It is quite interesting to note that within the modern society, external appearance continues to become a deciding factor by which individuals are treated. While it may be true that there are distinct laws against racism within office environments, this does not ensure that preconceived societal notions regarding certain racial and ethnic classes do not appear to be the main factor into the means by which people perceive and choose to be perceived by the others. For example, when it comes to preconceptions regarding race, it was noted in the studies, such as those by Denny et al. (2012), that individuals with a distinct Latin American heritage were categorized under the same racial preconceptions as illegal immigrants despite being legally American (Denny et al., 2012). This manifest itself in a distinct level of distrust and the lack of willingness to hire people of Latin American decent due to the current preconceptions of criminal behavior attributed to this particular racial stereotype.
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The same type of preconceptions also applies to people with distinct religions, such as those belonging to Islamic faith. Mujtaba & Cavico (2012) note that despite a vast majority of Muslims not ascribing to the teachings of radical Islam, it is seen that the general public still perceives Muslims as being capable of such atrocities as the September 11 attacks on the basis of such people belonging to the Islamic faith (Mujtaba & Cavico, 2012). As a result, people who ascribe to the Muslim faith are often discriminated against due to the current ill-conceived notions that all Muslims are religious fanatics. On the other end of the spectrum, it is generally perceived within American society that people of Asian descent are generally good at math despite it is an inaccurate racial stereotype. This often results in people of Asian descent being put on career paths by managers that involve considerable level of mathematic quantification despite the fact that such individuals may or may not possess sufficient talent in the field. As it can be seen from such examples, external preconceived notions regarding certain demographics can and often have an impact on the way in which people are treated by the general public and the opportunities that become available to them.
From this particular perspective, it can be seen that hidden differences, such as political orientations, sexual preferences (in some cases) and personal habits, can thus be considered as an advantageous attribute due to the way in which people can conceal them and, as a result, limit the means by which people can judge them based on preconceived ideas that are correlated with such factors. It should be noted though those hidden differences can also be a disadvantage, an individual’s work experience, educational background, behavioral attributes and work ethic should play a role in the way in which certain individuals are perceived and treated within companies and within their field of expertise. However, it is not often the case that a dossier of an individual’s personal and professional attributes is available to be perused by a manager. As a result, judgments are often based on preconceived notions and partial perceptions resulting in certain individual’s getting the “short end of the stick” when it comes to managerial decisions for hiring, promoting, or retaining during instances where a company is downsizing or outsourcing certain aspects of its operations.
Representation of Differences
While the graph does an excellent job of depicting the dimensions of diversity that most individuals ascribe to, it cannot really be stated that it is a complete representation of individual differences. Within the past few years, it has been noted by studies, such as those by Carless (2009), that HR hiring practices have been delving into behavioral and psychological attributes as an indicator as to whether or not an individual would be a proper “fit” to be hired or promoted within the company (Carless, 2009). The reason behind this is actually quite simple, differences in behavioral and psychological attributes impact the way in which a person can immerse themselves within a company’s business culture.
The less likely an individual is to be promoted and espoused by the company, the more likely operational inconsistencies and work-related conflict will arise which will result in problems for the company’s daily operations. Moreover, behavioral attributes related to the desire to succeed, willingness to work hard and other positive traits have been identified as prime necessities for any organization to develop a top-notch workforce. It is based on this that HR hiring practices often have candidates to fill out psychological examination tests in order to determine if their overall psychological and behavioral outputs are in line with those which are expected from an employee in the company. When taking such factors into consideration, it can be seen that the graph is somewhat incomplete since it neglects to take into consideration this recent development in the way in which companies hire its workers.
Carless, S. A. (2009). Psychological testing for selection purposes: a guide to evidence-based practice for human resource professionals. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 20(12), 2517-2532.
Denny, C. H., Floyd, R., Green, P. P., & Hayes, D. K. (2012). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Preconception Risk Factors and Preconception Care. Journal Of Women’s Health (15409996), 21(7), 720-729.
Mujtaba, B. G., & Cavico, F. J. (2012). Discriminatory Practices against Muslims in the American Workplace. Journal Of Leadership, Accountability & Ethics, 9(1), 98-117.