The context for diversity management : rights and responsibilities

Burgess, John, French, Erica L., & Strachan, Glenda (2008) The context for diversity management : rights and responsibilities. In 4Rs Conference – Right, Reconciliation, Respect and Responsibility : Planning a Socially Inclusive Future for Australia, 30 September – 3 October 2008, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney.


Diversity Management (or its many alternative terms) is now widespread in larger organisations in Australia. However, the exact nature of what this means in each organisation varies, as there is no legislative underpinning of these policies and processes. This paper explores the bases on which organisations are undertaking Diversity Management and examines the legislation to which organisations must respond, that is anti-discrimination legislation and equal opportunity legislation. The former has strict compliance measures while the latter relies on individual organisational decisions of how to proceed and is backed up by few benchmarks or compliance measures. The paper discusses how this mixture of employee rights (employer obligations) and employer responsibilities produces varied outcomes in organisations resulting in different conditions for employees. The paper draws on analysis of organisational reports to the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace and case studies. It concludes that the business case is predominantly driving many organisations’ diversity practices and this is particularly the case at a time when many organisations are dealing with a skills shortage. It questions whether the business case is a sufficient incentive for organisations to deliver employee rights.

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ID Code: 19121
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Diversity Management, HRM, Anit-discrimination
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 [please consult the authors]
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Deposited On: 25 Mar 2009 04:27
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 17:39

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