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2014/2015  KAN-CCBLV3005U  Advanced Topics in Diversity Management

English Title
Advanced Topics in Diversity Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 70
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Brooke Harrington - Department of Business and Politics (DBP)
Course administrator: Maja Dueholm, md.ikl@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Business psychology
  • Management
  • Organization
Last updated on 03-07-2014
Learning objectives
On successful completion of the course, the student should be able to:
  • describe, compare and critically assess managerial perspectives on diversity
  • define key categories of diversity and analyse them theoretically
  • analyze and reflect upon forms of diversity management from organizational as well as societal perspectives
  • select and apply appropriate theories to real-world cases
  • assess the practical implications of theories and cases of diversity management
  • select and apply relevant analytical tools and methods to identify the opportunities and challenges presented by diversity organizations
Advanced Topics in Diversity Management:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
The examination for this course will consist of a single paper, to be researched and written by each individual student—in other words, it is not a group assignment. The paper will take the form of a literature review on a topic to be decided by the student in consultation with the professor, and will be due a week after the last class meeting. Further details will be provided on the first day of class.
Course content and structure
This course reviews in depth the opportunities and challenges associated with managing diversity. The readings range over a variety of management-relevant subjects—from decision-making, to leadership and innovation—using a wide range of theoretical orientations, from social psychology to economics, sociology and anthropology. The categories of diversity under consideration include gender, sexuality, race, age, education/functional specialty, and even religion.  

This course reviews in depth the opportunities and challenges associated with managing diversity. The readings range over a variety of management-relevant subjects—from decision-making, to leadership and innovation—using a wide range of theoretical orientations, from social psychology to economics, sociology and anthropology. The categories of diversity under consideration include gender, sexuality, race, age, education/functional specialty, and even religion. 

Teaching methods
Lectures; student presentations and participation; case teaching.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Thursday 11.40-13.20, week 36
Thursday 11.40-15.10, week 37-43
Expected literature
Day 1: Introduction—Diversity in Organizations

·         Williams, Katherine and Charles O’Reilly III (1998), “Demography and Diversity in Organizations: A Review of 40 Years of Research,” Research in Organiza­tional Behavior 20: 77-140.
This review summarizes the big, big picture in diversity management, and the overall conclusion is not too optimistic: the downsides of diversity seem to overwhelm its positives. The other articles in this class can be read as modifications to or arguments against this summation.

·         Ancona, Deborah and David Caldwell (1992a), “Bridging the Boundary: External Activity and Performance in Organizational Teams,” Administrative Science Quarterly 37: 634-665.
With the article below, this piece summarizes research on task teams in a high-technology firm, looking at how the mix of functional specialties, as well as other demographic traits, affected the group's final product.

·        ________________________________ (1992b), “Demography and Design: Predic­tors of New Product Team Performance,” Organization Science 3: 321-341.
See above.


Day 2: The Positive Contributions of Diversity to Organizations—Managing Minority Influence

·         Nemeth, Charlan (1986), “Differential Contribution of Majority and Minority Influence,” Psychological Review 93: 23-32.
Classic study showing that incorporation of diversity and minority viewpoints in groups makes for better-quality decisions compared to conformist groups.

·         Mullen, Brian and Carolyn Copper (1994), “The Relation Between Group Cohe­siveness and Performance: An Integration,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 115: 210-227.
This article shows that social cohesion and conformity are not necessary to group performance; in fact, groups can tolerate a great deal of diversity of people and opinions, as long as members are all committed to the task. The study uses research from a wide variety of organizations, ranging from corporations to the military.

·         Bray, R.M., D. Johnson and J.T. Chilstrom Jr. (1982), “Social Influence By Group Members with Minority Opinions: A Comparison of Hollander and Moscovici,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 43: 78-88.
This study compares the two dominant models of minority influence in groups, and finds that they apply differently for men and women.

·         Dentler, R.A. and Erikson, Kai (1959), “The Functions of Deviance in Groups,” Social Problems 7: 98-107.
Drawing on examples from Quaker work groups and army squads, the authors show that groups actually need diversity and minority opinions.

