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Managing diversity – an employment and service delivery challenge

Managing diversity – an employment and service delivery challenge The UK public sector has had a long‐standing policy commitment to equal opportunities, alongside limited access to managerial positions for women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. In place of equal opportunities, a new paradigm, managing diversity, originating in the USA, has been proposed. This paper examines five areas of difference between equal opportunities and managing diversity: an internal or external driving force; an operational or strategic focus; the perception of difference; the focus of action; and finally, the epistemological basis. The paper discusses the application of this model to the public sector, discussing power and equity, the relevance of the “business case” argument, the focus on customer responsiveness, and a possible explanation for the 1980s backlash. There are case studies of an NHS Trust and a local authority. The paper discusses necessary attitudinal changes and skills to implement the managing diversity paradigm in the public sector. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Public Sector Management Emerald Publishing

Managing diversity – an employment and service delivery challenge

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0951-3558
DOI
10.1108/09513559910262661
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The UK public sector has had a long‐standing policy commitment to equal opportunities, alongside limited access to managerial positions for women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. In place of equal opportunities, a new paradigm, managing diversity, originating in the USA, has been proposed. This paper examines five areas of difference between equal opportunities and managing diversity: an internal or external driving force; an operational or strategic focus; the perception of difference; the focus of action; and finally, the epistemological basis. The paper discusses the application of this model to the public sector, discussing power and equity, the relevance of the “business case” argument, the focus on customer responsiveness, and a possible explanation for the 1980s backlash. There are case studies of an NHS Trust and a local authority. The paper discusses necessary attitudinal changes and skills to implement the managing diversity paradigm in the public sector.

Journal

International Journal of Public Sector ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 1, 1999

Keywords: Case studies; Equal opportunities; Public sector management

References