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Students will create an Organizational Behavior Presentation (from scholarly, Organizational Behavior articles that are listed below).  As part of this learning experience, you will make a virtual presentation.  The time allotted for each team is 10  minutes – (if you go over 10 minutes you will be penalized.) 

Use the Canvas Guide to help you submit your assignment:  How do I submit a media file as an assignment submission? (Links to an external site.)

and Microsoft video to help you record your individual presentation: Microsoft PowerPoint: Record a presentation (Links to an external site.)

During the presentation, you must provide an overview of the article, cover all the major points of the article, provide examples from current news and corporations, and provide a conclusion. Be sure to define the core concepts, provide examples, and integrate content from the textbook (i.e. which textbook theories relate to the concepts in the article)?

You are to choose one article and present the material (from organizational behavior articles that are listed below) in the form of an executive or corporate briefing. You will present as if your audience is a group of employees and you are training them to become better leaders and managers. Remember, only you have read the article.   You must cite the article in your presentation. 

The goal is for you to convey the core concepts in the most visual format and in the shortest time so others can become informed of important leadership literature, take action, and implement the ideas in their work and life through story-telling.  Your individual presentation should not exceed 10 minutes. 

 Your grade will consist of the following: 

Individual Presentation: –  (1) Effectively summarize the article, (2) Quality of the slides, (3) Presentation delivered clear and concise without reading, (4) Main points presented clearly, (5) Audience can understand the article based on your presentation in the absence of having to read the article, (6) Time limit not exceeded, and (7) Overall presentation, spelling, grammar and punctuation. 

Why Diversity
Programs Fail
And what works better

Roger Clarke, The Deadliest Toxins (dsdc), 2009
Polyester resin, fiberglass, varnish


52  Harvard Business Review July–August 2016


Frank Dobbin is a professor
of sociology at Harvard
University. Alexandra
Kalev is an associate
professor of sociology at
Tel Aviv University.

Businesses started caring a lot more about diversity after a series
of high-profile lawsuits rocked
the financial industry. In the
late 1990s and early 2000s,
Morgan Stanley shelled out
$54 million—and Smith Barney
and Merrill Lynch more than
$100 million each—to settle
sex discrimination claims.
In 2007, Morgan was back at
the table, facing a new class
action, which cost the company
$46 million. In 2013, Bank of
America Merrill Lynch settled


July–August 2016 Harvard Business Review 53

a race discrimination suit for $160 million. Cases like
these brought Merrill’s total 15-year payout to nearly
half a billion dollars.

It’s no wonder that Wall Street firms now require
new hires to sign arbitration contracts agreeing
not to join class actions. They have also expanded
training and other diversity programs. But on bal-
ance, equality isn’t improving in financial services
or elsewhere. Although the proportion of managers
at U.S. commercial banks who were Hispanic rose
from 4.7% in 2003 to 5.7% in 2014, white women’s
representation dropped from 39% to 35%, and black
men’s from 2.5% to 2.3%. The numbers were even
worse in investment banks (though that industry is
shrinking, which complicates the analysis). Among
all U.S. companies with 100 or more employees,
the proportion of black men in management in-
creased just slightly—from 3% to 3.3%—from 1985
to 2014. White women saw bigger gains from 1985
to 2000—rising from 22% to 29% of managers—but
their numbers haven’t budged since then. Even in
Silicon Valley, where many leaders tout the need
to increase diversity for both business and social
justice reasons, bread-and-butter tech jobs remain
dominated by white men.

It shouldn’t be surprising that most diversity pro-
grams aren’t increasing diversity. Despite a few new
bells and whistles, courtesy of big data, companies
are basically doubling down on the same approaches
they’ve used since the 1960s—which often make
things worse, not better. Firms have long relied on
diversity training to reduce bias on the job, hiring
tests and performance ratings to limit it in recruit-
ment and promotions, and grievance systems to give
employees a way to challenge managers. Those tools
are designed to preempt lawsuits by policing man-
agers’ thoughts and actions. Yet laboratory studies
show that this kind of force-feeding can activate bias
rather than stamp it out. As social scientists have
found, people often rebel against rules to assert their
autonomy. Try to coerce me to do X, Y, or Z, and I’ll
do the opposite just to prove that I’m my own person.

