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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Van L Jaarsveld I

Discusses principles of equality and justice in order to justify affirmative action and clarify its need. Posits that in both the USA and South Africa, issues of…

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2462

Abstract

Discusses principles of equality and justice in order to justify affirmative action and clarify its need. Posits that in both the USA and South Africa, issues of segregation and discrimination are not new and both countries have had the opportunity to address their past policies by way of affirmative action programmes. Looks at what determined the denouncement of the affirmative action in the USA and why the answer to this question may have a great impact on South Africa’s attempt to improve its own affirmative action programmes. Concludes that, although 30 years of affirmative action was deemed unconstitutional, how can South Africa derive and make use of the knowledge gained to help in stopping reverse discrimination.

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Managerial Law, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2009

Amy McMillan‐Capehart, W. Lee Grubb and Andrew Herdman

The purpose of this paper is to show how various organizational justifications for hiring decisions influence the beneficiary's perceptions of fairness. Specifically, the…

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1904

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how various organizational justifications for hiring decisions influence the beneficiary's perceptions of fairness. Specifically, the paper investigates the relative impacts of no justification, affirmative action justification and justifications based on attempts to improve organizational creativity.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were asked to read several vignettes in which the justification for the hiring decisions was manipulated. Fairness perceptions were then assessed for each scenario. Paired‐sample t tests were used to test hypotheses.

Findings

The paper finds that perceptions of both procedural and distributive justice appeared to follow a common theme across Hispanic and African American subgroups where the hiring decision was perceived to be fairer when no justification was provided. Hiring decisions based on affirmative action and diversity programs designed to promote creativity were perceived as less fair by both African Americans and Hispanics.

Research limitations/implications

The study used a sample of minority students, thereby limiting the generalizability of these findings.

Practical implications

The current study has practical implications in that it may help both academicians and practitioners better understand what applicants perceive regarding the fairness of affirmative action and diversity programs.

Originality/value

Past research has investigated the preferential selection of women and minorities, however, there has been little systematic inquiry into the possible justifications that might reduce the negative reactions of beneficiaries.

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Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1999

Jan C. Visagie

This paper explores the impact of affirmative action on the culture of small business enterprises in South Africa. The functions of organizational culture are explored and…

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4286

Abstract

This paper explores the impact of affirmative action on the culture of small business enterprises in South Africa. The functions of organizational culture are explored and utilized to reach a deeper understanding of the desired impact of affirmative action. Managers are identified as holding key roles as change agents. Recommendations include managing change from a culture perspective directed at creating participative management processes and shifting the enterprise’s essential values.

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Participation and Empowerment: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-4449

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

RaJade M. Berry

This article discusses the costs and benefits of implementing affirmative action programs in higher education. Based on a national survey of institutions of higher…

Abstract

This article discusses the costs and benefits of implementing affirmative action programs in higher education. Based on a national survey of institutions of higher education, the author addresses the following questions: What factors impede the ability of the affirmative action officer to achieve program results? What is the effect of staff size, budget, and race on perceived implementation barriers? This study finds that increased impediments to affirmative action program efficacy are greatly affected by program resources and race.

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Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2014

Denise O’Neil Green, Ghazala Knight and Matthew D. Green

Obviously affirmative action has had a presence in presidential politics since the Kennedy Administration; however, the focus of this paper is not to chronicle the…

Abstract

Purpose

Obviously affirmative action has had a presence in presidential politics since the Kennedy Administration; however, the focus of this paper is not to chronicle the treatment of affirmative action policy in each presidency since the 1960s, but rather to take a different look at affirmative action from the context of contemporary times during the Obama Administration, with both Clinton and Bush Administrations as reference points.

Design/methodology/approach

In addition to noting how the Clinton and Bush Administrations responded to critics of the 50 +  year old policy framework of acting affirmatively, this paper explores how the Obama Administration has advanced access by supporting race-conscious admissions and principles of the diversity rationale.

Findings

This paper also argues that the Obama Administration has acted affirmatively by establishing and/or promoting economic policies that seek to address the legacy of poverty, thereby expanding access further.

