The paper 'Diverse Workforce in Australia' is a wonderful example of a Business Case Study. Workforce diversity increases creative ideas, builds morale, and more importantly, plays a vital role in the effectiveness of organizations. In terms of age, ethics, language, and cultural beliefs Australia’ s labor force is diverse. In Australia, the qualifications of migrant workers are not recognized. Australia (including its public sector) has a workforce of increasing diversity and changing values. Increasing workforce diversity, rising educational requirements for entry to the public service, questioning of the public service as a career for life, and other factors mean that the public sector of 10 years hence will need to be managed in different ways if it is to retain skilled and motivated people. The Australian workplace is a microcosm of society in general.
What happens in the workplace is really just an extension of what happens in the neighborhood, suburb, rural town, or community where people live. Of course, the context is different in that, by and large, the productive effort in the workplace (at least those that are businesses) needs to result in measurable improvement in efficiency and effectiveness.
The 'productive' effort in society might be 'measured' a little differently with an emphasis on our ability to live harmoniously given our diversity. The paper covers the following points: Diverse nature of the workforce in Australia Disadvantage’ and discrimination’ in the diversity literature Disadvantage’ and discrimination’ within the workforce is managed within the Australian industrial relations system Strengths of the Australian approach to the management of a diverse workforce\ Weaknesses of the Australian approach to the management of a diverse workforce Lessons that can be learned from a study of the Australian approach to the management of a diverse workforce Diverse nature of the workforce in Australia Heightening competitive pressures within Australia and internationally are placing increased pressure on the public sector to demonstrate that it adds value to (or at the worst does not detract from) the competitiveness of Australia's private sector.
The expectation may become that governments will set the framework within which public services are provided and will regulate that provision efficiently, while service provision, as such, is managed by increasingly diverse sources depending upon their relative effectiveness -- the so-called 'purchaser/provider model' whereby core government purchases service delivery to the community from a variety of potential sources (eg in-house delivery, the voluntary welfare sector, private commercial enterprises including perhaps even overseas providers of, say, routine data-processing services). The changing nature of the public sector workforce and the scope for creativity inherent in its increasing diversity, the increasing demands upon public servants of the kinds outlined above, and their increased access to information about the workings of public agencies all suggest that 'command and control' approaches to the management of public servants will be of no relevance to a high-quality public service of the twenty-first century (if indeed they have any continuing relevance today). The management of diversity is at the forefront of organizational debate for many reasons including changes in the demographics of the workforce, globalization, and changes in organizational structures (Cope and Kalantzis, 1999).
Workplace policies that promote equality of opportunity and accommodate diversity play an important role in mobilizing the increasingly diverse labor supply and in enhancing the opportunities available to all current and potential labor participants.
The management of diversity in workgroups and teams has also been shown to contribute to organizational innovation (West and Anderson, 1996, 1998).
Berger, J., Cohen, B. P., & Zelditch, M., Jr. (2002). Status characteristics and social interaction. American Sociological Review, 37, 241–255.
Blustein, D. L. (2008). The role of work in psychological health and well-being: A conceptual, historical, and public policy perspective. American Psychologist, 63, 228–240.
Bruyere, S. M., Erickson, W. A., & Ferrentino, J. T. (2003, February). Identity and disability in the workplace. William and Mary Law Review, 44, 1173–1196.
Burgess, J., French, E. and Strachan, G. (2010) ‘Workforce and Workplace Diversity in Australia’, in G. Strachan, E. French and J. Burgess, (eds), Managing Diversity in Australia: Theory and Practice, Sydney: McGraw Hill, 17–39.
Ely, R. J. (1995). The power of demography: Women's social construction of gender identity at work. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 589–634.
Fabian, E. S., & Liesener, J. J. (2005). Promoting the career potential of youth with disabilities. In S. D.Brown & R. W.Lent (Eds.), Career development and counseling: Putting theory and research to work (pp. 551–572). New York: Wiley.
Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (1991). Social cognition (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
French, E., Strachan, G. and Burgess, J. (2010) ‘Approaches to equity and diversity in Australia: Conflicting beliefs and competing ideals’, in G.
Goldman, B. M. (2001). Toward an understanding of employment discrimination claiming: An integration of organizational justice and social information processing theories. Personnel Psychology, 54, 361–386.
Hogler, R. L., Frame, J. H., & Thornton, G. (2002). Workplace sexual harassment law: An empirical analysis of organizational justice and legal policy. Journal of Managerial Issues, 14, 234–250.
Ibarra, H. (1993). Personal networks of women and minorities in management: A conceptual framework. Academy of Management Review, 18, 56–87.
Ibarra, H. (1995). Race, opportunity and diversity of social circles in managerial networks. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 673–703.
Jackson, S. E., Stone, V. K., & Alvarez, E. B. (1993). Socialization amidst diversity: The impact of demographics on work team old timers and newcomers. In L. L.Cummings & B. M.Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 16, (pp. 45–109). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Loprest, P., & Maag, E. (2001). Barriers and supports for work among adults with disabilities: Results from the NHIS-D. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
Maass, A., Salvi, D., Arcuri, L., & Semin, G. (1989). Language use in intergroup contexts: The linguistic intergroup bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 981–993.
McCann, C. D., Ostrom, T. M., Tyner, L. K., & Mitchell, M. L. (2000). Person perception in heterogeneous groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 1449–1459.
Mor Barak, M. E., Cherin, D. A., & Berkman, S. (1998). Organizational and personal dimensions in diversity climate. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 34, 82–104.
Ring, P. S., & Van de Ven, A. H. (1989). Formal and informal dimensions of transactions. In A. H.Van de Ven, H. L.Angle, & M. S.Poole (Eds.), Research on the management of innovation: The Minnesota studies (pp. 171–192). New York: Ballinger.
Sanchez, J. I., & Brock, P. (1996). Outcomes of perceived discrimination among Hispanic employees: Is diversity management a luxury or a necessity?Academy of Management Journal, 39, 704–719.
Semin, G. R., & Fiedler, K. (1988). The cognitive functions of linguistic categories in describing persons: Social cognition and language. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 558–568.
Semin, G. R., & Smith, E. R. (1999). Revisiting the past and back to the future: Memory systems and the linguistic representation of social events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 877–892.
Strachan, E. French and J. Burgess, (eds), Managing Diversity in Australia: Theory and Practice, Sydney: McGraw Hill, 41–56.
Strachan, G., Burgess, J. and Henderson, L. (2010) ‘Work and family policies: Balance, collision or compromise’, in G. Strachan, E. French and J. Burgess, (eds), Managing Diversity in Australia: Theory and Practice, Sydney: McGraw Hill, 89–106.
Thomas, D. A., & Ely, R. J. (1996). Making differences matter: A new paradigm for managing diversity. Harvard Business Review, 74, 79–90.
Walsh, J. P., & Ungson, G. R. (1991). Organizational memory. Academy of Management Review, 16, 57–91.
Weick, K. E. (2004). The social psychology of organization. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.
Weick, K. E. (1995). Sensemaking in organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.