In analyzing three decades’ worth of data from
more than 800 U.S. firms and interviewing hundreds
of line managers and executives at length, we’ve seen
that companies get better results when they ease up
on the control tactics. It’s more effective to engage
managers in solving the problem, increase their on-
the-job contact with female and minority workers,
and promote social accountability—the desire to

look fair-minded. That’s why interventions such as
targeted college recruitment, mentoring programs,
self-managed teams, and task forces have boosted
diversity in businesses. Some of the most effective
solutions aren’t even designed with diversity in mind.

Here, we dig into the data, the interviews, and
company examples to shed light on what doesn’t
work and what does.

Why You Can’t Just Outlaw Bias
Executives favor a classic command-and-control ap-
proach to diversity because it boils expected behav-
iors down to dos and don’ts that are easy to under-
stand and defend. Yet this approach also flies in the
face of nearly everything we know about how to mo-
tivate people to make changes. Decades of social sci-
ence research point to a simple truth: You won’t get
managers on board by blaming and shaming them
with rules and reeducation. Let’s look at how the
most common top-down efforts typically go wrong.

Diversity training. Do people who undergo
training usually shed their biases? Researchers have
been examining that question since before World
War II, in nearly a thousand studies. It turns out that
while people are easily taught to respond correctly
to a questionnaire about bias, they soon forget the
right answers. The positive effects of diversity train-
ing rarely last beyond a day or two, and a number
of studies suggest that it can activate bias or spark
a backlash. Nonetheless, nearly half of midsize
companies use it, as do nearly all the Fortune 500.

Many firms see adverse effects. One reason is that
three-quarters use negative messages in their training.
By headlining the legal case for diversity and trotting
out stories of huge settlements, they issue an implied
threat: “Discriminate, and the company will pay the
price.” We understand the temptation—that’s how we
got your attention in the first paragraph—but threats,
or “negative incentives,” don’t win converts.

Another reason is that about three-quarters of
firms with training still follow the dated advice of
the late diversity guru R. Roosevelt Thomas Jr. “If
diversity management is strategic to the organi-
zation,” he used to say, diversity training must be
mandatory, and management has to make it clear
that “if you can’t deal with that, then we have to ask
you to leave.” But five years after instituting required
training for managers, companies saw no improve-
ment in the proportion of white women, black men,
and Hispanics in management, and the share of


54  Harvard Business Review July–August 2016

black women actually decreased by 9%, on average,
while the ranks of Asian-American men and women
shrank by 4% to 5%. Trainers tell us that people often
respond to compulsory courses with anger and resis-
tance—and many participants actually report more
animosity toward other groups afterward.

But voluntary training evokes the opposite
response (“I chose to show up, so I must be pro-
diversity”), leading to better results: increases of
9% to 13% in black men, Hispanic men, and Asian-
American men and women in management five
years out (with no decline in white or black women).
Research from the University of Toronto reinforces
our findings: In one study white subjects read a
brochure critiquing prejudice toward blacks. When
people felt pressure to agree with it, the reading
strengthened their bias against blacks. When they
felt the choice was theirs, the reading reduced bias.

Companies too often signal that training is re-
medial. The diversity manager at a national bever-
age company told us that the top brass uses it to
deal with problem groups. “If there are a number
of complaints…or, God forbid, some type of harass-
ment case…leaders say, ‘Everyone in the business
unit will go through it again.’” Most companies with
training have special programs for managers. To be
sure, they’re a high-risk group because they make
the hiring, promotion, and pay decisions. But sin-
gling them out implies that they’re the worst cul-
prits. Managers tend to resent that implication and
resist the message.

