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PRDV203: Introduction to Management

Unit 6: Diversity In the Workplace   A 2009 study done by a University of Illinois sociologist showed that the companies with the highest levels of diversity reported, on average, 15 times more sales revenue than those with less diverse staffs.1 To work effectively with diverse groups of people, a supervisor seeks to gain understanding of the cultures and backgrounds of staff members. Diversity was once viewed only as a problem, but today’s managers view it as an opportunity for greater potential in creativity and cross-fertilization of ideas from “outside the box.”
 
In this unit, you will consider your staff and apply the concept of diversity to them. You will study your perceptions and the realities of your staff’s various aspects of diversity. After studying how to find opportunities for creativity and cross-fertilization, you will observe your workforce to see where such opportunities might lie.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 1.5 hours.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 0.25 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.4: 0.25 hours

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - define the term diversity; - explain the concept of diversity and its application to age, gender, ethnicity, and nationality; - explain the concept of personality diversity and its effect on a team; - explain the potential communication challenges that can occur in a culturally or generationally diverse workforce; - describe the opportunities for creativity and cross-fertilization that diversity can foster; - describe the steps toward managing a diverse team; and - describe the role of the manager in promoting diversity in the organization.

6.1 What Is Diversity?   - Reading: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams: “Chapter 7, Section 1: What Is Diversity?” and “Section 2: How Are Diverse Teams Different from Homogenous Ones?” Link: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams (PDF): “Chapter 7, Section 1: What Is Diversity?” and “Section 2: How Are Diverse Teams Different from Homogenous Ones?”
 
Instructions: Read Sections 1 and 2 on pages 55-56 for a brief introduction to diversity and overview of demographic diversity.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Dirk Hünniger, and the original version can be found here.

  • Reading: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams: “Chapter 8, Section 6: Deep- and Surface-Level Diversity” Link: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams (PDF): “Chapter 8, Section 6: Deep- and Surface-Level Diversity”
     
    Instructions: Review the “Deep- and Surface-Level Diversity” section on pages 76-77 to recognize that personality-based (as opposed to demographic) diversity also plays a role in team cohesion. If you are interested in pursuing this subject further, you will find resources listed in Section 7.
     
    Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Dirk Hünniger, and the original version can be found here.

  • Reading: Note: After reading these two resources, you should take away a description of both demographic and deep-level diversity. The first reading explains that there are challenges but also rewards for team performance in surface or demographic diversity. Although demographic diversity is pervasive in our multicultural, immigrant-rich society, the second reading will show you that the success for team cohesion rests on the deeper-level diversity of personality traits.

6.2 Team Relationships   - Reading: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams: “Chapter 7, Section 3: Team Relationships,” “Section 4: Team Structure,” and “Section 6: Stereotyping” Link: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams (PDF): “Chapter 7, Section 3: Team Relationships,” “Section 4: Team Structure,” and “Section 6: Stereotyping”
 
Instructions: Read pages 56-60. Section 3, “Team Relationships,” on pages 56-57 relates two stories that illustrate the critical need for trust between employees and leaders. Section 4, “Team Structure,” on pages 57-58 gives advice on how to create an environment that allows open and safe communication. Section 6, “Stereotyping,” on pages 59-60 describes stereotyping and its detrimental effects on team efforts.
 
Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Dirk Hünniger, and the original version can be found here.

6.3 Practical Tips for Diversity Management   6.3.1 Steps You Can Take to Manage Diversity   - Reading: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams: “Chapter 7, Section 5: Managing Diversity” Link: Wikimedia Commons: Dirk Hünniger’s Managing Groups and Teams (PDF): “Chapter 7, Section 5: Managing Diversity”
 
Instructions: Read the “Managing Diversity” section on pages 58-59.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to Dirk Hünniger, and the original version can be found here.

6.3.2 Generational Diversity   - Reading: United States Government Accountability Office: Testimony Before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging: David M. Walker’s “Older Workers: Some Best Practices and Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Older Workers” Link: United States Government Accountability Office: Testimony Before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging: David M. Walker’s “Older Workers: Some Best Practices and Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Older Workers” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read pages 7-10 of this testimony to obtain a sense of generational workers’ motivational needs and how to handle them
 
Reading this testimony should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

6.4 Applying Diversity Knowledge to Your Team   - Activity: Apply Diversity Knowledge to Your Team Instructions: Apply the principles to your team after reading about diversity and diversity management. If you are a team member preparing for management, imagine how you would do this. Identify demographic elements of diversity among your staff. See how you can manage these elements for positive impact on your staff’s productivity and wellbeing.
 
Next, identify deep-level aspects of diversity in your team. (This may be easier if you have been with the team for a while, whether as a coworker or manager.) Determine whether there is the potential for synergy among staff members and how you might achieve this.
 
Lastly, list five ways you could promote diversity in your organization. How would you control your efforts to make sure that they were successful?
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 15 minutes.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 6 Assessment” (HTML)

    Instructions: Complete this assessment to assess your understanding of the topics covered in this unit. The correct answers will be displayed when you click the “Submit” button.