Workplace Diversity Paper

Workplace Diversity Paper



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This course will examine the issues, challenges, and opportunities presented by diversity in the workplace. Issues related to employee diversity, in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, career development, and cultural background are emphasized. The objective is to broaden student’s perspectives about the dynamics of diversity and to help them work more effectively in diverse workplace environments. Diversity is a workplace characteristic; inclusion is a workplace value. The course examines ways in which the organization benefits from an environment that values, welcomes and includes all employees.
Prerequisites: Principles of Management or management knowledge acquired through workplace or other types of organizational experiences.
The course should be listed under HRM, MGT and LAB.
This course was previously BME-213164 Diversity in the Workplace.


1. Define diversity and diverse groups,
2. Describe and evaluate diversity’s impact on organization effectiveness and its potential for increased performance.
3. Analyze and evaluate existing strategies that promote an environment that capitalizes on the richness that diversity brings to the workplace.


The student will read the assigned text; Opportunities and Challenges of Workplace Diversity by Kathryn Canas and Harris Sondak, Second Edition, ISBN: 13-978-0-13-6125181, and complete a summary-application assignment for each of the assigned chapters. Additionally, the student will complete a reading recap assignment, then read the select articles below and complete a reaction paper for each that follows specific content guidelines. The articles, available at the Empire State College, library are:

1. Designing a Bias-Free Organization by Gardiner Morse, Harvard Business Review, July-August, 2016.

2. Why Diversity Programs Fail by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, Harvard Business Review, July-August, 2016.

3. Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage by Robert D. Austin and Gary P. Pisano, Harvard Business Review September, May-June 2017.

4. We Just Can’t Handle Diversity, by Lisa Burrell, Harvard Business Review, July-August 2016.



1 Overview- orientation None

3 9/22 CH 1 Introduction 2- 3 page Learning Log

5 10/6 CH 2 Legal Perspective 4-5 page Learning Log

CH 4 Gender

7 10/20 CH 5 Race & National Origin 4-5 page Learning Log

CH 6 Age

9 11/3 CH 7 Religion & Spirituality 4-5 page Learning Log

CH 8 Sexual Orientation

11 11/17 Text Reading Recap Recap Assignment

12 11/24 Article #1 Reaction report

13 12/1 Article #2 Reaction report

14 12/8 Article #3 Reaction report

15 12/13 Article #4 Reaction report

* Assignments must be labeled with name, course and assignment number and are due by the end of the week designated as Sunday night. Multiple chapter assignments must be submitted as one assignment-partial assignments will not be accepted.They are sent to

** Late assignments will have grade reductions of 10 points per week beyond a one-week grace period that will be granted up to a maximum of two assignments. Course start-up and holiday logistics will be considered in adjusting – waiving this penalty.

  • The term begins on either a Monday or Tuesday and there will be no assignments due on this first week to provide adequate time to acquire materials and begin readings. The due date for 2nd week assignments would be the second Sunday of the term.
  • The schedule specifies the week in the term that the assignment is due, with Sunday at 11:59 p.m. as the deadline. This is technically one day after the week has ended (a Sunday to Saturday week) but we are setting it as a Monday – Sunday week.



This assignment is intended to prompt student analysis and reflection on individual learning experiences by completing a structured log of the value, context, and relevance of the assigned reading information.

Each log is typically 4-5 pages for the two chapters of reading. (If the assignment is only one chapter the length is modified to 2-3 pages). The logs should include four sections; an introduction summary, your existing knowledge of the reading content, major elements of learning for you, and future intentions regarding the information. Described in more detail these logs should include the following:

1.An introduction that specifies and summarizes the major topic or topics in the reading.

Typically, 1-2 pages.

2.The context of the reading to your existing knowledge, perspectives, experiences, and opinions, and the nature or source of that information. Typically, ½ to 1 page.

3.The primary learning elements for you, and the applications, benefits, and relevance that support your interests, studies and academic goals. Typically, 1 page.

4.Your future plans that speak to what you will do to continue or expand what you have learned in areas covered by the reading, or, discussion as to why this is not necessary or relevant. Typically, ½ to 1 page.