Hiring tests. Some 40% of companies now try
to fight bias with mandatory hiring tests assess-
ing the skills of candidates for frontline jobs. But
managers don’t like being told that they can’t hire
whomever they please, and our research suggests
that they often use the tests selectively. Back in the
1950s, following the postwar migration of blacks

northward, Swift & Company, Chicago meatpackers,
instituted tests for supervisor and quality-checking
jobs. One study found managers telling blacks that
they had failed the test and then promoting whites
who hadn’t been tested. A black machine opera-
tor reported: “I had four years at Englewood High
School. I took an exam for a checker’s job. The fore-
man told me I failed” and gave the job to a white
man who “didn’t take the exam.”

This kind of thing still happens. When we inter-
viewed the new HR director at a West Coast food
company, he said he found that white managers
were making only strangers—most of them minori-
ties—take supervisor tests and hiring white friends
without testing them. “If you are going to test one
person for this particular job title,” he told us, “you
need to test everybody.”

But even managers who test everyone applying
for a position may ignore the results. Investment
banks and consulting firms build tests into their
job interviews, asking people to solve math and
scenario- based problems on the spot. While study-
ing this practice, Kellogg professor Lauren Rivera
played a fly on the wall during hiring meetings at one
firm. She found that the team paid little attention
when white men blew the math test but close atten-
tion when women and blacks did. Because decision
makers (deliberately or not) cherry-picked results,
the testing amplified bias rather than quashed it.

Companies that institute written job tests for
managers—about 10% have them today—see de-
creases of 4% to 10% in the share of managerial
jobs held by white women, African-American men
and women, Hispanic men and women, and Asian-
American women over the next five years. There
are significant declines among white and Asian-
American women—groups with high levels of
education, which typically score well on standard

Idea in Brief
To reduce bias and increase
diversity, organizations are
relying on the same programs
they’ve been using since the
1960s. Some of these efforts
make matters worse, not better.

Most diversity programs focus
on controlling managers’
behavior, and as studies show,
that approach tends to activate
bias rather than quash it.
People rebel against rules that
threaten their autonomy.

Instead of trying to police
managers’ decisions, the most
effective programs engage
people in working for diversity,
increase their contact with
women and minorities, and tap
into their desire to look good
to others.


July–August 2016 Harvard Business Review 55


report discrimination. This leads to another unin-
tended consequence: Managers who receive few
complaints conclude that their firms don’t have a
problem. We see this a lot in our interviews. When
we talked with the vice president of HR at an elec-
tronics firm, she mentioned the widely publicized

“difficulties other corporations are having” and
added, “We have not had any of those problems…
we have gone almost four years without any kind of
discrimination complaint!” What’s more, lab stud-
ies show that protective measures like grievance
systems lead people to drop their guard and let bias
affect their decisions, because they think company
policies will guarantee fairness.

Things don’t get better when firms put in formal
grievance systems; they get worse. Our quantitative
analyses show that the managerial ranks of white
women and all minority groups except Hispanic
men decline—by 3% to 11%—in the five years after
companies adopt them.

Still, most employers feel they need some sort
of system to intercept complaints, if only because
judges like them. One strategy that is gaining ground
is the “flexible” complaint system, which offers not
only a formal hearing process but also informal me-
diation. Since an informal resolution doesn’t involve
hauling the manager before a disciplinary body, it
may reduce retaliation. As we’ll show, making man-
agers feel accountable without subjecting them to
public rebuke tends to help.

Tools for Getting
Managers on Board
If these popular solutions backfire, then what can
employers do instead to promote diversity?

A number of companies have gotten consistently
positive results with tactics that don’t focus on

managerial tests. So group differences in test-taking
skills don’t explain the pattern.

Performance ratings. More than 90% of mid-
size and large companies use annual performance
ratings to ensure that managers make fair pay and
promotion decisions. Identifying and rewarding
the best workers isn’t the only goal—the ratings
also provide a litigation shield. Companies sued for
discrimination often claim that their performance
rating systems prevent biased treatment.

