Diversity Resistance in Organizations

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Kecia M. Thomas
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008 - Psychology - 332 pages

This is a groundbreaking volume that provides informed, balanced yet frank discussion of US workplace diversity and diversity resistance issues. The chapters in this book put a name on behaviors and practices that have existed in the workplace for a long time, yet until recently have had no name. Further, the majority of the chapters innovatively link existing psychological and organizational factors such as fear, uncertainty, power, emotions, and organizational change and development. The book's editors and authors emphasize that we need to know more about diversity resistance, both in overt and covert forms. To guide us, we can draw on existing research and practice literature that have both theoretical and empirical depth.

This timely volume's first chapter deconstructs the growing prevalence of hangmen's nooses as a manifestation of resistance to diversity that is visibly overt, hostile, and interpersonal. The authors also shed light on how nooses surprisingly exemplify diversity resistance that is also frequently covert, subtle, and frequently silent.

The book is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students in industrial and organizational psychology, human resources management, diversity management, sociology of work, organizational change, and cultural diversity within organizations. It provides a central resource for classes on prejudice and discrimination in organizations, emotions at work, personnel psychology, strategic human resources management and cultural issues in human resources management. Professionals and practitioners who increasingly interact with diverse employees will find this book essential to their work.

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The Many Faces of Diversity Resistance in the Workplace
Understanding and Defusing Resistance to Diversity Training
Factors Contributing

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About the author (2008)

Kecia M. Thomas is a professor of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the University of Georgia (UGA) as well as the founding director of the Center for Research and Engagement in Diversity (RED). Kecia's work focuses on understanding systems of privilege and resistance that limit the career development of women, people of color, and gay and lesbian workers, as well as those behaviors and practices that create and sustain hostile or hospitable climates for diversity and inclusion. She is author of Diversity Dynamics (Wadsworth-Thomson) the first I/O Psychology textbook on workplace diversity, and over 35 academic articles and book chapters. In addition to editing Diversity Resistance (LEA-Taylor Francis), she and Karen Proudford also edited a special issue of the Journal of Career Development on Black women as Organizational Outsiders within. She has successfully served as a mentor and major professor to 13 Ph.D.s who now teach, research, or who engage in practice related to workplace diversity. Her own diversity practice, through RED, has enabled her to contribute to the diversity missions of institutions such as Middle Tennessee State University, BellSouth, Wofford College, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital medical Center, the Dallas Independent School District (TX), Rice University, the American Cancer Society, and the White County School District (GA). She is a member of the leadership collective of Nag's Heart and a graduate of the HERS Management Institute at Wellesley College. Dr. Thomas earned a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA), and her M.S. and Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA). She and her partner Darren Rhym have a son and a daughter, Chad and Jordan Rhym.

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