates managing diversity within a distinc model of organisational change.
3 What is Managing Diversity? MD is often defined by comparing it with Equal Opportunities approachesSome authors claim that MD represents a ‘paradigm’ shift in equal opportunities workSome see MD as an extension/development of EOPComparing Equal Opps approaches and MD is a useful way of understanding some of the components of the MD/valuing difference persepctive.Hopefully you will also begin to see some relationship also to approaches to widening participation.
4 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – drivers for change Externally drivenRests on moral and legal argumentsPerceives EO as a costManaging DiversityInternally drivenRests on ‘business case’Perceives MD (Managing Diversity) as investment
5 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – degree of integration OperationalConcerned with processExternally imposed – low ‘buy-in’Managing DiversityStrategicConcerned with outcomesInternalised by all
6 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – perception of difference Difference perceived as other/problematicalDeficit modelAssimilation advocatedManaging DiversityDifference perceived as asset/richnessCelebrates differenceMainstream adaptation advocated
7 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – focus of action Focus on group discriminationGroup initiativesSupported by narrow positivist knowledge baseManaging DiversityFocus on development for all individualsUniversal initiativesIndividual developmentSupported by wider pluralistic knowledge base
8 Different approaches to WP emerging from research AcademicDifferential ProvisionTransformativeAssimilationGroup-focused (targeting)Peripheral and operationalExternally drivenSeparation or compensationPragmaticMainstream adaptationIndividual focusedCentral and strategicExternally and internally drivenSynthesis of a typology created by Wilson & Iles with work by Jones and Thomas, Layer and Osborne.
9 Origins and application of MD to widening participation in HE Private sectorMore recent application to public/not for profit sectorEmploymentGenerally not as well developed in relation to customer/client diversity – especially student diversity
10 ‘Business Case’ in HE Business case not an approach used in HE WP driven by a range of factorsGovt policyFundingInstitutional mission – social justiceMarket position
11 Why a Business Case?Creates internal arguments for student diversity and WP based on benefits to institutionHE Sector is partially ‘marketised’, so ‘business’ arguments applyHE sector is diverse, so not ‘one size fits all’Organisational changeDraws on a diversity paradigm that celebrates difference - this is key to how WP is defined so takes us down a particular routeInternal, institutional level arguments missing but wanted - policy languageMarketisation focuses concentration on business benefitsNot providing a blueprint of a business case for WP and diversity but teasing out the component parts and suggesting how they might be built into a business caseA business case is the first step towards creating organisational change
12 Elements of a Business Case Potential benefits to the institutionPotential costs, risks and barriersDifferential impacts on different stakeholdersDo the benefits outweigh the costs?Can the costs be met?
13 Organisational Change External DriversInternal DriversRecruitment‘Pool of Talent’Improving T&LNew marketsReputation(Access to funding)LegislationFunding and policy driversEthical drivers - Social justiceOrganisational ChangeLiterature reveals a range of different potential drivers.Each driver represents a series of evidenced benefits to the institution, though some areas are more researched than others.They have the potential to feed into a model of organisational change to support the recruitment and retention of a more diverse student bodyMission CommitmentCorporate Social Responsibility
14 Potential benefits to institutions Increased student numbersTapping the pool of talentImproving teaching and learningAccess to fundingNew roles and marketsComplying with legislationReputationSummary of the benefits
15 Group discussion activity Which of the benefits would be most relevant to your institution(s)?How might these provide a rationale for further investment in managing student diversity?What would be the implications of this (costs, risks, barriers etc)
16 Costs and risks Additional cost of supporting the learning experience Costs of low retentionNew course development (for new student markets)Academic standardsDiverting funding from ‘core business’
17 Barriers Internal barriers context specific, e.g. Other activities such as research being more highly valuedInstitutional history and perceptions held by prospective students (and some staff!)Fear of adverse effect on existing student cohortsExternal barriers, e.g. funding system