Summary of Impact of Marketing Work-place Diversity on Employee Job Involvement and Organizational Commitment
In Impact of Marketing Work-place Diversity on Employee Job Involvement and Organizational Commitment, by Susan L. Kirby and Orlando C. Richard, the authors explain how to manage work-force diversity, concerns for the procedures used, and the outcomes produced by programs perceived to be unfair. The article discusses how managing diversity is a goal of organizations throughout the United States. Successfully implemented diversity programs result in a balance of organizational power, inclusion in decision making, and equal opportunity across all participants, which, in turn may lead to a competitive advantage for the organization (Kirby 1). Although the goal is to increase the overall happiness and commitment of the workers in order to get a competitive advantage, the use of race and gender based hiring and promoting has been known to produce negative reactions.
Kirby and Richard then went on to discuss the issue of fairness in the diversity management programs. The goal to create a managed diversity deals mainly with fairness. The success or failure of diversity management program relies on what the employees believe of the program. A theoretical area exploring of attitudes and perceptions of fairness in a work related setting is called organizational justice , which has three parts: distributive, procedural, and systemic (Kirby 2). Kirby and Richard then go on to explain these three parts: the fairness of the resulting outcomes forms the core of distributive justice, the ends. The fairness of the process through which decisions are made forms the basis of procedural justice, the means. Systemic justice concerns the organizational context in which procedures and outcomes are stable.
Having organizational justice is very important within a company, according to the writers. If people are rewarded unjustly it creates angry and dissatisfaction between the employees. Kirby and Richard were interested in what constitutes a just decision so they set up a study. This study dealt with organizational justice using 58 graduate business students and 310 full-time employees working for a combined 39 organizations throughout the United States. All organizations that took part in this survey had some form of diversity management program. Each student was instructed to a minimum of 8 individuals from the same organization: 2 White men, 2 White women, 2 members of ethnic-racial minorities and 2 people from any of the prior categories (Kirby 4). A survey was given out with open-ended questions about diversity issues. The results of this study identified 12 diversity issues, which were condensed into three general categories. About 32.1% fell into the opportunity category that consisted of the recognition of minorities, and the lack of qualified women and ethnic-racial minority applicants for hiring and promoting. About 27.5% fell into the inclusion category that is, acceptance of differences, respect for differences, and sexual harassment. And about 26.0% related to balancing power category, that is the number of women and ethnic-racial minorities in upper management. The other 14.4% said no major issues were facing them.
Kirby and Richard conclude by restating the fact that much of the success or failure of diversity management programs is due to whether or not the employees believe the program is fair and equitable. The authors also come up with a solution that organizations should concentrate on the procedural parts of the program to get a deeper understanding of the underlying issues. The article ends with a discussion. Kirby and Richard discuss how there are still many systemic justice issues that need to be attended to in U.S. organizations, even in companies that have a diversity-management program. From the study they conclude that even though the organizations say they are managing diversity, it is obvious that many issues are still unsettled because only 14.0% said that there were no major issues facing them. Since this percentage is so low there is still a great need for managing diversity in order for competitive advantage to be achieved.
Finally, Kirby and Richard added a short section on why this article was written. They said, we sought to further an understanding of the effectiveness of diversity programs in marketing efforts (Kirby 5). They hoped that this article increased the understanding on how important diversity management programs are in the United States if a competitive advantage wants to be achieved. Especially, as organizations increase their work force with diversity in the 21st century.
Kirby, Susan L. and Richard, Orlando C. Impact of Marketing Work-Place Diversity
Employee Job Involvement and Organizational Commitment. Journal of Social
Psychology. 140.3 (2000): 1-8.