Diversity in Organisations - BUSN6580

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 6 15 (7.5) Chidi Ogbonnaya checkmark-circle


This module presents an overview of what workforce diversity is and its relevance and usefulness in improving our understanding and management of people (including ourselves) at work. The demographics of the population and the workplace are changing drastically because of a number of factors, such as an increasing number of ethnic minorities and women in the workforce and in management. Accordingly, there is a need to effectively understand and manage workforce diversity not only to increase organisational business outcomes but also to create an inclusive workplace in a socially responsible manner.
The module will examine issues confronting managers of a diverse workforce. In particular issues such as ethnicity, race, language, ageing, disability, gender, and intersectional identities will be discussed. Two key approaches towards managing diversity will be explained, i.e. the social equity case of managing diversity, and the business benefits case of managing diversity. The module will explore a range of diversity related concepts and topics, such as social identity, stereotyping, discrimination, intergroup conflict, structural integration, and organisational change.
Indicative topics are:
• Origins of diversity and equal opportunity in the workplace context;
• Social and psychological perspectives on workplace diversity;
• The UK and European diversity contexts;
• Business benefits case and social equity case of managing diversity;
• The legal framework for diversity;
• Organisational approaches to diversity;
• Contemporary issues central to the experiences of diverse individuals in the UK and in organisations across a range of diversity dimensions;
• Diversity management in an international context


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 21
Private study hours: 129
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Examination, 2 hours (60%)
Individual Essay (3000 words) (40%)

Reassessment method:
100% Exam

Indicative reading

Blaine, B. E. (2007) Understanding the Psychology of Diversity. London: Sage.

Harvey, C. & Allard, M.J. (Eds.) (2005) Understanding and Managing Diversity: Readings, Cases, and Exercises. (3rd Edition). New York: Prentice Hall.

Kirton, G. & Greene, A-M. (2005) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity: A Critical Approach. (2nd Edition). Oxford: Elsevier. (This will be the core textbook.)

Kramar, R. & Syed, J. (Eds) (2012). Human Resource Management in a Global Context: a critical approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- analyse how their own cultural diversity influences interactions with other individuals in the workplace;
- recognise and respect individual differences;
- assess how attitudes and practices influence equity and opportunity in organisations;
- distinguish between individual, organisational, and societal dimensions of issues and interventions;
- identify organisational factors that hinder and those that promote managing diversity;
- question the Western-centric conceptualization of diversity management as a gender and race neutral approach based on organisational rationality and meritocracy.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- communicate information and opinions clearly, critically and effectively, both orally and in writing;
- structure and express complex arguments, using relevant social science concepts and theories;
- demonstrate an understanding of the relevant skills and techniques of various aspects of management and of their applicability and how diversity theories are relevant to management theories;
- critically analyse and understand the current issues concerning diversity management and its relevance to both employees and employers within this country and on the global standing.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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