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Many individuals get the two phrases mixed up and use them interchangeably. Affirmative action and diversity management are not synonymous, and using them interchangeably is improper. Understanding the origin of each term is critical for correctly using the terms. The two expressions have different connotations in relation to a variety of actions designed to encourage inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds in various organizations such as business, government, and learning centers (Ivancevich et al., 75)
Affirmative action focuses on the social and moral obligation of righting previous wrongs done to those who are a minority in a population, notably in the workplace. These are legal measures in public and, sometimes private sector enacted to ensure inclusivity regarding tribe, race, colour, nationality, sex, or religion in the provision of opportunities for qualified people marginalised historically (Kalev et al., 590). It is about numbers and it employs a quota system which ensures inclusion and active involvement of minority groups and women in jobs thus providing fair chances to all people.
Management of diversity
This term is different from affirmative action as it focuses on a business scenario for diversity. In this case, taking advantage of diversity is perceived as a strategic plan to commerce that fosters achievement of organisational goals for instance productivity and profitability. Besides, it does not consider legal provisions, and it is not applied to avoid legal conflicts (Ivancevich et al., 77). Managing diversity is far-fetched because it is a technique of doing business and it aligns itself with other strategic corporate goals (Ivancevich et al., 77).
Affirmative action relies on assimilationist perspective to get people into work places and learning institutions rather than transforming the organisational culture. Afterwards, managing diversity relying on culture change is a practical business tactic that looks at optimising commitment, creativity, and productivity of the employees while meeting large customer wants (Kalev et al., 591).
Kalev, Alexandra, Frank Dobbin, and Erin Kelly. "Best practices or best guesses? Assessing the efficacy of corporate affirmative action and diversity policies." American sociological review 71.4 (2006): 589-617.
Ivancevich, John M., and Jacqueline A. Gilbert. "Diversity management: Time for a new approach." Public personnel management 29.1 (2000): 75-92.
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