Study: Workplace diversity must include buy-in from whites

Jan 17, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Organizational efforts to create and maintain an inclusive multicultural environment often face resistance by whites, says a University of Michigan researcher.

"Without the support of whites, organizations and educational settings will fail in their attempts to navigate and manage the complexities of diverse work forces and constituencies," said Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks, an associate professor of management and organizations at Michigan's Ross School of Business. "In the face of the dramatic projected growth in demographic diversity, such failure could have severe economic, social and political consequences.

"Our research reveals that this resistance can have little to do with prejudice. Instead, it can stem from a basic human need to belong."

Sanchez-Burks, U-M doctoral student Flannery Garnett, Victoria Plaut of the University of California-Berkeley and Laura Buffardi of the Universidad de Deusto in Spain conducted a five-study investigation of Americans' perceptions of diversity initiatives both in the workplace and in the classroom.

Their research highlights two cultural ideologies that dominate the American lexicon of diversity: Multiculturalism, which explicitly acknowledges differences among groups and promotes the notion that differences associated with social identities should be valued and; Colorblindness, which emphasizes the sameness of people, that racial categories should be ignored or avoided and that differences based on social identity should be assimilated into an overarching unifying category.

They found that whites do not perceive multiculturalism as an inclusive ideology the way minorities do. In four of the studies of college students and employees, the researchers show how whites associate multiculturalism with exclusion as opposed to inclusion, but do not show this bias when whites are explicitly included in the conceptualization of multiculturalism.

Moreover, whites are less likely and slower than minorities to associate multiculturalism with their own self-identities and that whites' aversion to multiculturalism varies as a function of an individual's "need to belong."

"Individuals with a high need to belong rated the organization with the multicultural diversity message as less attractive than one espousing a colorblind message," Sanchez-Burks said. "For white individuals with a higher need to belong, an organization espousing a colorblind message may represent a lesser threat to their sense of inclusion than an organization espousing a multicultural message."

In a fifth study of nearly 5,000 employees at a large health care organization, Sanchez-Burks and colleagues found additional evidence that whites are less likely to endorse diversity than minorities and feel less included in their organization's definition of diversity than minorities.

"Organizations' concerted efforts to bolster and embrace diversity through the use of various diversity programs and structures may create the unintended consequence of simultaneously repelling their white constituencies," Sanchez-Burks said. "Without adequate buy-in from these organizational members, attempts at launching diversity initiatives will likely be met with resistance, especially if a sense of inclusion is not fostered.

"Careful attention should be paid to the inclusion-related processes that help shape support for these efforts. In other words, taking seriously the 'What about me?' question may be crucial in stemming the tide of backlash responses to diversity efforts."

The research by Sanchez-Burks, Garnett and colleagues will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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Moebius
3 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2011
Whites resistant to an inclusive multicultural environment? Are there still black clubs and hangouts that a white boy can't go in?
geokstr
3.2 / 5 (11) Jan 17, 2011
"For white individuals with a higher need to belong, an organization espousing a colorblind message may represent a lesser threat to their sense of inclusion than an organization espousing a multicultural message."

WTF?

What happened to all that "content of character" stuff we've been fed for generations? Now we're racists if we believe in "color-blindness", instead of an explicitly racially divisive concept like "multi-culti". Let's make sure we count everyone with the "one-drop" test to make sure we're in the proper proportions.

It is in the interest of leftists to keep the racial divisions boiling forever. How else to keep the minorities on their plantations? Hell, some of them might actually vote other than Democrat otherwise.

And I'm still waiting on the "scientific" "studies" that "prove" diversity for diversity's sake is a good thing in and of itself. What's wrong with treating everybody alike and holding everyone to the same standards?
ryggesogn2
3.2 / 5 (11) Jan 17, 2011
There is a black engineer's society, a hispanic engineer society, a women's engineer society but no white engineer society.
geokstr
3.2 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2011
There is a black engineer's society, a hispanic engineer society, a women's engineer society but no white engineer society.