But studies show that raters tend to lowball
women and minorities in performance reviews. And
some managers give everyone high marks to avoid
hassles with employees or to keep their options open
when handing out promotions. However managers
work around performance systems, the bottom line
is that ratings don’t boost diversity. When companies
introduce them, there’s no effect on minority manag-
ers over the next five years, and the share of white
women in management drops by 4%, on average.

Grievance procedures. This last tactic is
meant to identify and rehabilitate biased manag-
ers. About half of midsize and large firms have sys-
tems through which employees can challenge pay,
promotion, and termination decisions. But many
managers—rather than change their own behavior
or address discrimination by others—try to get even
with or belittle employees who complain. Among
the nearly 90,000 discrimination complaints made
to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commis-
sion in 2015, 45% included a charge of retaliation—
which suggests that the original report was met
with ridicule, demotion, or worse.

Once people see that a grievance system isn’t
warding off bad behavior in their organization,
they may become less likely to speak up. Indeed,
employee surveys show that most people don’t

Managers made only strangers—
most of them minorities—take
tests and hired white friends
without testing them.
56  Harvard Business Review July–August 2016


While white men tend to find mentors on their
own, women and minorities more often need help
from formal programs. One reason, as Georgetown’s
business school dean David Thomas discovered in
his research on mentoring, is that white male execu-
tives don’t feel comfortable reaching out informally
to young women and minority men. Yet they are
eager to mentor assigned protégés, and women and
minorities are often first to sign up for mentors.

Mentoring programs make companies’ manage-
rial echelons significantly more diverse: On average
they boost the representation of black, Hispanic,
and Asian-American women, and Hispanic and
Asian-American men, by 9% to 24%. In industries
where plenty of college-educated nonmanagers are
eligible to move up, like chemicals and electronics,
mentoring programs also increase the ranks of white
women and black men by 10% or more.

Only about 15% of firms have special college re-
cruitment programs for women and minorities, and
only 10% have mentoring programs. Once organiza-
tions try them out, though, the upside becomes clear.
Consider how these programs helped Coca-Cola
in the wake of a race discrimination suit settled in
2000 for a record $193 million. With guidance from
a court-appointed external task force, executives
in the North America group got involved in recruit-
ment and mentoring initiatives for professionals
and middle managers, working specifically toward
measurable goals for minorities. Even top leaders
helped to recruit and mentor, and talent-sourcing
partners were required to broaden their recruitment
efforts. After five years, according to former CEO
and chairman Neville Isdell, 80% of all mentees had
climbed at least one rung in management. Both in-
dividual and group mentoring were open to all races
but attracted large numbers of African-Americans
(who accounted for 36% of protégés). These changes
brought important gains. From 2000 to 2006,
African-Americans’ representation among salaried
employees grew from 19.7% to 23%, and Hispanics’
from 5.5% to 6.4%. And while African-Americans
and Hispanics respectively made up 12% and 4.9% of
professionals and middle managers in 2002, just four
years later those figures had risen to 15.5% and 5.9%.

This began a virtuous cycle. Today, Coke looks
like a different company. This February, Atlanta
Tribune magazine profiled 17 African-American
women in VP roles and above at Coke, including
CFO Kathy Waller.

control. They apply three basic principles: engage
managers in solving the problem, expose them to
people from different groups, and encourage social
accountability for change.

Engagement. When someone’s beliefs and
behavior are out of sync, that person experiences
what psychologists call “cognitive dissonance.”
Experiments show that people have a strong ten-
dency to “correct” dissonance by changing either the
beliefs or the behavior. So, if you prompt them to act
in ways that support a particular view, their opinions
shift toward that view. Ask them to write an essay
defending the death penalty, and even the penalty’s
staunch opponents will come to see some merits.
When managers actively help boost diversity in their
companies, something similar happens: They begin
to think of themselves as diversity champions.

Take college recruitment programs targeting
women and minorities. Our interviews suggest that
managers willingly participate when invited. That’s
partly because the message is positive: “Help us find
a greater variety of promising employees!” And in-
volvement is voluntary: Executives sometimes single
out managers they think would be good recruiters,
but they don’t drag anyone along at gunpoint.

