n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die verhouding tussen vertroue en diversiteitsklimaat by 'n Suid-Afrikaanse universiteit

Volume 56 Number 4-1
  • ISSN : 0041-4751



This study targeted permanently employed staff of a specific business unit (campus) of a South African university to explore the relationship between employees' perceived levels of trust in their immediate line manager/supervisor and the overall perceptions of the diversity climate within the business unit. South Africa recently celebrated 20 years of democracy. Although racism and discrimination should have no place in our democracy, current widespread unrest on university campuses suggests that big and enduring challenges of transformation are not easily resolved. Clearly, much still remains to be done in order to accelerate transformation in our higher education system. A critical question that arises is how change can be brought about in a cost effective and sustainable way.In view of steadily growing incidents of often violent unrest on university campuses, it therefore seems appropriate that researchers should evaluate how far South Africa has reallycome by considering the extent to which different business units of universities have been able to contribute towards the creation of a prejudice-free and inclusive society and what factors might have an influence within such an environment. Similar to other organisations, a university's diversity climate is a barometer of the extent to which the university has been able to establish an academic environment free of both prejudice and discrimination. A diversity climate of an institution reflects the psychological perceptions, attitudes and beliefs of individuals that also translate into how different groups - which may include but are not limited to gender, age, racial and ethnic groups - interact within a specific organisational context. These psychological and behavioural indicators of a diversity climate affect both individual and organisational performance in a dramatic way and can be either positive or negative in nature.

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