Maybe whites men don't like trains.

:-)
paulthebassguy
4.1 / 5 (9) Jan 17, 2011
Funny that they compare whites with "minorities" when there are more asians in the world than there are whites. Has anyone studied workplace diversity in Asia to see whether some asians also have aversion to multiculturalism?

It might not be a "white" thing - it might be something that comes from being the majority in a particular society.
Mesafina
4.3 / 5 (7) Jan 17, 2011
geokstr nobody is saying that having a colorblind philosophy makes you racist. At least not so far in this article or it's comments. I agree that what we really all want in the end is colorblindness, and race should not even be an issue. However until racism has vanished (and it has not) then there is still a place for some level of protection under the law. While people have a right to create hispanic only clubs or white only clubs or whatever, I think doing so is a step away from colorblindness and I would discourage such behavior.
geokstr
2.1 / 5 (8) Jan 17, 2011
See, Mesafina, I doubt you are on the right, else you would know that conservatives been called racist for literally everything by the media and race hustlers like Jackson and Sharpton and even Holder and Obama for the last 50 years. Any opposition to Obama's policies - racist. Some of the things we've been called racist over in the last two years have been absolutely laughable, down to the use of the term "black hole" in science by the NAACP.

...until racism has vanished (and it has not)...

And I say that it is mostly perpetuated by those with a major incentive to keep it boiling, and I already named them above, not by the average white person.
ODesign
5 / 5 (3) Jan 18, 2011
I agree with this article and found it insightful.

I suggest that in addition to explicitly mentioning whites in multicultural and diversity programs, further segmenting whites into smaller subcategories for equal consideration might also achieve greater white buy in. In particular whites often prefer to self identify with an informal non racial/ethinic social class such as preppy or working man or womyn or upper class, middle class, etc. By treating the white society as a monoculture or limiting the discussion of identity and prejudice to race, ethnicity, or recent country of origin, diversity and multicultural programs are leaving white's and their self identities out of the discussion and excluding them and their interests.
CSharpner
5 / 5 (3) Jan 18, 2011
Someone asked above what would this study look like in Asia, and that's a great question. I've read stories in this 21st century of white Americans going to restaurants well off the beaten path in Japan and being kicked out because "we don't serve your kind here".

I think this article would've sounded less anti-white if it had replaced the word "white" with "local majority race". Then, that would probably make it a true article in any country with one large majority race and one or more minority races.

There have been other articles in the past year on this site talking about studies that show that similar race preference is natural and/or genetic and came about via evolution.
CSharpner
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 18, 2011
The reason the majority race, in general, is less responsive to "celebrating diversity" rather than "being colorblind" is because the "celebrating diversity" thing sounds too preachy... When the "celebrating diversity" corporate e-mail messages are distributed, and the PSA's on TV are broadcast, there's an unstated, but perceived assumption by the majority race that they themselves aren't good people and need to be taught how to stop being bad, as if the ones preaching somehow "know better". That is perceived as offensive. Whatever "other" cultures any individual is comfortable with just "is" and is not a moral issue any more than what type of food gets your fancy or what type of mate you're attracted to. Preaching about "celebrating diversity" sounds to a lot of people like the message is "you're immoral if you don't enjoy these other cultures". That kind of preechiness, whether intended or not, can never succeed.

The ultimate end to racism is complete colorblindness.
hard2grep
3.4 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
Nature is serious about housekeeping and dependant upon discrimination. Watching social animals in thier daily life shows just how important it is to be competitive. face it, you want to be at the top of the list, sharing will drag you down and leave you vulnerable against your competitors. As far as I am concerned,I will always make a person feel guilty for bumming a smoke, because if I do share, then experience shows that I will pay for it, and be considered a fool ripe for the pickin...
mysticshakra
3 / 5 (8) Jan 18, 2011
Truely colorblind policies based on things like intelligence and.performance will never happen because of the ultimate and unavoidable consequences. Hence the reason multiculturalism is forced upon white populations and is the reason why things like quotas exist. If it was good for the people involved it wouldn't have to be forced upon them.