Day 3: Diversity, Decision-Making and Organizational Performance

·         Watson, W., K. Kumar and L. Michaelson (1993), “Cultural Diversity’s Impact on Interaction Process and Performance: Comparing Homogenous and Diverse Task Groups,” Academy of Management Journal 36: 590-602.
In contrast to the conclusions of Williams and O'Reilly, this article indicates that, given enough time, demographically diverse groups can actually outperform homogenous ones.

·         Jackson, Susan, Karen May and Kristina Whitney (1995), “Understanding the Dynamics of Diversity in Decision Making Teams,” in R. Guzzo and E. Salas (Eds.), Team Effectiveness and Decision Making in Organizations, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
This review article looks generally at the diversity dynamic in teams.

·         Elsass, Priscilla and Laura Graves (1997), “Demographic Diversity in Decision-Making Groups: The Experiences of Women and People of Color,” Acad­emy of Management Review 22: 946-973.
This article links gender and race diversity in task groups to the expectation status literature we read for the second class meeting.

Day 4: Managing Stereotypes in Diverse Workgroups

·         Chapter 8 in Kanter, Rosabeth Moss (1977), Men and Women of the Corporation, New York: Basic Books.
This case-study of the sales force in a major U.S. corporation shows how women in male-dominated professions get slotted into stereotyped roles: mother, seductress, pet, and iron maiden.

·         Izraeli, Dafna (1983), “Sex Effects or Structural Effects?: An Empirical Test of Kanter’s Theory of Proportions,” Social Forces 62: 153-165.
Izraeli looks more closely at the hypotheses put forward by Kanter concerning gender diversity in organizations; Izraeli argues that these effects aren't symmetrical (i.e., they don't affect men and women equally).

·         Pugh, M.D. and Ralph Wahrman (1983), “Neutralizing Sexism in Mixed-Sex Groups: Do Women Have to Be Better Than Men?” American Journal of Sociology 88: 746-762.
Like Izraeli, Pugh and Wahrman examine the asymmetry in men's in women's experiences in task groups, this time in terms of competency expectations.

·         Megargee, Edwin (1969), “Influence of Sex Roles on the Manifestation of Leader­ship,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 53:377-382.
This article tests the relationship between gender roles and leadership, with clear implications for organizations' leadership composition.

Day 5: Diversity and the Origins of Demographic Categories—Interaction and Social Identity

·         Ridgeway, Cecilia (1997), “Interaction and the Conservation of Gender Inequality: Considering Employment,” American Sociological Review 62: 218-235.
A theoretical piece on a subject that is usually treated from a macro-structural point of view: gender discrimination in employment. Ridgeway looks at the construction of gender at the micro-interactional level. Both articles have implications for diversity in organizations, as they indicate that context is more significant in shaping behavior than individual traits.
·         Wharton, Amy (1992), “The Social Construction of Gender and Race in Organiza­tions: A Social Identity and Group Mobilization Perspective,” in Pamela Tolbert and Samuel Bachrach (Eds.), Research in the Sociology of Organiza­tions, 10: 55-84.
This article looks at the micro-level processes that make gender and race salient in diverse organizations.
·         West, Candace and Angela Garcia (1988), “Conversational Shift Work: A Study of Topical Transitions Between Women and Men,” Social Problems 35: 551-575.
This empirical study shows how status processes play out between men and women in conversation.
Day 6: Diversity and the Origins of Demographic Categories—Institutional and Cultural Factors

·        Martin, Karin (1998), “Becoming A Gendered Body: Practices of  Preschools,” Ameri­can Sociological Review 63: 494-511.
This study of pre-schools examines how the power of the situation affects the expression of masculine and feminine traits in schoolchildren—consider how these same processes may affect adults in other organizations.

·         Brinton, Mary (1988), “The Social-Institutional Bases of Gender Stratification: Japan as an Illustrative Case,” American Journal of Sociology 94: 300-334.
Empirical paper on the consequences of culture for human capital development and organizational roles among women in Japan.

