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1.READING 2.1: Stereotype Threat at Work READING 2.2: The Ethics of Human Resource ManagementREADING 2.3: How Do Corporations Embed Sustainability Across the OrganizationCritical Thinking Question 4, page 66, in the textbook provided4. Predict the societal changes that you believe might take place within the next ten years. What challenges will these changes present to organizations?(Prepare a 600 word paper explaining the answer)
2.READING 3.1: Are You Sure You Have a Strategy? READING 3.2: Bringing Human Resources Back into Strategic PlanningCritical Thinking Question 2, page 128, in the textbook.2. Identify the HR challenges associated with each of the three major corporate strategies.(Prepare a 600 word paper explaining the answer.)


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Chapter 2
Social Responsibility and Human Resource Management | 45
law and maintained that focus until the early 1980s. By the mid-1980s, however, the focus of diversity
training had shifted to improving working conditions by minimizing conflict between and among
workers. In the mid-1990s, the focus evolved to understanding, accepting, and leveraging diversity
as a means of enhancing organizational performance and remains as such to this day.2
The history of diversity in organizations is rooted in social justice and civil rights, but its evolution into a strategic HR and business issue has resulted in diversity becoming somewhat of an
amorphous concept. A recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management
among HR executives revealed eight distinct definitions of diversity, with 71 percent of respondents indicating that their organizations did not have a formal definition of diversity.3 Consequently, while many organizations embrace diversity in concept, they have not fully considered it
as a strategic business issue relative to the mission and strategy of their organization. Indeed, the
survey concluded with respondents identifying the needs to (1) more closely articulate the relationships between diversity initiatives and business results and (2) expand the focus away from
diversity initiatives as a means of compliance with labor and employment laws.
D are employers who have elevated diversity to the C-suite in
At the other end of the spectrum
the form of a chief diversity A
officer (CDO). Generally tasked with creating, maintaining, and
developing a work environment and culture in which all employees can develop and reach their
I executive level positions, are now found in about 60 percent
full potential, CDOs, or comparable
of Fortune 500 companies. They
Lhail from a variety of backgrounds within the organization with
65 percent being female and 37 percent being African American.4 However, only 25 percent report
Y with others reporting to corporate HRs or another department
directly to their organization’s CEO
or functional executive.
Diversity at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC)
Global accounting and consulting firm PwC first established a CDO role in 2003. At that
time, the position was contained
Y within the HR function, reporting to the head of HR. The
position now reports directly to the chairman of the board and senior partner, reflecting
A has placed on diversity and the accomplishments realized
the increasing importance PwC
by the CDO. The position is N
important enough to PwC that it rotates its own senior partners
in and out of the role every two years. This stature of the position and rotation of senior
partners not only allows more infusion of diversity into the organization’s culture but also
allows heightened accountability
2 for results and credibility of diversity initiatives within the
Generational Diversity
Advances in healthcare are allowing us, as a society, to live longer, remain healthier longer, and
remain in the workplace longer.BCensus data show that 13 percent of the U.S. population is aged
65 or older, with that percentage expected to grow to 20 percent, or 70 million individuals, by
U to live longer and remain healthy, 80 percent of this group
2030.6 As baby boomers continue
plan to continue working past the age of 65.7 These “working retirements” suggest a very different
type of employment relationship and a very different kind of lifestyle than that chosen by previous
generations. A benefit to society is that these individuals’ continued self-sufficiency may result in
their being far less dependent on cash-strapped government pensions and healthcare programs.
Organizations clearly benefit through the knowledge and contacts these individuals have developed
through their years of professional experience.
This “graying of the workforce” can create a number of challenges, both real and perceived.
Older workers are often perceived to be more resistant to change, particularly in implementing
radically new programs and utilizing new technology that break from long-established ways of
doing things. They may also have increased healthcare costs relative to their younger counterparts.
As older workers remain in the workplace longer, fewer advancement opportunities are made
available for younger workers, and in many instances, older workers command higher salaries
9781305234758, Strategic Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, Mello – © Cengage Learning All rights reserved No distribution allowed without express authorization
46 | Part 1
The Context of Strategic Human Resource Management
despite the fact that they may have skills and training that are less current than those of younger
workers, particularly relative to technology.
At the same time, it is important to remember that older workers can be as productive, if not
more productive, than younger employees. The United States is a society that tends to devalue its
older citizens, and such biases and predispositions are often found in organizational settings. However, older workers may have much more loyalty to their employers than their younger counterparts. They can also provide significant knowledge of the organization and industry as well as
key contacts within their professional networks.
A number of employers have developed incentive programs for early retirement and then, in
many cases, hired retirees back on a part-time basis or as consultants to take advantage of their
knowledge and experience. Such programs need to be implemented carefully, however, as federal
laws prohibit the setting of a mandatory retirement age in the overwhelming majority of occupations as well as using coercion to “encourage” older workers to retire.
