Thesis

Diversity Management Programs and Performance Outcomes Within Public Organizations

In the past few decades, workforce diversity has been deliberated and debated within the public sector ever since the reports generated in 1980’s by the Hudson Institute, which was authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor. The reports indicated the shifting demographics of the country’s workforce for the next century by highlighting the predicted increase in employment of women and minorities. Although the term diversity was nowhere published in the Hudson Institute reports, it started frequently appearing in the literature regarding demographic workforce change. The term diversity refers to all the differences and similarities among races, ages, gender, educational levels, political and religious affiliations and work types. To successfully manage workplace diversity, organizations need to establish appropriate training approaches and techniques with clear learning objectives that are following the vision and values of the organization. As the demographic changes majorly impacted the workforce, many organizations began focusing on how to manage their workforce. Managing diversity is often linked to the topics of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. However, in its contexts is far different. Today the subject of diversity or managing diversity is a crucial area of focus for many public policy analysts as well as public administration scholars. Although diversity presents many benefits for organizations, it challenges the traditional ways used to manage a heterogeneous workforce. Despite this, there is inadequate empirical evidence on the influence of diversity on organizations regardless of its recognition in the public sector. This study will try to expand the literature on diversity management programs by examining the effectiveness of diversity management initiatives on workplace performance outcomes within public sector organizations. The analysis will dive deeper into examining the development of diversity programs by trying to differentiate diversity management from the traditional principles of Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity. The research methodology will implement qualitative survey approach gathered from secondary data to analyze the types of diversity programs implemented by the LA Country Human Resource department. Further, the research will look into the possible performance outcomes influenced by the County’s diversity initiatives.

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