Work Place Diversity

Essay by kgilbertsonUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2005

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Diversity and Characteristics Impacting Behavior

As difficult as it may be, imagine life without diversity and characteristics. Every life would then be alike--dull, boring and uninspiring. Behavior would be uniform and standardized, suppressing any opportunity for individuality. Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn (2005), authors of Organizational Behavior, defines diversity as "the presence of individual differences based on gender, race and ethnicity, age, able-bodiedness, and sexual orientation" (p. 25). Relative to diversity is demographic characteristics--the "background characteristics that help shape what a person becomes" (Schermerhorn et al, 2005, p. 123). Regardless of what life is in the eyes of one individual, gender, age, socioeconomic status, and occupation--the diversity and demographical characteristics of our being--always influences individual behavior.

Gender--a cycle, a race, a battle or is it a game? Is it boys versus girls, men against women, or male opposed to female? Whatever the case may be, individual behaviors vary according to gender.

Behaviors based on gender began so long ago with God's instructions to wives and husbands. As the Bible (1991) instructs, "wives, submit to your husbands as to the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church . . . so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything" (p. 2139). The behaviors of husbands and wives and even male and female have increasingly changed over time. One investigation, conducted by Judith B. Rosner and published in the Harvard Business Review found that:

Until the 1960s men and women received different signals about what was expected of them ... women have been expected to be wives, mothers, community volunteers, teachers and nurses ... they are supposed to be cooperative, supportive, gentle, and to provide service to others. They are to derive satisfaction and self-esteem from helping others ... while men...