Details

The Obama Administration and Educational Reform
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-709-2

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Book part
Publication date: 30 June 2011

Angelique M. Davis and Rose Ernst

Direct democracy by citizen initiatives is often heralded as the avenue for the true will of the people to be heard. While scholars have debated whether this leads to a…

Abstract

Direct democracy by citizen initiatives is often heralded as the avenue for the true will of the people to be heard. While scholars have debated whether this leads to a form of Madison's “tyranny of the majority,” the debate over the concrete impact of such initiatives on racially marginalized groups remains unsettled. We examine a different question about racially marginalized groups' interests in this process: the symbolic assertion of white supremacy expressed through this mechanism of majority will. We develop the concept of “racial spectacles” to describe the narrative vehicles that serve to symbolically reassert and reinforce real existing racial hierarchies and inequalities. We explore the creation of these spectacles through the initiative process because it is a state-sanctioned vehicle that enables white dominance. Paradoxically, these campaigns that purport to be colorblind depend on the enactment of these racial spectacles. Through an analysis of five statewide anti-affirmative action initiative campaigns from 1996 to 2008, we explore both macro and micro political dynamics: public displays of these campaigns as well as individual, private agency expressed in the public and private act of voting; court decisions in initiative litigation as well as individual and interest group participation in these cases. Ultimately, we argue that this form of racial spectacle further inculcates the public in the postracial ideology of colorblindness.

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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-080-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1998

Alison Sheridan

Although affirmative action is often referred to as though it was an homogeneous entity, the reality is that affirmative action policies can take many different forms. To…

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2194

Abstract

Although affirmative action is often referred to as though it was an homogeneous entity, the reality is that affirmative action policies can take many different forms. To date, the variety of affirmative action policies that have been implemented in Australia has not been well‐documented. In this paper, a framework is developed to describe the variety of affirmative action policies being implemented in Australia in the 1990s. The most frequently reported policies by Australian organisations concern reviewing employment policies for discriminatory practices. The next most commonly reported policies relate to companies’ efforts to assist employees to balance the competing roles of work and family. Policies that seek to challenge traditional patterns of employment, and policies that seek to “fix” women are less commonly reported by organisations. The breaking down of affirmative action into various types of policies provides scope for more fully exploring the question of the effectiveness of affirmative action policies.

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Women in Management Review, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2004

David A. Kravitz and Stephen L. Klineberg

Affirmative action and diversity management are complementary efforts to achieve an inclusive workforce. Research on attitudes toward affirmative action can therefore…

Abstract

Affirmative action and diversity management are complementary efforts to achieve an inclusive workforce. Research on attitudes toward affirmative action can therefore contribute to an understanding of reactions to diversity programs. Using data from two studies, we assess the extent to which the strength of the affirmative action plan (AAP) influences the relationship between attitudes and individual difference predictors. The relation of attitudes with the respondents’ race and perceived self-interest increased monotonically with AAP strength, whereas measures of racial prejudice and political orientation best predicted attitudes toward AAPs of intermediate strength. We explore the implications of these findings for the theory and practice of diversity management.

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Diversity in the Work Force
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-788-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1991

Robin Kramer

The Australian government's commitment to equal employment opportunity has resulted in the enactment of anti‐discrimination and affirmative action legislation at both the…

Abstract

The Australian government's commitment to equal employment opportunity has resulted in the enactment of anti‐discrimination and affirmative action legislation at both the federal and state level and the development of a number of labour market, training and social policies specifically designed to remove impediments to women's employment. The Affirmative Action (Equal Employment Opportunity for Women) Act 1986 is pivotal to the removal of discrimination in organisations, but its effectiveness has been hindered by the restructuring of organisations on a divisional basis, a lack of understanding of the nature of equal employment opportunity (eeo) and the role of affirmative action programmes among some employers and employees, and the choices women make about their employment and training. A number of innovative policies have been developed by large organisations to deal with these barriers to the effectiveness of affirmative action programmes and the creation of eeo and they provide useful models for other organisations.

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Equal Opportunities International, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1985

Robin Kramar

The implementation of the Australian government's affirmative actioning proposals, promoting equal treatment for women in organisations, will reduce some elements of…

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154

Abstract

The implementation of the Australian government's affirmative actioning proposals, promoting equal treatment for women in organisations, will reduce some elements of disadvantage faced by women in the labour market. Employment practices directly discriminating against women will be replaced by practices which do not overly acknowledge the sex of the applicant, and the employment of women in a diverse range of occupations will be given credence by the organisation's formal statement of commitment to equal employment opportunity. Attempts to remove disadvantage will have to start from the present work structures which are outcomes of actions and bargains between groups in which women have not played a significant part. Unless the trade union movement is given a more prominent role in the development and implementation of affirmative action programmes, these programmes will create further division in the workforce, as the reassessment of concepts underpinning personnel practices may cause much hostility among employees.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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