This assignment connects the course learning outcomes listed at the beginning of this learning contract and has the student reflect on the level of each of them as they relate to the text reading and assignments. A suggested guideline is that each outcome is presented with a minimum of one page of discussion and that each section begins with a heading specifying the outcome. The learning log assignments can be used to support your explanations as well as any other research that the course and the reading initiated. For any gaps in learning outcomes that have occurred in the course to date, the student should provide a plan for reinforcing those areas, optimally, by integrating these efforts with the remaining coursework. Students are urged to preview the remaining assignments that engage the analysis of four select articles to grasp the entirety of the study and the future learning opportunities.


Typically, writing assignments fall into two categories; one is reflecting where we mostly summarize and confirm our understanding; and two is analytical, where we provide components of new information, make connections, and express logical opinions and conclusions. This assignment is the latter.

The reaction report should be a minimum of three pages double-spaced. It should be your opinion regarding the points that the writer has made in the assigned article. A minimum amount of summarizing or repeating of the thoughts of the writer is expected. Your task is to identify the conclusions that the writer is reaching, then respond in your own words to his or her perspective. A requirement for each reaction paper is that it includes an application of information found outside of the article. This information can come from a source such as the text, another article, your personal experience or an observation.

The following questions may help you compose the paper.

What is the main point or points made by the author?

What is his/her basis or source of information? Is it credible, logical?

What would be the opposing position to the information presented?

What other information needs to be gathered?

What other information or issues relate to this discussion?

What issues do you have with the content?

      • Variation over facts and data
      • Different view of the viability of the process or methods
      • Conflict over the purpose or priorities
      • That there are other values, morals, principles that are relevant


The student will be evaluated using the text assignments and the reaction papers with the criteria to include; knowledge of basic diversity concepts and the application of these concepts to decision-making.

  • The evaluation is based upon the quality of written assignments; assignments must be clearly written and well organized. The evaluation is also based upon the ability to analysis, interpret and make observations in the form of reports from readings and on the student’s ability to draw on and relate to their own work and academic experiences. This integration will be evaluated through the student’s written materials.
  • Grading:
  • Learning Logs (7) 56%
  • Recap Assignment (1) 20%
  • Reaction Reports (4) 24%GRADING CRITERIA:Assignments are graded numerically, then translated into letter grades. Some guidelines follow:A Extraordinary grasp of the material, including conceptual connections among points and topics, and shows unusual insight into concepts, or ability to apply theories to practice, or both. Papers are well organized, comprehensive, aligned with the assignment, and are properly cited. The aggregate course score would be 95-100.A- means scores of 90 to 94, inclusive.Good grasp of the material and is able to draw inferences and connections at a level that would be expected of most undergraduate students with scores of 83-86. B+ means scores of 87 to 89 inclusive.B- for a course average of 80 to 82.C+ will be granted for a course average of 77 to 79, inclusive. C Understanding of the material would be adequate for an undergraduate student, but is not up to the standards of an above average student. Scores of 70 to 76 are required. C- the next grade below C is for scores between 66 and 69.D will be granted for a course average of 65 – 70F will be granted for a course average below 65. Note:
  • A grade of ZW (administrative withdrawal) will be entered on the 9th week of the course if no assignments are received and no student participation in the study takes place.
  • An outcome of IN (incomplete) may be granted in extenuating circumstances. It must be requested by the student who has consistently engaged in learning activities and has successfully completed more than 50 percent of the work before the end of the enrollment term. With the exceptions of accommodating extenuating circumstances and hardships that have been approved by formal application to the instructor, the highest eventual grade for an Incomplete outcome is B.
  • An outcome of WD (withdrawal) is student initiated and does not result in the award of credit. The student may withdraw from the course until the last day of the end of the enrollment term by completing and submitting a Withdrawal Form.



Formative assessment will primarily occur through the dialog with the student base on weekly or biweekly assignments. In this dialog, the mentor will provide feedback on what learning has been demonstrated and make recommendations for further or varied approaches or methods that will enhance the future learning process. The student and mentor will engage, at a minimum, in a mid-term phone conference where in-depth learning assessment and clarification of student goals will take place.

The student will be expected to maintain regular communication with the mentor throughout the term and each assignment should be submitted on a timely basis and include the following:

– Chapter notes, assigned questions and exercises at a minimum of every other week.

– A communication at the mid-term portion of the study where the student is expected to articulate the major sections of learning that have taken place thus far in the course, and any adjustments, questions or suggestions that would enhance the learning for the remaining section of the course.