We must always remember that the acheivements of a people ARE THE RESULT of the people that achieved them. If you change.the.people, you change.the.results. look around the world at where the innovation comes from and.where it has NEVER come from. If the people who make up those societies take.over those of white countries, those countries will become the same as the.places they left.
trekgeek1
3 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2011
Yeah, I'm pretty pissed off about not having clubs focusing on white individuals. Like one commenter already said, we have Hispanic engineering societies, African student alliance, etc. But there is no white engineers society or white student alliance. It's not that I would join such a group, but the hypocrisy of it is off the scale.
tsunamiii
5 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
Gee and here I was just hiring the most qualified...
Javinator
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2011
It is in the interest of leftists to keep the racial divisions boiling forever. How else to keep the minorities on their plantations? Hell, some of them might actually vote other than Democrat otherwise.


What?

I doubt you are on the right, else you would know that conservatives been called racist for literally everything by the media and race hustlers like Jackson and Sharpton and even Holder and Obama for the last 50 years.


What?

You're posting in an article about racism and you're generalizing people based on assumed political stances and are assigning beliefs and behaviors to them based on this.

Amazing.
geokstr
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 18, 2011
You're posting in an article about racism and you're generalizing people based on assumed political stances and are assigning beliefs and behaviors to them based on this.

Amazing.

Others here claim that you can't generalize people's ideology from their comments or their positions on things like Global Whatever. I say bunkum.

I'll bet the farm (if I had one) that you are on the left.

Go on, tell us how you voted for Bush and McCain, and don't believe in income redistribution and evils of capitalism and AGW and all the rest of the leftist claptrap.

If you were on the right and been called a "racist" for decades for everything and anything you say, you wouldn't be so cavalier about it.

Also amazing.
Javinator
4.3 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2011
Go on, tell us how you voted for Bush and McCain, and don't believe in income redistribution and evils of capitalism and AGW and all the rest of the leftist claptrap.


THIS is exactly what I'm talking about. You don't know anything about me. You don't know who I vote for. You don't know my stance on AGW. You don't know my income. You don't know my job. Stop assuming you know ANYTHING about me just because you've made the assumption that I'm a "leftist".

Anything I've ever said about you is based solely on what you as an INDIVIDUAL have posted on this site.

If you were on the right and been called a "racist" for decades for everything and anything you say, you wouldn't be so cavalier about it.


As you sit there and label me a "leftist" and make assumptions about my beliefs.

So because others have generalized YOU based on the opposition's views of your party? Luckily you can fight back with the same I guess...
geokstr
1 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
Yet you don't deny it, do you, lefty?

Scream sanctimoniusly all you want, but I have yet to find many on the right who believe in AGW, or that America is a racist country that needs to be apologized for.

I really don't even get your anger, unless I've hit way too close to home, especially since your ideology is being rejected en masse pretty much throughout the known freakin' universe. Tough to be a lefty, right now, I understand.

You want to call me a rightwinger, I'll proudly admit to it. You want to do so strictly from my opposition to AGW apocalypticism, no problem, even if you know nothing else about me.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
Oh, and by the way, if you consider being called a "leftist" to be just as bad and as evil as calling someone a "racist" for nothing in particular except opposition to Obama's policies, then you are too far gone over the leftist cliff to bother with.
Javinator
4.2 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
Yet you don't deny it, do you, lefty?


Depends on the issue(s). I've voted both ways.

...don't even get your anger, unless it hits way too close to home... call me a rightwinger, I'll proudly admit to it.


There's nothing wrong with being part of a group. It's the assumption of ideals based on association with that group that irks me.

You said it yourself that you don't like being labelled as a racist just because you're on the right. I get mad when assumptions are made about me because you assume I'm a leftist. It's the same.

You want to do so strictly from my opposition to AGW apocalypticism, no problem, even if you know nothing else about me.


