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Strategic equity management in the Australian private sector

French, Erica (2003) Strategic equity management in the Australian private sector. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Developing equitable practices that provide fair access for all individuals to the benefits and burdens within an organisation remains a dilemma for management both in policy and practice. Research continues to show that the employment status and representation of women is significantly less in relation to those of men. Conflicting arguments on the causes of disparity and competing ideals on the value and means for addressing the disparity have resulted in a number of different opinions on the implementation and practice of equity management. This dissertation contributes to the current knowledge of equity management, exploring contemporary equity management strategies, identifying the approaches of its implementation and analysing these against the outcomes for the status of women's employment. The equity management practices of more that 1900 Australian Private Sector organisations are explored in order to identify the common themes of equity management. Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factory Analysis are used to analyse the data. A model of strategic equity management practice was developed that identifies different structures, strategies and distribution principles designed to address the disparity between men and women. A major aim of this thesis was to explore the ability of a typological theory of equity management approaches to account for the differences in the status of women's employment. The thesis proposes a typology of equity management approaches that explain the implementation of equity management strategies based on structure and process. Four ideal-typical equity management approaches to achieving workplace parity are identified and explored. The traditional (non-compliance), anti-discrimination, affirmative action and gender diversity approaches proposed inform the a priori Cluster Analysis process that grouped Australian organisations based on their use of the approaches to equity management. Significant numbers of Australian organisations were identified utilising each of the identified approaches to equity management. It was further proposed that the different equity management approaches would be predictors of different outcomes for the employment status of women. MANCOVA was used to analyse the equity management approaches (as the independent variables) and the data on the status of women's employment (as the dependent variables). The findings indicate that the different approaches to equity management are predictors of different outcomes for the employment status of women. Results show that the traditional approach to equity management, which includes the use of none of the equity management strategies identified, is not a predictor of increases in any of the employment measures of women. The anti-discrimination approach, which includes the use of a limited number of equity management strategies identified, is a predictor of increases in some of the employment measures of women. The affirmative action approach to equity management, which includes the use of a number of proactive equity management strategies identified, is a predictor of increases in the employment status of women across a number of measures. The gender diversity approach to equity management, which includes the use of all the equity management strategies identified, is a limited predictor of increases in the employment status of women across some of the measures of employment. Managing the equity process within organisations is increasingly identified as an important tool in managing human resources in competitive, global environments that require productive workers and quality outputs. If equity management is to provide an effective means of addressing disparity between men and women in organisations, this thesis argues for the development of a strategic process to address the specific issues of disparity and the particular needs of the individual and the explicit goals of the organisation in equal opportunity.

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ID Code: 15887
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Brown, Kerry, Dann, Susan, & Maconachie, Glenda
Keywords: Equal Employment Opportunity, Anti-Discrimination, Affirmative Action, Managing Diversity, Equity Management, Strategic Equity Management
Department: Faculty of Business
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Erica French
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 13:52
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:40

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