This article reports on some of the research findings of a two year study on equal opportunity commissioned by the Department of Employment. Although initially conceived as an investigation of “successfully” operating equal opportunity policies in private industry, the research data suggested that effective practice follows a different line of development. For, in practice, effective equal opportunity bore a closer relationship to everyday problem‐solving in organisations than to the adoption of formal policies abstracted from workplace issues and concerns. The success of equal opportunity policies and practices would appear to be contingent upon their direct relevance to workplace problems and the degree to which employees are involved in formulating and implementing them.
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