The paper "Equal Opportunities Policies and Discrimination at Work" is an outstanding example of management coursework. It is worth noting that there have been extensive debates on whether equal opportunities (EO) policies have played a significant role in the minimization of discrimination in the workplaces. Majority of the critics of EO policies, for instance, Young (1987), Hoque and Noon (1999) as well as Liff and Dale (1994) among others have argued that in most cases, these EO policies just act like smokescreens behind which unfair practices, inequality and prejudice thrive and take root.
This scepticism has further been fortified by statistical data which has revealed that an elevated number of institutions forward claims that they have extensively executed formal equal opportunities policies but in the actual sense, vices of discrimination continue to thrive in these organizations. Additionally, such scepticism has in some instance been validated by some high profile cases, best epitomized by those at Microsoft, Coca Cola as well as Ford (UK) among others where the institutional practices in these organizations have fallen short of the adopted values of EO which are enshrined in the company policies (Hoque & Noon, 2004, p.
482). On the other hand, some of the proponents of EO policies have argued that great achievements have been realized through the cognition by diverse employers that equality measures in the workplaces can be instrumental in serving their interests in the highly competitive labor market, enhance competitive advantage in the product market as well as elevate organizational performance. Towards this end, they have formulated and implemented robust EO policies in their organizations which have been fundamental in minimizing the level of discrimination in their respective organizations (Dickens, 1999, p.
9). Thus, this optimistic school of thought perceive EO policies as being a fundamental intervention in minimizing discrimination at work. Against this background of conflicting perceptions, this paper is an insightful effort to critically evaluate whether equal opportunities policies have failed to reduce discrimination at work. Equal opportunities policies There has been a divergence between scholars and practitioners over the development of the EO policies in contemporary societies. This is whereby some scholars like Ben-Tovim et. al., (1986) and Young and Connelly (1981) perceive the development of equal opportunity policies as the product of a wider process of pressure groups politics, political negotiations as well as bureaucratic policymaking.
On the other hand, there are others who advocate for looking beyond these public political negotiations. This latter group perceives that looking at the development of the EO policies from the aforementioned perspectives culminates to the promises of EO policies being viewed broadly as symbolic political actions which can do very little to effect any real change in discriminatory processes in work (Solomon, 1989, p. 2). Nonetheless, despite these divergences of perceptions in regard to the development of EO policies, it is an apparent fact that different organizations in diverse countries have increasingly made efforts to implement EO policies aimed at curtailing any forms of discrimination at the workplaces.
This phenomenon is best exemplified in Britain, Australia and Turkey among other countries where different approaches were used to reduce or totally eradicate discrimination in the workplaces.
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