·         Acker, Joan (1990), “Hierarchies, Jobs, Bodies: A Theory of Gendered Organizations,” Gender and Society 4: 139-158.
This article brilliantly points out that the social institution known as a “job” is based on fundamentally gendered assumptions that reproduce institutionalized inequality.

·         Frank, David John and Elizabeth McEneaney (1999), “The Individualization of Society and the Liberalization of State Policies on Same-Sex Sexual Relations, 1984-1995,” Social Forces 77: 911-944.
An empirical article on the state’s role in constructing normative categories of sexuality.

Day 7: The Neglected Side of Gender Diversity—Masculinities

·         Selections from Connell, R.W. (1995), Masculinities, Berkeley: University of California Press.
This book examines how masculinity is created in three interactional realms: power, production and emotional relations.

·         Selections from Schwalbe, Michael (1996), Unlocking the Iron Cage, New York: Oxford University Press.
This ethnography of the “men’s movement” offers a very unusual glimpse at the social construction of masculinity in small groups.

·         Williams, Christine (1995), Still a Man’s World, Berkeley: University of California Press.
This book is composed of case studies of men involved in four predominantly-female occupations: nursing, elementary school teaching, librarianship and social work. Williams shows how masculinity is reproduced in the organizational setting.
Day 8: Gender and Labor Markets

•      Reskin, Barbara (1991), “Bringing the Men Back In: Sex Differentiation and the Devaluation of Women’s Work,” in Judith Lorber and Susan Farrell (Eds.), The Social Construction of Gender, Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Reskin argues that women are excluded from organizational power because men make the rules that enable them to continue making the rules.

•      Bielby, William and James Baron (1986), “Men and Women at Work: Sex Segregation and Statistical Discrimination,” American Journal of Sociology 91: 759-799.
This is a structural explanation of gender differences in employment and wage patterns, focusing on the exclusion of broad classes of people from certain kinds of work—a practice known as “statistical discrimination.”

•        Selections from Reskin, Barbara and Patricia Roos (1990), Job Queues, Gender Queues, Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
This fascinating study of the gender composition of professions argues from numerous case studies that we should think twice about celebrating women’s entry into formerly male-dominated fields—in fact, the authors claims, women only enter fields that men no longer find desirable due to loss of prestige, pay and autonomy.

•        Selections from Jacobs, Jerry (1989), Revolving Doors: Sex Segregation and Women’s Careers, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Jacobs argues that neither socialization, nor human capital investments, nor discrimination, but a combination of all three produce sex segregation at work. It’s all about opportunity structures: Jacobs shows that they different for men and women, and that this produces different career outcomes.

Day 9: Diversity, Risk and Innovation

•      Barber, Brad and Terrance Odean (2001), “Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 116:261-292.
This study by two finance scholars quantifies gender differences in investing to show how men and women put their investment dollars in different kinds of stocks.

•      Barsky, Robert, Thomas Juster, Miles Kimball, and Matthew Shapiro. 1997. “Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 112: 537-579.
This study takes virtually every form of diversity into account—from gender, race and age to religion—in examining attitudes toward risk and innovation.

•      Jianakoplos, Nancy and Alexandra Bernasek (1998), “Are Women More Risk-Averse?”, Economic Inquiry 36: 620-630.
Another finance article that quantifies gender difference in investing by showing that women invest less in stocks, and consequently make less money in investing, compared to men. Interestingly, these results are moderated by marital status, suggesting once again that social roles—rather than innate “difference”—drive variation in this arena.

•      Ingrassia, Catherine (1995), “The Pleasure of Business and the Business of Pleasure: Gender, Credit, and the South Sea Bubble,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture 24: 191-210.
This fascinating article documents the role of gender in the first great financial innovation in modern market history. The study suggests that markets are an important arena for the social construction of gender; they are both shaped by and reproduce the gender identity of participants.

Day 10: Presentation of Student Projects (in preparation for exam papers)
Last updated on 03-07-2014