Baby boomers—those born between 1945 and approximately 1962—are now in their midcareer years, and employers are findingD
that the supply of workers in this age bracket exceeds the
demand for them in the middle- and senior-management-level
ranks. As one moves up the manA
agement hierarchy, fewer and fewer positions are available, and the competition for senior management positions among boomers hasI become intense. Ironically, technology often plays a role
here, as many middle- and senior-level-management
positions have been eliminated because of
flatter organizational structures and the increased use of information technology to perform funcY Many of these individuals will never progress beyond
tions previously done by middle managers.
middle management. This can be greatly disconcerting for those who have been long-term
employees of an organization and have seen their pre-boomer predecessors and coworkers
rewarded and promoted for performance. Consequently, this creates a new HR challenge in managing these “plateaued” workers. Organizations need to find ways to retain them and keep them
R have mastered their current responsibilities and aspire
motivated despite the fact that they may
to advance in their careers. Slower andY
alternative career paths have become the norm for many
of these workers. An increasing number are choosing to go out and start their own businesses.
Consequently, baby busters—thoseAborn during the declining birthrate years from approximately 1963 to the mid-1970s—also need to have lower expectations relative to the pace of their
careers. The baby boomers of the previous generation have essentially created a bottleneck in the
management hierarchy that baby busters find themselves behind. Until the baby boom generation
has retired, there may be fewer opportunities in larger organizations for baby busters.
2 generation—which assumes low- and some midAt the same time, this baby bust
level-management positions—often receives
6 higher wages than some of the baby boomers because of
the forces of supply and demand. Far fewer individuals are in this lower age bracket, and in many
industries, particularly rapidly growing 7
ones—such as multimedia and the Internet—these workers
have skills and training that the previous generation lacks, and they therefore command significant
incomes in their early career years. In many organizations, workers in their 30s may be making as
much as or more than coworkers 20 andB
30 years their senior. The combination of limited supply of
younger workers, high illiteracy among many new workforce entrants, and demand for skills fueled
by technological change has resulted in aU
whole new workplace dynamic for this generation.
A different workplace dynamic is being created by what are known as Generation X employees.
Generation X is those born from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. Many of these individuals were raised
in families of divorce and may have developed a tolerance for upheaval and readjustment. They witnessed firings and layoffs of family members, which may greatly influence their limited loyalty to an
employer. They have also been using computers and other advanced technologies all their lives and
have been exposed since birth to near-constant change in their everyday lives. More important, they
bring attitudes and perceptions about work that differ significantly from those of preceding generations.
These include an expectation of increased employee self-control; perceptions of themselves as independent contractors or consultants rather than as employees; less interest in job security; no expectations of
long-term employment; and a demand for opportunities for personal growth and creativity.8
Generation Y employees, sometimes called the Baby Boom Echo, are those born after 1979.
They are just beginning to enter the workforce and represent a cohort that is as large as the baby
9781305234758, Strategic Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, Mello – © Cengage Learning All rights reserved No distribution allowed without express authorization
48 | Part 1
The Context of Strategic Human Resource Management
Given these differences, there is a question as to what extent these differences manifest themselves in the form of intergenerational conflict in the workplace. A recent study by the Society for
Human Resource Management found that 25 percent of organizations reported substantial levels
of intergenerational conflict in their workplaces. Older workers complained about the inappropriate dress and “poor work ethic” of younger employees while younger employees found their elders
resistant to change, unwilling to recognize their efforts and micromanagers.15
Despite some of the acknowledged and pronounced disparity among them, different generations have been found to share some commonalities. First, they all value family and are willing to
make compromises and sacrifices in support of their family members. Second, they all want
respect, although different generations do not define it the same way. Older workers expect their
opinions to be considered, while younger workers simply want the opportunity to be heard. Third,
all generations look for trustworthiness in leaders. Fourth, all generations have some resistance to
change, which has less to do with age and more to do with how an individual is personally
affected by change. Fifth, all generations look for opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. And,
D of age, appreciates feedback on what they are doing
finally, everyone in an organization, regardless
and how they are performing.
Sexual orientation has been an area of diversity that increasingly has been embraced by both large
Y Nine of the 10 largest corporations in the United
and small and public and private employers.
States, as well as nearly 400 of the Fortune
, 500 employers, now prohibit discrimination on the
Sexual Orientation
basis of sexual orientation. More than 200 of these employers offer full benefits for domestic
partners of employees regardless of sexual orientation, although extension of benefits to domestic
partners was prompted by demands from gay and lesbian employees for equality in benefits. CurR
rently more than 25 of Fortune 100 employers allow coverage for transgender-related medical
treatment in their health insurance plans.
Sexual orientation has also provided some challenges to employers from a legal perspective
A statues. California, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Verbeyond compliance with nondiscrimination
mont, and Oregon all require employersN
to provide the equivalent of full spousal rights to employees who are part of a same-sex couple. The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, and Washington
each has laws that provide for some spousal rights for same-sex couples. As of June 2013, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Delaware, Maine, Maryland,
Minnesota, Rhode Island, Washington, and the District of Columbia allow same-sex individuals
to legally marry. As a result, employers6need to carefully review mandates of these laws relative
to the provision of employee benefits.
