ERIC Number: EJ1107750
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Staff Responsiveness to Transformation Initiatives and Diversity at a South African University
Joubert, J. P. R.; Martins, N.
Africa Education Review, v10 n1 p111-131 2013
South African organisations and particularly institutions of higher learning have been confronted with workforces that increasingly reflect the diversity of the South African population. This changing workforce composition implies that the multitude of individual and cultural differences and similarities become increasingly apparent among employees. These differences and similarities can be disruptive and may lead to disharmony, but if managed appropriately, they can also result in increased vigour, stimulation and energy. The importance of workforce diversity in especially a university environment cannot be over-emphasised, as these positive consequences are conducive and sustain universities in their role to expand knowledge that benefits the communities within which they operate. Various transformative initiatives to address diversity, have been devised and implemented, but the impact needs to be measured and assessed to enable leaders to manage diverse workforces more effectively. This article therefore aims to firstly, statistically identify the underlying dimensions of diversity within the largest university in Africa, namely the University of South Africa (Unisa). The responsiveness of university staff members who attended transformative diversity-training workshops are secondly investigated by comparing their responses to that of a matched sample of non-participating staff members. These workshops aimed to sensitise academic, administrative and professional staff at middle-management level to the new realities of an increasing diverse workforce. It is evident that the workshops had a positive impact and that they could be described as successful. The importance of noting that diversity interventions not only entail creating awareness of diversity issues, but also applying the principles of diversity management on a continuous basis, is underscored in this article.
Descriptors: Teacher Attitudes, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, College Faculty, Higher Education, Cultural Differences, Individual Differences, Diversity (Faculty), Universities, Workshops, Staff Development, Faculty Development, Cultural Awareness, Intervention, Statistical Analysis, Interviews, Administrator Attitudes, Questionnaires, Reliability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa