A Descriptive Study of Diversity Management and Training in Texas State Government Agencies
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The American workplace is becoming more diverse in regard to the race, gender, culture. life style and functional specialty of its workers. A steady increase in workforce diversity is expected in light of predictions by demographers that half of the United States population will be nonwhite by the year 20 10. This expected demographic shift could have major implications on workplace dynamics including: communications problems; organizational conflict; a significant degree of value incongruence among employees; and increased stress levels among managers and staff. These potential challenges could jeopardize the meeting of organizational goals if workplaces are not properly prepared to handle increased diversity. In the face of these changes, traditional practices and styles of managing will require new and innovative interventions. In this study, a survey is conducted of Texas state agency human resource directors to assess their opinions on whether Texas state agencies are taking the proper steps to effectively manage a diverse workforce. The opinions of human resource directors were also solicited regarding perceived advantages, disadvantages and consequences of diversity management programs and training. This assessment is based on key elements of diversity management that have been identified in current literature. The findings of the research indicate that a majority of Texas state agencies are addressing diversity either through multi-intervention diversity management programs or through diversity training. Survey results indicate, however, that human resources departments are not being fully utilized by agency leaders to help develop and implement the most effective diversity initiatives for their agencies. The findings also indicate that most agencies are lacking the necessary accountability measures to evaluate the effectiveness of existing diversity initiatives.