Beyond EOE and Affirmative Action: Working on the Integration of the Work Place

by Gerald Klein



This article discusses the importance of organizational integration program for managers and employees. It is important for organizations to see that integration of the work place is managed well and is successful. This is important because a successful organizational integration program has desirable social effects and because a poorly managed program can have a real economic cost to a firm. This cost includes costs associated with low motivation or morale, interpersonal tension, conflict, and employee turnover. The last cost can be especially significant when an organization has invested considerable time and energy in locating and recruiting minority talent with technical, professional, and managerial skills. Suits charging discrimination and the adverse publicity surrounding the threatened loss of a government contract are other costs firms would certainly want to avoid. The manager should also assume that, because minority and white cultures still remain largely separated and different in terms of personal styles, roles and customs, minority employees may experience their work setting as somewhat more alien than do other new employees. The socialization experiences of individuals will differ, making some minority group members more at home than others in a predominantly white work setting. This article does not represent the final word on effectively handling the integration of the work place. However, the author believes that a conscientious attempt by managers to learn and apply the perceptions and approaches offered in this article in the work setting can be for managers and organizations alike a significant step forward. The application of this knowledge to organizations makes the achievement of success in integrating the work place more likely.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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