Unlocking the Benefits of Diversity: All-Inclusive Multiculturalism and Positive Organizational Change

Stevens FG, Plaut VC, Sanchez-Burks J. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 2008;44(1):116-133. doi:10.1177/0021886308314460

Abstract: As the demographic composition of organizations in the United States rapidly shifts, such that minority groups are becoming the numerical and economic majority, organizations are grappling with ways to manage diversity in the workplace. The two forms of diversity initiatives most frequently implemented in organizations—colorblindness and multiculturalism—have clear benefits; however, each also contributes to feelings of exclusion by different organizational members. In this article, the authors describe problematic issues raised by these two approaches to diversity and offer an alternative perspective—all-inclusive multiculturalism, or the AIM model. (The model uses a survey to provide organizations and institutions with a deep understanding of the climate of inclusion. The specific goals of AIM are to determine progress in meeting diversity and multiculturalism goals and assess current diversity and multicultural initiatives.) The authors posit that AIM serves as a catalyst for positive and effective organizational change through the development of social capital and positive relationships at work and enables organizational members to grow to their fullest potential.

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