Debate Surrounding Affirmative Action
The 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...