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Human Resource Management in a Business Context

Human Resource Management in a Business Context, 3rd edition
by Alan Price
 Human Resource Management in a Business Context provides an international focus on the theory and practice of people management. A thorough and comprehensive overview of all the key aspects of HRM, including articles from HRM Guide and other sources, key concepts, review questions and case studies for discussion and analysis.
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Equality of Opportunity

Chapter 16 of Human Resource Management in a Business Context (2nd Edition) by Alan Price - published by Thomson Learning



The purpose of this chapter is to:
- Define and distinguish between the concepts of equal opportunity and the management of diversity.
- Assess the scope and effectiveness of legislation and other anti-discriminatory initiatives.
- Identify the significant barriers to equality and diversity in employing organizations.
- Outline the nature and extent of discrimination on the basis of sex and gender

The meaning of diversity (includes summary of US legislation)

Society and opportunity

New Zealand


United Kingdom

Ireland (Republic)


South Africa

The emphasis of anti-discrimination legislation

Diversity and the organization

Strategies for diversity

Gender and sexual discrimination

Gender differences

Sexual harassment


Equality of opportunity is both a matter of social justice and sound economic sense. Voluntary approaches to minimize discrimination have been largely ineffective and most developed countries have introduced some form of anti-discrimination legislation. There has been a tendency towards all-embracing laws in recent years, increasingly linked to human rights legislation. Granting opportunity is beneficial to organizational effectiveness as well as personal success. The strategic management of diversity leads to a wider range of ideas and abilities, offering greater scope for innovation and competitive performance in the future.

Further reading

Anti-discriminatory Practice, 3rd edition by Neil Thompson (published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) provides a comprehensive review of the topic. The Diversity Training Handbook by Phil Clements and John Jones ( published by Kogan Page, 2002) is another practical book as is Dynamics of Managing Diversity by Gill Kirton and Anne-Marie Greene (published by Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000). Discrimination Law Handbook by Camilla Palmer, Gay Moon, Tess Gill, Karon Monaghan, and Mary Stacey (published by the Legal Action Group, 2002) is a comprehensive, practical and accessible guide to anti-discrimination law. Written by experts, it tells readers all they need to know about UK, European and human rights laws. Global Diversity at Work: Winning the War for Talent, 2nd edition by Trevor Wilson, (John Wiley & Son, 2002) provides a practical Canadian perspective. The Affirmative Action Debate, 2nd edition, edited by Steven M. Cahn (published by Routledge 2002) is a collection of articles about the range of arguments surrounding contemporary discussion of affirmative action. Discrimination, Jobs and Politics: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity in the United States Since the New Deal, by Paul Burstein (University of Chicago Press, 1998) provides an interesting historical perspective. Justice in the Workplace: From Theory to Practice (Applied Psychology Series) edited by Russell Cropanzano (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000) and Durable Inequality by Charles Tilly (University of California Press, 1999) take a deeper approach to the study of persistent social inequality. Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling by Linda Wirth (published by the International Labour Office, 2001) is a revised account of her study on the status of women's employment in a number of countries.

Review questions

Problem for discussion and analysis - Frank and Margaret

Chapter 15   >  Chapter 17

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