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- Volume 31, Issue 2, 2007
South African Journal of Labour Relations - Volume 31, Issue 2, 2007
Volume 31, Issue 2, 2007
Editor's introduction to SAJLR Special Edition : workplace diversity management : issues, controversies and practicesAuthor Stella M. NkomoSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 31, pp 6 –9 (2007)More Less
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 31, pp 10 –31 (2007)More Less
The purpose of this article is to critically interrogate the extent to which diversity practitioners' definitions of diversity create the potential for deep transformation. By employing critical management theory and discursive analysis, we identified three dimensions to the definitions: Categories of Difference, Engagement of Difference and Site of Change. Each of these is represented as one dimension of the Diversity "Rubik" Cube. Each dimension is described individually, after which interaction between them is examined. At each point the potential for deep transformation is examined. In most cases the potential for deep transformation offered by the Category of Difference is closed down by the Engagement with Difference. This interaction represents the dominant paradigms for thinking through diversity in management studies. We suggest that there is only one alignment of the dimensions that provides for deep transformative practice and we offer the Diversity "Rubik" Cube as a model that will allow management, practitioners and academics to identify that alignment.
A systems psychodynamic exploration of diversity management : the experiences of the client and the consultantAuthor Frans CilliersSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 31, pp 32 –50 (2007)More Less
South Africa's diverse work force offers many challenges for employees as well as organisational development consultants. Since the first democratic election in 1994, organisations have implemented diversity management programmes with the object of building bridges between employees from different cultures and addressing conflict in the workplace. This study focused on diversity management programmes presented from a systems psychodynamic consulting stance, using group relations training methodology. The aim of the study was to gain an understanding of the systems psychodynamic manifestations experienced during diversity management workshops as a microcosm of the organisation, as well as the experiences of the consultant to these workshops. Sixty-minute unstructured individual interviews were conducted with eleven consultants, who explored their experiences of employees' diversity issues as well as their experiences in their consultant role. Discourse analysis was done, applying the systems psychodynamic interpretive stance. The manifesting themes indicate how South African employees are obsessed with their split identity; how the anxiety around primary and secondary diversity dimensions is causing projection and projective identification, transference and countertransference, and how containment becomes difficult in organisations with high levels of anxiety around difference. Recommendations are offered towards optimising diversity consultations.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 31, pp 51 –67 (2007)More Less
The research set out to understand why, despite the fact that the laws have changed and access to equal opportunities is available, there are not more women holding executive positions in corporate South Africa. Our qualitative research indicates that it is not appropriate to think of any one theoretical approach in isolation and sheds light on the challenges facing women in executive positions in South Africa. The paper concludes that the glass ceiling is an effect rather than a cause, and that a wholesale societal shift is required with respect to the concept of empowerment in order for greater equality to be achieved in the workplace. This societal cultural underpinning is what differentiates South African gender issues from those in other countries such as the UK and Canada.
Source: South African Journal of Labour Relations 31, pp 68 –84 (2007)More Less
This research examined men and women managers' perceptions of organisational politics (OP) in South Africa. The research replicated the methodology of an earlier American study and found that while gender differences in perceptions of OP exist in the United States, similar differences were not observed in South Africa. The research points to two findings relevant to the study of OP and gender diversity research in South Africa. First, it highlights the relatively low importance of gender as a mediating factor in the way OP is judged by men and women managers in South Africa. Secondly, the study supports the notion that men and women relate to power and politics similarly instead of affiliating with their gender group when judging political behaviour. Both findings hold promise for promoting future positive inter-group gender relations in the workplace as women increasingly advance into senior management positions and work more closely with men in similar positions and as equal colleagues.
Managing workforce diversity and inclusiveness in the public service : going beyond the Nigeria Federal Character Principles (FCP) : forum sectionAuthor Benjamin InyangSource: South African Journal of Labour Relations 31, pp 85 –101 (2007)More Less
Diversity is an organisational reality which has attracted a great deal more attention in the literature in the West than in Africa. This paper presents the Nigerian case, and traces the diversity issue to the British colonial policy of forcible integration of the ethnic groups, which had struggled to obtain fair representation in the public service. The Federal Character Principles (FCP), which evolved through constitutional engineering in 1999, is the instrument by means of which diversity is managed in the public service. The application of diversity approaches and the diversity continuum in the analysis highlights the need for diversity management efforts to progress beyond legislation and address the challenges of gender representation, inclusion of the aged and the physically challenged, equal access to education and effective monitoring and evaluation of diversity management programmes.