Also, what irks me, is your self assurance that you know what I want to do. You've labelled yourself as someone on the right many times so if I've called you that, it's based on your self-labeling, not on your positions on anything.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (11) Jan 18, 2011
Gee and here I was just hiring the most qualified...
Yeah I know, you mean the most qualified Freemason, uh huh. Hey, Im late for the Bund meeting down at the Hofbrau- we're learning how to polka-
ryggesogn2
4 / 5 (8) Jan 18, 2011
Real workplace diversity has nothing to do with color, race, sex, etc.
It has to do with being open to innovative ideas regardless of their source.
Crappy managers come in all colors and sexes.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2011
Someone asked above what would this study look like in Asia, and that's a great question. I've read stories in this 21st century of white Americans going to restaurants well off the beaten path in Japan and being kicked out because "we don't serve your kind here".


100% true. I love the Japanese people and culture, but they're RACIST to the core, especially the older ones.

Like everything else it seems though the younger ones seem MUCH better on this issue.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
What?

You're posting in an article about racism and you're generalizing people based on assumed political stances and are assigning beliefs and behaviors to them based on this.

Amazing.


And you're confusing ideology with race on the same article?

If we didn't generalize ideology it would be damned useless, that's kind of the point. It IS a comprehensive vision.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that almost every Christian believes Christ existed....that make me a "racist" or "bigot" of some kind?
Arkaleus
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 18, 2011
"White" people are a minority, by a large margin of the human population. Just saying. It's true though.
ryggesogn2
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 18, 2011
Someone asked above what would this study look like in Asia, and that's a great question. I've read stories in this 21st century of white Americans going to restaurants well off the beaten path in Japan and being kicked out because "we don't serve your kind here".


100% true. I love the Japanese people and culture, but they're RACIST to the core, especially the older ones.

Like everything else it seems though the younger ones seem MUCH better on this issue.

I think there is still considerable racism in Europe as well.
I worked with a Swiss and German expat and was surprised by their anti Jewish comments.
The USA is way ahead of the ROW on real diversity.
Javinator
3 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2011

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that almost every Christian believes Christ existed....that make me a "racist" or "bigot" of some kind?


The term Christian implies the same central theme that they all believe in Christ. There are many sects of Christianity out there.

Would it be right for me to say you hate black people as a Christian? But I met a Christian KKK member who hates black people and you're a Christian. Therefore if you're Christian, you must be a racist.

That's obviously not true.

People can share some ideals without sharing all of them.

Generalizations are bullshit.
geokstr
1 / 5 (4) Jan 18, 2011
Still not willing to deny being on the left, I see. Must have been a pretty solid "generalization" on my part, eh?

And while I don't for a minute think that you believe every bit of leftist dogma, I'll bet you subscribe to 90% of it, especially the political stuff, and I've already rattled off a number of them above.

I myself am a conservative atheist. Bet you never heard of one of those before. I thinks the Bible is a book of fairy tales and myths (but also happens to contain a lot of general wisdom, especially the New Testament, on how we should treat each other, if you can get through all the begat's and parables and such), that evolution is a fact and that the scientific method is just the cat's meow. But I am not ashamed of the conservative part of that "generalization" either, which also tells a lot about other things I believe in as well.

So why not just proudly admit you're a person of the left. It's not so hard, really, and you'll feel better for it.
Javinator
4 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2011
I myself am a conservative atheist. Bet you never heard of one of those before.


Yes I have. Why wouldn't I have?

And while I don't for a minute think that you believe every bit of leftist dogma, I'll bet you subscribe to 90% of it, especially the political stuff, and I've already rattled off a number of them above.


If anything I stay out of the political. I've never commented on AGW here. I honestly don't know whether AGW is true or not. There's obviously climate change going on, but it's tough to say definitively if GHGs are cause or correlation at their current levels. So my stance is I don't know for sure, but we should strive for less air pollution for other reasons anyways. Better safe than sorry.