The provision of employee benefits7for same-sex couples can create tremendous complexities
for employers. Despite the fact that 58 5
percent of Fortune 500 companies now provide equal benefits for same-sex partners and spouses, the tax treatment of such benefits is fraught with legal
complications. Because same-sex unionsB
are not recognized at the national level, same-sex benefits
are treated as taxable income at the federal level, but not at the state level. As a result, in addition
to more complex recordkeeping for employers, employees with same-sex partners pay significantly
more in taxes than do their coworkers who have opposite-gender partners. To neutralize this
effect, a number of private employers, including Credit Suisse, Facebook, Google, and the Kimpton
Hotel and Restaurant Group, reimburse their employees receiving same-sex partner benefits to offset the higher taxes to which these employees are subjected.18
While no federal law exists that prohibits discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation, a number of states and municipalities have passed nondiscrimination laws and ordinances. Canadian organizations and employers that are members of European Union countries
are prohibited by statute from discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
In addition to feelings about equality, some organizations are motivated to address sexual
orientation issues because of the bottom line. Surveys have shown 70 percent of gay and lesbian
9781305234758, Strategic Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, Mello – © Cengage Learning All rights reserved No distribution allowed without express authorization
Chapter 2
Social Responsibility and Human Resource Management | 49
consumers to be brand loyal to those companies that have progressive employment
policies regarding sexual orientation. This gay and lesbian consumer market is estimated at $500
billion annually.19
Despite laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and increasing
social acceptance of sexual minorities, many gay and lesbian professional employees still fear disclosure of their sexual orientation in the workplace. A recent Harvard Business Review article
noted that 48 percent of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered) employees did not feel
comfortable being public about their sexual orientation at work, and LGBT employees
who remained “closeted” at work were 73 percent more likely to leave their companies within a
three-year period.20
Individuals with Disabilities
Individuals with disabilities are
D protected from discrimination in employment under the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as discussed in Chapter 7. Nonetheless, individuals with
A in diversity initiatives nor have they experienced full
disabilities are often not included
eradication of employment discrimination.
There are 54 million Americans with disabilities; of
those, nearly 70 percent who are capable of working are unemployed, making individuals with disL with the highest rate of unemployment in the United States.21
abilities the demographic group
Many technological innovations are increasing the ability for individuals with severe
disabilities to be employed, closing the gap between physical limitations and productivity. However, the lack of employment opportunities
for individuals with disabilities has less to do with abil,
ity than with the fact that many supervisors do not understand the needs of employees
with disabilities, and stereotypes about disabilities believed by supervisors and coworkers prevent
individuals with disabilities from
R being fully integrated into the workplace.22 Hence, diversity
initiatives need to pay particular attention to misperceptions surrounding individuals with
Employees with disabilities
A present organizations with a challenge uncommon to other
dimensions of diversity. The disabled is one minority group that any individual can join at any
time in the future and often sometimes
unexpectedly. Because the physical and mental ability of
any employee is a variable dimension of diversity, employers need to pay special attention to disability issues. As the average age of the workforce increases, and employees opt to stay employed
for longer periods of time, disability
2 issues will clearly escalate for most employers, particularly
given the fact that many disabilities can develop later in life. Indeed, while 13 percent of the pop6 30 percent of those from 65 to 74 and 53 percent of those 75
ulation aged 21–64 has a disability,
and older have a documented disability.
Employing Workers with
U Disabilities at Walgreens
While many employers have policies that encourage the recruiting and hiring of individuals
with disabilities, few have gone as far as Walgreens, the national largest retail drugstore
chain, to employ those with disabilities. In late 2007, Walgreens opened a brand new stateof-the-art distribution facility in Windsor, Connecticut, which was designed specifically to
employ individuals with disabilities. This center was designed to be a model for future distribution centers, with a goal of having at least one-third of its jobs filled by individuals with
disabilities. The Windsor location has exceeded that goal with 40 percent of its employees
having a disclosed physical or cognitive disability. The facility has reported 20 percent
increases in efficiency in its operations since process improvements were installed as accommodations as it expands to its full capacity of 800 employees.24
9781305234758, Strategic Human Resource Management, Fourth Edition, Mello – © Cengage Learning All rights reserved No distribution allowed without express authorization
50 | Part 1
The Context of Strategic Human Resource Management
Diversity at Hasbro
Several years ago, Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based toy manufacturer Hasbro, Inc., rolled out a
diversity initiative that was offered as a half-day workshop to all of its 8,000 employees.
Called “D@H5p3,” which stands for “diversity at Hasbro equals people, products and productivity,” the program received an award from the Society for Human Resource Management. The program involves a series of three exercises related to diversity. The first, a
variation of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, focuses on the benefits diversity
can have for a business. The second, an adaptation of Hasbro’s Pokeman trading card game,
facilitates an understanding of how cultural and individual differences impact an organization. The third uses Hasbro-manufactured toys, such as Lincoln Logs, to illustrate community building and an individual’s place as a responsible member of his or her community.
The program was designed to allow participants to better understand diversity as a business
and competitive issue for Hasbro, understand
each individual’s frame of reference relative to
diversity, and ident …
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