Managers who make college visits say they take
their charge seriously. They are determined to come
back with strong candidates from underrepresented
groups—female engineers, for instance, or African-
American management trainees. Cognitive disso-
nance soon kicks in—and managers who were wishy-
washy about diversity become converts.

The effects are striking. Five years after a com-
pany implements a college recruitment program
targeting female employees, the share of white
women, black women, Hispanic women, and Asian-
American women in its management rises by about
10%, on average. A program focused on minority
recruitment increases the proportion of black male
managers by 8% and black female managers by 9%.

Mentoring is another way to engage managers
and chip away at their biases. In teaching their pro-
tégés the ropes and sponsoring them for key training
and assignments, mentors help give their charges
the breaks they need to develop and advance. The
mentors then come to believe that their protégés
merit these opportunities—whether they’re white
men, women, or minorities. That is cognitive dis-
sonance—“Anyone I sponsor must be deserving”—
at work again.


July–August 2016 Harvard Business Review 57


available in many organizations. Though college
recruitment and mentoring have a bigger impact on
diversity—perhaps because they activate engage-
ment in the diversity mission and create intergroup
contact—every bit helps. Self-managed teams and
cross-training have had more positive effects than
mandatory diversity training, performance evalu-
ations, job testing, or grievance procedures, which
are supposed to promote diversity.

Social accountability. The third tactic, en-
couraging social accountability, plays on our need
to look good in the eyes of those around us. It is
nicely illustrated by an experiment conducted
in Israel. Teachers in training graded identi-
cal compositions attributed to Jewish students
with Ashkenazic names (European heritage) or
with Sephardic names (African or Asian heritage).
Sephardic students typically come from poorer
families and do worse in school. On average, the
teacher trainees gave the Ashkenazic essays Bs and
the Sephardic essays Ds. The difference evaporated,
however, when trainees were told that they would
discuss their grades with peers. The idea that they
might have to explain their decisions led them to
judge the work by its quality.

In the workplace you’ll see a similar effect.
Consider this field study conducted by Emilio
Castilla of MIT’s Sloan School of Management: A
firm found it consistently gave African-Americans
smaller raises than whites, even when they had
identical job titles and performance ratings. So
Castilla suggested transparency to activate social
accountability. The firm posted each unit’s average
performance rating and pay raise by race and gender.
Once managers realized that employees, peers, and
superiors would know which parts of the company
favored whites, the gap in raises all but disappeared.

Corporate diversity task forces help promote social
accountability. CEOs usually assemble these teams,
inviting department heads to volunteer and includ-
ing members of underrepresented groups. Every
quarter or two, task forces look at diversity numbers
for the whole company, for business units, and for
departments to figure out what needs attention.

After investigating where the problems are—
recruitment, career bottlenecks, and so on—task
force members come up with solutions, which they
then take back to their departments. They notice
if their colleagues aren’t volunteering to mentor or
showing up at recruitment events. Accountability

Contact. Evidence that contact between groups
can lessen bias first came to light in an unplanned
experiment on the European front during World
War II. The U.S. army was still segregated, and only
whites served in combat roles. High casualties left
General Dwight Eisenhower understaffed, and he
asked for black volunteers for combat duty. When
Harvard sociologist Samuel Stouffer, on leave at the
War Department, surveyed troops on their racial at-
titudes, he found that whites whose companies had
been joined by black platoons showed dramatically
lower racial animus and greater willingness to work
alongside blacks than those whose companies re-
mained segregated. Stouffer concluded that whites
fighting alongside blacks came to see them as sol-
diers like themselves first and foremost. The key, for
Stouffer, was that whites and blacks had to be work-
ing toward a common goal as equals—hundreds of
years of close contact during and after slavery hadn’t
dampened bias.

Business practices that generate this kind of
contact across groups yield similar results. Take
self-managed teams, which allow people in different
roles and functions to work together on projects as
equals. Such teams increase contact among diverse
types of people, because specialties within firms are
still largely divided along racial, ethnic, and gender
lines. For example, women are more likely than men
to work in sales, whereas white men are more likely
to be in tech jobs and management, and black and
Hispanic men are more likely to be in production.

