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Diversity & Demography’s Impact on Individual Behaviors

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Essay title: Diversity & Demography’s Impact on Individual Behaviors

Diversity and Demography’s Impact on Individual Behaviors

November 28, 2005

Diversity and Demography’s Impact on Individual Behaviors

Diversity and demography are increasingly important issues in today’s workplace. Diversity is the “presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another” and demography is the “background characteristics that help shape what a person becomes” (Schermerhon, Hunt, & Osborn, 2005). By using demography, managers can learn how to handle the needs or concerns of people of different genders, ethnicities, etc (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). As both issues become more prominent in the workplace the impact on individual behaviors are also affected. The various types of characteristics associated with diversity and demography may include ethnicity, gender, personality traits, and value and attitude differences.

The term “racial and ethnic groups” is used to define the range of employees that belong to different cultures or races that now make up the growing area of the new workforce (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). This type of demographic characteristic can lead to a number of individual behavior issues such as stereotyping and discrimination. Stereotyping happens when a group or category defines a person and this can lead to generalized misconceptions when assessing an individual’s abilities. In comparison, discrimination is a legal issue that prohibits employers from taking adverse action against someone based solely on race, color, age, religion, sex, or national origin (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). When this occurs the negative affect on the entire organization is increased and could lead to a greater turnover rate, conflict between employees, and misunderstandings due to differences in beliefs and customs. Management must be educated on the proper ways to prevent stereotyping and also eliminating any illegal discrimination.

Another demographic characteristic that can affect individual behavior is gender. The differences between men and women in the workplace that could affect job performance are minimal (Schermerhon, et al.,2005). However, women are still seen as the weaker sex. Due to the historical problems women have encountered in trying to attain the same success as their male peers they are sometimes considered a feminist and unladylike but on the other hand a man in the same situation would be labeled successful and driven. In regards to management women may be treated with less respect. Prejudice towards female managers can arise when they have a conflict between their gender and leader roles. This unbalance could cause decreased behavior rewards than a man would receive in the same situation (Schermerhon, et al., 2005). But in spite of all the prejudices towards women the future outlook is promising as more and more women obtain leadership roles (Schermerhon, et al. 2005).

When referring to diversity characteristics one of the most important issues are a person’s personality traits. How a “person reacts and interacts with others encompasses the overall combination of characteristics that capture the unique nature of a person as that person reacts and interacts with others” is called personality (Schermerhon, et al. 2005). A person’s personality gives an understanding of how a person will behave in certain ways (Schermerhon, et al. 2005). Some people are outgoing and assertive

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