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Equity in Organizations: Gender, Race, Disability and Class Chapter 10

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Presentation on theme: "Equity in Organizations: Gender, Race, Disability and Class Chapter 10"— Presentation transcript:

1 Equity in Organizations: Gender, Race, Disability and Class Chapter 10

2 Introduction This lecture will:
Explain how the concept of equity affects organizations Give an overview of equitable/inequitable practice Discuss aspects of gender, race/ethnicity, disability and class across major English-speaking countries Outline areas of current and future investigation in these areas

3 Equity and Justice in Work Organizations
The area of organizational justice is an important aspect for the development of a theory of equity in the context of OB Legislation can relate to: Pay and employment Human Rights (including disability, sexual orientation, political/religious beliefs) Research in the area of justice covers three lines of enquiry: Distributive Procedural Interactional

4 What is Justice? Justice is viewed as 'socially constructed'
It includes objective and subjective dimensions Justice results in positive benefits: Higher job satisfaction and greater commitment Positive manager evaluations Employee citizenship Reduction in absentees, conflict and sabotage

5 Tensions in the Workplace
Tensions can be horizontal or vertical: Horizontal tensions relate to group/organizational contexts Vertical tensions relate to capital/labour relations Vertical tensions relate to appropriation, which relates to private capital accumulation They are unique to life under capitalism

6 Gender Overview Women have made up 50% of the workforce in capitalist countries since 1980, but wage differentials have changed little Women in managerial positions suffer from the effects of so-called glass ceilings or from sticky floors Gender harassment is a feature of workplace discrimination

7 Debates about Gender An issue of debate relates to management styles – some argue the new styles favour women, but others argue that this is based on a stereotypical view of female and male traits Contrasting cases are taken by Wajcman and Meyerson and Fletcher LePine et al (2002) have developed a business case against gender inequity Ngo, Foley, Wong and Loi have argued that although inequity can lead to a decline in morale/performance, the market alone cannot be relied upon to ‘weed out’ unequal firms on this basis Despite the high profile of the ‘glass ceiling’ effect, the greatest effect of discrimination is at the level of the ‘sticky floor’ – poor workers often in the ‘Third World’ countries

8 Race and Ethnicity UK ethno-racial minorities are under-represented in higher roles and over-represented at lower levels Differences can exist as to employment within racial groups on other criteria such as age/disability etc Culture is as important as racial background in assessing the inequities The research of Robinson has showed the value of English language education in promoting mobility The situation varies between different regions and different races/ethnicities Perceptions of the situation also vary - eg different ethno-racial groups experience work differently (Moodod) – and this can be linked to other factors such as desire for social mobility, schooling etc Recent case study by Brief, Dietz, Cohen, Pugh & Vaslow stresses the significance of training relative to applications in black applicants

9 Figure 10.1 - Proportion of UK households with half the national income (1994)

10 Disability Definitions of disability vary between countries but can be defined in terms of five sub-groupings: Sensory / Physical / Mental and psychiatric / Intellectual and developmental / Learning difficulties. In the UK the Disability Act handles these areas Stereotyping and discrimination often mean that disabled people have difficulty: Finding work Applying their skills and talents Retaining work Disability is increasingly seen as a problem that individuals face in society rather than one that they have.

11 Table 10.1 – Employer-related difficulties in integrating workers with disabilities - USA

12 Social Class Class involves hierarchy and the features of power and control of resources associated with managerial and other elites However, 'class' is a difficult concept to define… Classification can involve culture/status – including socio-economic (wealth) or professional status (job) Views of class categorization vary; theories include Marx’s, Weber’s and those from Cultural Studies It is felt, however, that class differences are rooted in economic and employment differences Class is not always apparent; it can be low or high profile...

13 Table 10.2 - International Earnings Ratios
This figure shows the widely varying wage ratios in developed countries

14 Unions Unions express the institutional interests of subordinate groups and pursue their interests They resolve ‘vertical’ tensions but leave aside the team-based ‘horizontal’ tensions They can alleviate the difficulties of minorities and increase pay etc. This is particularly the case in France/Germany and Scandinavia In contrast, recent trends in the US/UK have reduced the efficiency/influence of the unions Mainstream economic theory (as presented in the Reagan/Thatcher years) exacerbated the anti-union aspect of the 'market‘ in the US/UK However.. Our view is that good economic and employment needs healthy unions

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