As in Stouffer’s combat study, working side-by-
side breaks down stereotypes, which leads to more
equitable hiring and promotion. At firms that create
self-managed work teams, the share of white women,
black men and women, and Asian-American women
in management rises by 3% to 6% over five years.

Rotating management trainees through depart-
ments is another way to increase contact. Typically,
this kind of cross-training allows people to try their
hand at various jobs and deepen their understand-
ing of the whole organization. But it also has a posi-
tive impact on diversity, because it exposes both
department heads and trainees to a wider variety
of people. The result, we’ve seen, is a bump of 3%
to 7% in white women, black men and women, and
Asian-American men and women in management.

About a third of U.S. firms have self-managed
teams for core operations, and nearly four-fifths
use cross-training, so these tools are already

The Downside
of the
Diversity Label
Why can mentoring, self-
managed teams, and cross-
training increase diversity
without the backlash
prompted by mandatory
training? One reason may
be that these programs
aren’t usually branded as
diversity efforts. Diversity
language in company policy
can stress white men out,
as researchers at UC Santa
Barbara and the University
of Washington found when
they put young white men
through a simulated job
interview—half of them for
a company that touted its
commitment to diversity,
and half for a company that
did not. In the explicitly pro-
diversity company, subjects
expected discrimination
against whites, showed
cardiovascular distress,
and did markedly worse in
the taped interview.

58  Harvard Business Review July–August 2016


Which Diversity Efforts Actually Succeed?
In 829 midsize and large U.S. firms, we analyzed how various diversity initiatives affected the proportion of women and
minorities in management. Here you can see which ones helped different groups gain ground—and which set them
back, despite good intentions. (No bar means we can’t say with statistical certainty if the program had any effect.)

■ White Men
■ White Women

■ Black Men
■ Black Women

■ Hispanic Men
■ Hispanic Women

■ Asian Men
■ Asian Women

The three most popular
interventions made firms
less diverse, not more,
because managers
resisted strong-arming.

Companies do a better
job of increasing diversity
when they forgo the
control tactics and frame
their efforts more
positively. The most
effective programs spark
engagement, increase
contact among different
groups, or draw on
people’s strong desire
to look good to others.

get managers’ defenses up the
way mandatory training does—
and results in increases for
several groups.

recruiting managers into
diversity champions,
so it also helps boost the
numbers for black and
Asian-American men.

often focuses on historically
black schools, which lifts the
numbers of African-American
men and women.

MENTORING has an especially
positive impact. Managers who
sponsor women and minorities
come to believe, through their
increased contact, that their
protégés deserve the training and
opportunities they’ve received.

designed to improve diversity,
but they help by increasing
contact between groups, which
are often concentrated in
certain functions.

promote social accountability
because members bring
solutions back to their
departments—and notice
whether their colleagues
adopt them.

sometimes put ineffective
programs in place but have
a positive impact overall—
in part because managers
know someone might ask
them about their hiring and
promotion decisions.

theory suggests that having a task force member in
a department will cause managers in it to ask them-
selves, “Will this look right?” when making hiring
and promotion decisions.

Deloitte has seen how powerful social account-
ability can be. In 1992, Mike Cook, who was then
the CEO, decided to try to stanch the hemorrhag-
ing of female associates. Half the company’s hires

were women, but nearly all of them left before they
were anywhere near making partner. As Douglas
McCracken, CEO of Deloitte’s consulting unit at
the time, later recounted in HBR, Cook assembled
a high-profile task force that “didn’t immediately
launch a slew of new organizational policies aimed
at outlawing bad behavior” but, rather, relied on
transparency to get results.

likewise reduced diversity
pretty much across the
board. Though they’re meant
to reform biased managers,
they often lead to retaliation.

TRAINING for managers
led to significant decreases for
Asian-Americans and
black women.


– 5







increases managers’ exposure
to people from different groups.
Gains for some groups appear to
come at a cost to …