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Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective Judith Foreman.

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1 Understanding the Managing/Valuing Diversity perspective Judith Foreman

2 What is managing diversity? The concept of Managing Diversity embodies two key assumptions The heterogeneity and diversity of social groups - discrimination and disadvantage are, therefore, multifaceted Organisations can benefit from valuing difference and managing diversity effectively Both ideas have implications for organisational change and professional practice

3 What is Managing Diversity? MD is often defined by comparing it with Equal Opportunities approaches Some authors claim that MD represents a paradigm shift in equal opportunities work Some see MD as an extension/development of EOP

4 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – drivers for change Equal Opportunities Externally driven Rests on moral and legal arguments Perceives EO as a cost Managing Diversity Internally driven Rests on business case Perceives MD (Managing Diversity) as investment

5 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – degree of integration Equal Opportunities Operational Concerned with process Externally imposed – low buy-in Managing Diversity Strategic Concerned with outcomes Internalised by all

6 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – perception of difference Equal Opportunities Difference perceived as other/problematical Deficit model Assimilation advocated Managing Diversity Difference perceived as asset/richness Celebrates difference Mainstream adaptation advocated

7 Equal Opportunities and Managing Diversity compared – focus of action Equal Opportunities Focus on group discrimination Group initiatives Supported by narrow positivist knowledge base Managing Diversity Focus on development for all individuals Universal initiatives Individual development Supported by wider pluralistic knowledge base

8 Different approaches to WP emerging from research AcademicDifferential Provision Transformative Assimilation Group-focused (targeting) Peripheral and operational Externally driven Separation or compensation Group-focused (targeting) Peripheral and operational Pragmatic Mainstream adaptation Individual focused Central and strategic Externally and internally driven

9 Origins and application of MD to widening participation in HE Private sector More recent application to public/not for profit sector Employment Generally 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 factors Govt policy Funding Institutional mission – social justice Market position

11 Why a Business Case? Creates internal arguments for student diversity and WP based on benefits to institution HE Sector is partially marketised, so business arguments apply HE sector is diverse, so not one size fits all Organisational change

12 Elements of a Business Case Potential benefits to the institution Potential costs, risks and barriers Differential impacts on different stakeholders Do the benefits outweigh the costs? Can the costs be met?

13 Organisational Change External DriversInternal Drivers Legislation Funding and policy drivers Ethical drivers - Social justice Recruitment Pool of Talent Improving T&L New markets Reputation (Access to funding) Mission Commitment Corporate Social Responsibility

14 Potential benefits to institutions Increased student numbers Tapping the pool of talent Improving teaching and learning Access to funding New roles and markets Complying with legislation Reputation

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 retention New course development (for new student markets) Academic standards Diverting funding from core business

17 Barriers Internal barriers context specific, e.g. Other activities such as research being more highly valued Institutional history and perceptions held by prospective students (and some staff!) Fear of adverse effect on existing student cohorts External barriers, e.g. funding system

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