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Debate Surrounding Affirmative Action Essay

890 words - 4 pages

Debate Surrounding Affirmative ActionThe decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the practices of affirmative action as essential to the advancement of minorities has sparked a feverish debate about affirmative action all across the United States. While supporters of the movement argue that affirmative action polices are needed to ensure the advancement of ethnic minorities, those who oppose the initiative contend that the process engenders a pattern of reverse discrimination, in that more qualified white candidates are passed over for employment or promotion because of specific quotas that need to be upheld. Arguably, there are no easy answers in this debate, however, most individuals do agree that without some type of employment protection ethnic minorities would endure a higher rate of discrimination.With the realization that affirmative action polices are not only a necessary part of ensuring diversity in the organization but also a legal issue upon which the organization can be held liable, there is an impetus to examine how diversity in the organization should be handled. To this end, this investigation considers why organizations should be interested in effective diversity management, what steps organizations can take to manage diversity more effectively and the unintended consequences of diversity management and how these situations can be avoided or minimized. By examining these issues it will be possible to provide a broad overview of the challenges facing organizations when it comes to affirmative action and diversity management.Considering first the definition of diversity management, Ivancevich and Gilbert, (2000) note that, "Broadly defined, the term diversity management refers to the systematic and planned commitment by organizations to recruit, retain, reward, and promote a heterogeneous mix of employees" (p. 75). The authors go on to note that the development of this definition has served as the impetus for many experts to create and design new paradigms and theories aimed at improving the process of diversity management. The reason that so much focus has been placed in this area is because, as Ivancevich and Gilbert argue, when undertaken properly a diversity management program can improve the overall effectiveness of the organization.To prove that diversity management can have a number of positive benefits for the organization, Ivancevich and Gilbert go on to report that investigations into firms with diversity management programs in place have shown that, diversity initiatives...increased productivity, competitiveness, and workplace harmony" (p. 78). Other research that considered the impact of diversity management on employees found that, 'exposure increased employees' perceptions of managerial concern about the issue, decreased their perceptions that minorities received too much attention, and confirmed that the company is concerned with their individual growth" (p. 79). What this research effectively implies is that...

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