Role of affirmative action

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  • Publié le : 27 novembre 2010
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This article is taken from the journal Personnel Psychology. It deals with the affirmative action and its role within firms. First of all, we have to define and search the origins of Affirmative Action (AA). According to the Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy website AA consists in “positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education,and business from which they have been historically excluded.” In fact, AA has deeps and profounds origins. It started from the Executive Order (EO) 10925 established by the President of the United States John F. Kennedy, the March 6, 1961. It was said that in the Section 301 that “the contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, ornational origin” and he “ will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” The President Lyndon B. Johnson signed on September 24, 1965, the EO 11246 about Equal Employment Opportunity and reinforced the basis legal about discrimination and AA. It says that it“prohibits federal contractors and federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors, who do over $10,000 in Government business in one year from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." All this legal acts are signed in a period where conditions and civil rights, for African Americans are changing and the increasing popularitysuch as Martin Luther King has strengthened all this moves and changes.
Now we know a little bit more about Affirmative Action’s origins, the reason I choose this article is that Affirmative Action has always generated strong controversies, long debates with a huge literature with as much pros as cons. It still today a problem for government, and this text was the opportunity to me to have ascientific approach of this problem rather than political views we all see at TV debate shows. Moreover, this article is totally linked to the diversity issue because affirmative action is a way to increase diversity at a workplace by hiring people with different genders, colours, opinions...
So, the author of this text tackles the Affirmative Action (AA) issue explaining us that employmentdecisions made by HR Directors with the most used predictors, lead to a diversity-validity dilemma (Pyburn, Ployhart, Kravitz 2008). According the author the way to reduce this problem is the affirmative action. The author, then, highlights the controversy which results from the affirmative action policies (Affirmative Action Plans) and tries to answer to the five next questions:
1. Doesdiscrimination still occur?
2. What is the economic impact of affirmative action on target groups?
3. What is the economic impact of affirmative action on organizations?
4. Does affirmative action lead to stigmatization of target group members by others?
5. Does affirmative action lead to self-stigmatization by target group members?
Finally, the author sets out the different implications,actions to take, and expounds also a model, Attraction-Selection-Inclusion-Retention (ASIR), to eliminate discriminations problems.
The question that we will try to answer is, is affirmative action can resolve the diversity-validity dilemma. In other ways, is affirmative action still can reduce discriminations at workplace and how?
“Affirmative action is a controversial policy” (David A. Kravitz2008). In that words we have perfectly summarize the huge problem of affirmative action. The pros and cons have numerous arguments to propose about affirmative action and that’s because it depends on how affirmative action is implemented at workplace. Employers can establish affirmative action plans (AAPs) which are a set of goal-oriented management policies and procedures to eliminate barriers...