PURPOSE C Self & Others - CDT

Diversity in the Workplace. Based on the most reliable studies, America's workplace will undergo a dramatic metamorphosis within the next decade. During the next ten years, our workforce will be reshaped with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, language, and age.

Consider, for example, projections in the Hudson Institute's study entitled Workforce 2000:

    • Throughout the 1990's, immigrants, women, and minorities will account for 85% of the net growth in the labor force;
    • By the year 2000, women will account for more than 47% of the total workforce, and 61% of all American women will be employed;
    • By the end of the 1990's, African-Americans will make up 12% of the labor force, Hispanics 10%, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native-Americans 4 %. More than 25% of the workforce will be comprised of Third World people;
    • By the year 2000, people aged thirty-five to fifty-four will make up 51% of the workforce while those aged sixteen to twenty-four will decline to 8%.

Managing diversity is fast becoming the corporate buzzword of the decade, not because they are kinder and gentler toward culturally diverse groups, but because they want to survive. And in order to survive, a growing number of US organizations will have to recruit, train, and promote culturally diverse employees. Of primary importance for effectively managing diversity is the necessity for the manager to understand the cultural beliefs and values of his/her organization. These beliefs and values coalesce to create an environment that employees perceive as supportive or non-supportive of diversity. This is sometimes referred to as the organizational climate, defined as the propensity to perpetuate particular behaviors. They include:

The basic foundation of an organization is its people, and the basic unit of change is its people;
A necessary change goal is the reduction of inappropriate competition among parts of the organization and the development of cooperation;
Decision-making is best delegated to the sources of information rather than being made a function of a set role in a rigid hierarchy;
Sub units tend to manage their affairs in terms of predetermined goals and objectives;
The major goal of a healthy organization is to develop open communication, mutual trust, and confidence in management.

Learning Goals

GOAL I. To appreciate the importance and need for diversity in the 21st century workplace.
GOAL II. To examine processes of recruitment, hiring, promotion, and problem-solving in a diverse workplace.
GOAL III. To evaluate workplaces with respect to new ideas and new concepts of diversity.


1. Participate in the Discussion Forum as indicated in each Learning Unit.
2. Complete all assignments as indicated in each Learning Unit.
3. Complete the following options for your final project or paper.

A (complete all three parts):

1) A brief written description that summarizes the knowledge presented in this course (Maximum 8 - 10 pages).
2) A brief statement of your position that demonstrates a critical analysis of important concepts and theories of this course (Maximum 8 - 10 pages).
3) A critical review that demonstrates a synthesis of ideas related to the course content (Maximum 8 - 10 pages).


A major position paper identifying and analyzing the main concepts, ideas, and/or strategies as specified in the course objectives of this course. This paper must demonstrate your analysis of the literature for and against your position, your ability to analyze the appropriateness of the selected literature, and your ability to relate your position to your profession.


An individualized project designed in consultation with, and approved by, the course instructor. This project must demonstrate an understanding of the objectives of this course. It must also demonstrate your ability to analyze the literature on the subject you have selected, your ability to analyze its appropriateness to the individualized project, and your ability to make judgments about the project's relevance to your profession.

4. At the end of this course, carry out the summary activities and fill out the online course evaluation form. Submission of the form is automatic.


Learning Resources

Required Texts and Readings

Course Text (required)

Fernandez, John, P. with Davis, Jules. (1999). Race, gender, and rhetoric. The true state of race and gender relations in corporate america. New York. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0070220085

Supplementary Materials

Journal Articles (recommended)

Abbasi, S.M., and Hollman, K.W., (1991). Managing Cultural Diversity: The Challenge of the 90's. Records Management Quarterly, 25, 24-32

Anderson, J.A., (1993). Thinking About Diversity. Training and Development, 47,59-60.

Chavez, Linda, (1994). Demystifying Multiculturalism. National Review, February.

Feagin, Joe R., (1996). The Rainbow Majority. Scientific American, February.

Gordon, J. (1992). Rethinking Diversity. Training, 29, 23-30.

Livingston, A., (1991). Twelve Companies That Do The Right Thing. Working Woman, 16, 57-60.

Petrini, C.M., (1993). The Language of Diversity. Training and Development, 47, 35-37.

Reynolds, A.L. and Pope, R.L., (1991). The Complexities of Diversity: Exploring Multiple Oppression. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70, 174-178.

Riche, M. (1991). We're All Minorities Now. American Demographics, 13, 26-34.

Internet Sources (recommended)