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Friday Seminar 3
Doing Diversity Right:  A Research-Based Approach to Diversity Management

Derek R. Avery
University of Houston

Patrick F. McKay
Rutgers University

Over the course of 3 hours, we seek to provide participants with exposure to the most current scholarly research on workforce diversity. In doing so, we will examine both prospective costs and benefits associated with demographic differences in the workplace. In addition to reviewing literature, participants will have the opportunity to discuss and apply much of what they learn via structured discussions, brief case studies, and perspective-taking scenarios. Ultimately, our goal is to help participants translate existing and developing research on diversity into actionable strategies to assist their organizations in maximizing diversity’s upside while minimizing its potential drawbacks. Moreover, we hope to stimulate further research on this important topic.

Learning objectives: In particular, this seminar is designed to help you:

  • Describe the recent research literature relating workforce diversity to individual and organizational performance;
  • Define diversity climate;
  • Explain diversity climate’s relationship to key business outcomes;
  • Diagnose various organizational diversity perspectives; and 
  • Critique the adequacy of existing and proposed organizational diversity initiatives.

Derek R. Avery is an associate professor of psychology and management at the University of Houston. He earned his PhD in I-O psychology from Rice University. His research focuses on diversity and fairness in the workplace and has appeared in numerous scholarly outlets, such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior. Concerning diversity, he has examined its interface with a wide array of issues such as recruitment, salary perceptions, leadership, mentoring, absenteeism, engagement, turnover, and performance (individual and organizational). Much of his recent work has investigated the role of diversity climate in effective diversity management.

Patrick F. McKay is an associate professor of management in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. He earned his PhD in I-O psychology from the University of Akron. His research has focused on issues ranging from assessing the adverse impact (or effects) of personnel procedures against minorities, to broader examination of how organizations’ diversity climates and efforts to recruit underrepresented groups influence individual attitudes and behavior (e.g., organizational commitment, turnover intentions, and sales performance) and organizational performance. It has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Journal of Management Inquiry. Ultimately, he seeks to provide firms with scientific knowledge and findings that inform the successful integration into and management of employees from underrepresented groups. 

Coordinator: Scott Tonidandel, Davidson College

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