The organization, Alliant Energy, is a medium sized firm in the power and energy distribution industry. It provides electrical power and natural gas to a customer base of 1 million households in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Minnesota.
4. Alliant’s lack of clarity and…
5. The initial cause was the launching of the diversity program without a clear definition among managers as well as employees. The problem worsened when it was left to employees and facilitators, rather than management, to define what they thought diversity was. The effect was that the rules probably went beyond what management initially expected. Naylor (1999) mentioned that the underlying value in American culture is the freedom to one’s beliefs. These would include unpopular beliefs that work against diversity. A seminar and training at the workplace may not be enough to change these beliefs, leading to a hidden resentment in some workers.
6. Alliant operates in an industry that is high-tech, requiring constant innovation, creativity, and fresh ideas. An organization that can come up with technical advances first, operate more efficiently, and provide reliable service at the safest and cheapest way possible, will be differentiated from its competitors. But if the company puts priority on diversity before its need to find the best technical materials and people, efficiency and safety may suffer.
7. Diversity in the workforce provides a greater source of creative ideas and knowledge of customers; it therefore creates competitive advantages for the organization. Diversity among suppliers may lower costs and improve sources of materials as suppliers compete with each other. But Alliant wants people to accept diversity at a personal level. At this level, accepting any belief is a personal choice, so the company’s efforts may be interfering with personal freedoms beyond what the work demands.
8. The company must set a boundary so that diversity in the workplace is attained without interfering with personal prerogatives. Attitudinal change deals with deeply rooted ideas about race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and class, which people were raised with (Healey, 2005). The company ...
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