I don't know if that's a leftist stance or not?

So why not just proudly admit you're a person of the left. It's not so hard, really, and you'll feel better for it.


I guess I don't like being labeled by people I don't know. I doubt it would make me feel better.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
Generalizations are bullshit.


In general?

People can share some ideals without sharing all of them.


Of course, did I say otherwise? In the case of ideology however they do share most of them, and more specifically they usually share all the core values to one degree or another.

You're attempting to equate something as ugly as racism with the simple recognition of ideology is what is bullshit here.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
In general?


Haha touchee. I meant about people, but funny nonetheless.

You're attempting to equate something as ugly as racism with the simple recognition of ideology is what is bullshit here.


I'm not equating the two in the sense that "leftists" have had the same hardships that people who have been discriminated against for their race have. It's not even close. I'm equating them in the thought process of judging others based on false pretences.

Of course, did I say otherwise? In the case of ideology however they do share most of them, and more specifically they usually share all the core values to one degree or another.


But geo is working backwards isn't he? He's taking things I've said, is assuming my ideology, and is assuming my core beliefs I have based on this assumption of ideology.
TRA
2.3 / 5 (3) Jan 19, 2011
It's amazing HOW Jews, Asians, Irish, Scots, Italians, Japanese and Chinese magically become White within the boarders of America; outside, it's more economic prejudices. However, African Americans remain Black no matter where we go . . . even in Africa. White Americans change into Generic Americans outside of the USA. MANY WANT to appear to the outside world as one people but in fact we are not. Finally, Black and White and Chinese and Japanese and Jews produce MULTI RACIAL babies every day; so why is there a sustainable idea that White and Black and Asia labels are unique? Interesting how an attractive Asia, White, Black, Spanish, Irish or African female can cause the most devoted racist to abandon ideology instantly. I HAVE HEARD AND SEEN AMERICANS OUTSIDE OF THE USA AND THEY ACT DIFFERENTLY IN OTHER COUNTRIES. MAYBE THE ANNSWER TO RACISM IN AMERICA IS AN OVERDOSE OF ROMANCE AND EDUCATION.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
I'm not equating the two in the sense that "leftists" have had the same hardships that people who have been discriminated against for their race have. It's not even close. I'm equating them in the thought process of judging others based on false pretences.


Fair enough, my point is that the pretenses are certainly not as false when speaking of ideology as they are race.

But geo is working backwards isn't he? He's taking things I've said, is assuming my ideology, and is assuming my core beliefs I have based on this assumption of ideology.


He may be, it appears so. In fact though I'm not geo and I don't really know what's going on in his noodle, only he does.

Now as to your actual point being made here, yes in principle I agree. I do think you're stretching it a bit far though.

Moreover by not revealing your ideology you can say he's wrong till the cows come home...when in fact he may be 100% correct ;-)
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2011
Fair enough, my point is that the pretenses are certainly not as false when speaking of ideology as they are race.


I will concede with my own fair enough.

Moreover by not revealing your ideology you can say he's wrong till the cows come home...when in fact he may be 100% correct ;-)


To be honest I've never labeled it myself and I dislike being labeled by others due to implications of that label. I try take issues on a case by case basis and I hate politics because I find it gets in the way of things getting done. That being said, I'm not anti-government. I find I disagree or agree with members of either "side" depending on the arguments being made. I honestly don't know what that makes me label-wise.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Jan 19, 2011
I try take issues on a case by case basis

What standards do you bring to judge the case?
Javinator
5 / 5 (1) Jan 19, 2011
I try take issues on a case by case basis

What standards do you bring to judge the case?


Logic or at least an attempt at it.
nada
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2011
geokstr,
After analyzing your comments, I have generated a complete profile of you:

geokstr, you are sexually frustrated from sleeping with goats and sheep.

And if you deny it, it just proves it even more.

(you are an idiot).
poof
1 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2011
Your all niggers as far as im concerned.