Organizational and Managerial Outcomes of a Cultural Diversity Training Program

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Date
1998-04-15
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Workforce parity among cultural groups in America has been an unobtainable goal for years. The present diversity in our society dictates a new mandate for majority managers in their approach toward working beside and supervising these cultural groups. In order to achieve full inclusion and reach their fullest potential many employees, minorities and women, in these cultural groups, along with managers, are attending or participating in diversity training classes. Although diversity has several definitions, the goal of most training is to change corporate and organizational culture so everyone is allowed to contribute equitably to achieve his/her fullest potential, ultimately achieving parity in every area of the workplace.

The purpose of this grounded theory study was to investigate the perceptions of behavioral outcomes as observed and experienced by minority employees concerning their Caucasian managers who have attended a diversity training program at a government facility. A case effects matrix was used to display the data obtained through eight open-ended interviews, observations and content analysis. Data was analyzed to elicit themes or patterns that addressed three research questions:

  1. To what extent did the training program meet its stated objectives?
  2. What kinds of behavioral changes occurred in Caucasian managers after attending a diversity training program?
  3. To what extent was the training program an effective organizational intervention?

The presentation of the data was in descriptive narrative case study profiles. Two categories of major themes were identified as common among the managers and employees:

(a) Changes and (b) constraints.

Results revealed that the training objectives were met, that behavioral outcomes indicated no significant change in managerial behaviors and that the training was not an effective intervention.

Although some improvements were made, the training was not found to have transformed the organization. Recommendations for future diversity training programs were addressed.

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Keywords
Education, managerial outcomes, diversity
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