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Chapter 11. Sport Organizations and Diversity Management. Learning objectives. Define workplace diversity Explain factors contributing to workplace diversity Describe the potential positive and negative impact of diversity in the organization

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Chapter 11

Chapter 11

Sport Organizations and Diversity Management

Learning objectives
Learning objectives

  • Define workplace diversity

  • Explain factors contributing to workplace diversity

  • Describe the potential positive and negative impact of diversity in the organization

  • Discuss the strategic management of workplace diversity

Diversity in the workplace
Diversity in the workplace

  • ‘the presence of differences among members of a social unit that lead to perceptions of such differences and that impact work outcomes’ (Cunningham, 2007: 6)

  • Perceptions of diversity may be based on demographic or surface level differences, and psychological or deep level differences

Factors contributing to workplace diversity
Factors contributing to workplace diversity

  • globalization

  • changing population demographics

  • legislation regarding hiring practices

  • changes in the nature of work that reflect a more team oriented approach

  • changing attitudes in society and the workplace

Chapter 11

Changing demographics

Projected population figures (%) of selected countries (ABS, 2004)


  • local, regional, and federal government statutes ensure equity and equality in hiring

  • civil and human rights legislations and equal opportunity laws make it unacceptable and illegal to discriminate based on sex, age, race, disability, and so forth.

  • address surface level characteristics that were a traditional basis for discrimination in hiring

Title ix of the education amendments 1972
Title IX of the Education Amendments (1972)

  • This landmark United States law prohibits sex-based discrimination in educational programs that receive federal government funding - males and females have to be given equal opportunities to participate in athletics programs in high schools, colleges and universities

  • Title IX has had a major impact on the growth of female participation in sport, particularly in high schools where girls comprised only 5% of high school athletes in 1972 and 41% in 2002 (Acosta & Carpenter, 2005)

  • At the collegiate level, the average number of women’s teams per institution rose from 2.5 in 1972 to 8.32 in 2004 (Acosta & Carpenter, 2005)

  • However as a result of Title IX, there has been a decrease in the proportion of women in coaching - 90% coaches of women’s teams were women in 1972 and only 40% by 2004 (Acosta & Carpenter, 2005)

Affirmative action
Affirmative action

  • government policy to redress past employment discrimination by increasing the representation of certain disadvantaged groups, particularly women and racial minorities.

  • affirmative action policies generally include an ‘all things being equal’ clause, where an individual from a targeted group is selected if all bases for selection are considered equal among all candidates

Ioc gender diversity targets
IOC Gender diversity targets

  • to increase the number of women in leadership/administrative positions in Olympic sport, in 1997 the IOC set a target for National Olympic Committees (NOCs), International Sports Federations (IFs), and sports bodies belong to the Olympic Movement to have at least 20% of the positions in all their decision making structures held by women by the end of 2005

  • by 2004, 30% of the NOCs and 29% of the IFs achieved the target

  • end 2005, women comprised 6.6% of the IOC Executive Board, 13% of IOC members (representatives to their home nations), and 15.3% of IOC Commissions

  • this represents a ‘marked increase’ yet is undoubtedly a ‘continuing challenge’ (IOC, 2004a, p. 2)

Proactive hiring
Proactive hiring

  • actively increases diversity in the organization in general, or with respect to a particular surface level attribute (e.g., gender, age, race, physical disability), with the intent of capitalizing on the potential benefits of a diverse workplace

  • benefits include increased creativity and improved problem solving because of the diversity of values, perspectives and attitudes that are presumed to be brought to the table by people who differ from each other

Benefits of diversity
Benefits of diversity

  • diverse insights and different perspectives (deep level diversity) can contribute to increased creativity and innovation, a broader range of alternatives, and higher quality ideas in a diverse workplace

  • diverse individuals and groups may be expected to ‘generate unique alternatives and challenge old ideas and standard ways of doing thing’ (Doherty & Chelladurai, 1999, p. 284)

Challenges of diversity
Challenges of diversity

  • Anxiety, prejudice and even fear generated among employees/volunteers who are faced with the unknown

  • may lead to reduced communication, misunderstanding, ambiguity or confusion, and destructive conflict where consensus is not possible

Managing diversity
Managing diversity

  • creating and optimizing a diverse workforce

  • legislation and organisation policies can protect people who may be discriminated against

  • Creating an ‘organizational culture of diversity’ (Doherty & Chelladurai, 1999) means having respect for differences, flexibility, risk acceptance, tolerance of ambiguity, conflict acceptance and equifinality

Chapter 11

The impact of diversity as a function of organizational culture

Organizational Culture

Similarity Diversity





Diversity training
Diversity training culture

  • to educate employees and volunteers about diversity-related issues

  • Awareness training - to increase employee/volunteer knowledge of and sensitivity to diversity and diversity-related issues in the workplace

  • Skill-building - to provide employees/volunteers with a set of skills to deal effectively with workplace diversity

Summary culture

  • Diversity is based on surface level or demographic differences, and deep level or psychological differences

  • benefits of diversity – creativity, better quality decisions as a result of different perspectives, enhanced reputation as a diversity employer, and greater marketing insights into the needs and habits of diverse customers

  • diversity training is a strategic program to educate employees and volunteers about diversity-related issues