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Racial Discrimination

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                <p>Racial discrimination is still major public concern in
the United States. Since the abolishment of slavery and end of American
civil war, there have been many struggle aimed at ending racial
discrimination in the country but the issues keeps on surfacing in the
public limelight now and then. Â Racial discrimination pertains to
segregation of individuals based on the color of their skin. It is a vice
that has for long divided American society, especially in the perceived
view of white ethnocentrism. Â Although the era of civil rights movements
made tremendous progress in forcing enactment of antiracial laws like
Civil Rights Act of 1964, there are many areas of weakness in the
judicial process that are not clearly codified in the constitutions, and
which have been bone of contentions. The recent case of New Haven
Firefighters Affirmative Action has drawn mixed reaction. The main
issue in this case was the ability of the employer to disqualify
promotion test when it has been contested as being unfair. Although the
final court ruling ruled in favor of the plaint, upholding that the
cancellation of the test was in itself an act of discrimination, there
are a number of managerial issues that arise from the case. Â This paper
will look at the managerial issues arising from this case.</p>
<h2>Did the city of New Haven act reasonably in rejecting the test
results based on the lack of minority representation?</h2>
<p>Yes. The city of New Haven acted reasonable to reject the result of
the test since they lacked minority representations. Â It is evident that
the issue on stake here was not much about the credibility of the exam
but on the effects it may have on the diversity of the work force.Â
There are many reasons why the city of New Haven can be said to have
acted reasonably in rejecting the results of the test.</p>
<p>It is important to understand that the objective of any exam is to
ensure that all candidates are given a fair ground to compete. Â Any exam
cannot be considered to be fair if it does not provide a fair ground for
competition of the candidate. According to Gardner theory of multiple
intelligences, one of the most theories valued in education and
management, individuals have different skills. People are gifted with
different intelligences and very few can have intelligence in multiple
areas. This theory has been applied on formulation of exams to make sure
that it caters for the intelligence needs of all candidates. In this
case, the test that was given to the fire fighters promotion candidates
has been criticized for lack of fair ground of competition as far as
firefighting is concerned. The fact that the exam was 60% multiple choice
questions meant that it did not cater for different areas of intelligence
(Totenberg, 2009). At the end, the example would give academic
intelligent candidate rather that performance intelligent candidate.</p>
<p>From the start, it is therefore evident that the exam was not fair.
 It could not be give the expected fair results as far as job promotion
in firefighting department is concerned. This means that by rejecting the
test, the city of New Haven acted in the best interest of need to have a
fair test for the candidates.</p>
<p>It is also important to understand that a test cannot be considered
fair unless the candidates and the general public acknowledge that it was
fair. While the candidates who did not pass the test could raise their
concern and have nothing to do about it, the perception of the general
public on the perception of the test will have a larger impact on the
operation of the candidates who could have passed the promotions. When
people perceive that individuals are promoted on unfair basis, this
brings about conflict not only in the workplace but also in the general
public (Slattery, 2002). This means that the city of New Haven had the
duty to ensure that if there were people who were to be promoted, they
had to be promoted through a fair means acceptable to all people.
 Acceptance of the test while it was being contested by some of the
candidate would have dealt a big blow on the credibility to of the whole
process and at the end the acceptance of the promoted candidates. Â The
action by the city of New Haven was therefore meant to safeguard the
integrity of the test and ensure the whole process was fair.</p>
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<p>The action of the city of New Haven was fair in light of the need to
have diversity if the work place. It should be noted that in a racially
charged country like United States, workplace diversity is an issue that
need to be considered if government and private institutions will be
accepted by the public. It is common to note that every time an
appointment is made in any institutions, it comes with racial backlash.
Although this is not taken seriously by most people, racial perspectives
in the workplace have a lot impact on delivery of services and acceptance
by the public (Slattery, 2002).</p>
<p>The action of the city of New Haven could have been promoted by the
need to have a workforce that reflects the racial demographic composition
of the population. A public institution like Fire Fighting Department
should reflected the face of the community. This means that its
composition should reflect the racial demographic of the community since
it represents the interest of the community. Â Â Perceived racial
discrimination in the work place does not only affect internal
environment of the organization but also external environment as well
(CUPE, 1999). An organization that is perceived to be racially balanced
is likely to get support from the public than an organization that is
perceived to be racially skewed.</p>
<p>Internally, <a rel="nofollow"
onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackPageview',
'/outgoing/article_exit_link/4876385']);"
href="http://www.ukresearchpapers.com" title="Trusted Source for Essay
Papers and Custom Essays">racial discrimination</a> can have a lot of
impact on the performance of those who feel racially segregated. It is
only when individuals feel that they are equal to other employees that
they can increase on their performance. Ethnocentrism in the work place
has been shown to have adverse performance effects from senior management
to junior staff. Ethnocentrism is incubated in an environment where one
race gains more managerial positions or comprise a larger percentage of
the workforce (Slattery, 2002). Racial favoritism leads to dilution of
organization culture leading to ethnocentrism. This is likely to affected
work performance in the work place as it will create constant conflict
between employees.</p>
<p>In the case of New Haven fire department, it should be noted that the
test was meant to find individuals who were to be promoted. This means
that those promoted were likely to take on managerial jobs in the
organization. As an organization that has different races working
together, it is important that this racial diversity in junior levels
also be reflected in the senior levels (Slattery, 2002). Â If the result
of the test showed that there was some race that was favored more than
the other, it was likely to bring about negative perception of the whole
process and rejection of the result was the right decision. Â In face of
the doubts and racial discrimination accusation against the test, the
city of New Haven would not have done anything better than reject those
results to ensure that racial diversity is ensured.</p>
<p>One of the most important aspects in effecting of operation of the any
organization, especially in provision of the government services is how
it reaches the minority. This means that an organization or a government
is likely to be judged by how it serves the minority. Â In case of New
Haven fire department, ensuring that there is fair representation in the
workplace was a step in ensuring it is reaching out to the minority. It
was the duty of the city of New Haven to ensure that even in promotion,
minority are given chances as well. Â What is more astounding is the fact
that the fire department had given a test that was faulted by experts in
the area of promotion test. If the promotion was to reflect the face of
New Haven, then minority had to be given a chance in leadership
position.</p>
<p>The most important work for management in the new era of globalization
is to ensure that diversity in the workplace is well managed. While
diversity presents a new era of growth in workplace performance, it is
also a great challenge in human resource management. As was highlighted
earlier, diversity in the workplace is reflected in the community and has
a great impact in performance of the organization (CUPE, 1999). Many
organizations have been going a step ahead, and some even incurring extra
cost to upgrading skills of particular employees, in order to ensure that
there is racial diversity in the workplace (Slattery, 2002). Â For the
fire department workforce composition to reflect the face of the New
Haven racial demography, there was greater need to take such stern
actions in order to ensure acceptability of the promotion process.
 Therefore the city of New Haven did the right thing to reject the test
since it lacked minority representation and it would have negatively
impacted on the performance of the organization.</p>
<p>Conclusion</p>
<p>Racial discrimination in the workplace remains a major problem in the
United States. Despite the enactment of various laws outlawing racial
discrimination in the workplace, it has continued unabated. Â In the case
of city of New Haven, the decision reached to reject the test was prudent
because it could have negative impact on diversity in the organization.
It was a fair decision considering the fact that the test had been
criticized by experts in addition to accusations of racism.</p>
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