Diversity Resistance in Organizations  book cover
1st Edition

Diversity Resistance in Organizations

Edited By

Kecia M. Thomas

ISBN 9780805859621
Published November 15, 2007 by Psychology Press
362 Pages

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USD $125.00

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Book Description

This is a groundbreaking volume that provides informed, balanced yet frank discussion of US workplace diversity and diversity resistance issues. The chapters in this book put a name on behaviors and practices that have existed in the workplace for a long time, yet until recently have had no name. Further, the majority of the chapters innovatively link existing psychological and organizational factors such as fear, uncertainty, power, emotions, and organizational change and development. The book's editors and authors emphasize that we need to know more about diversity resistance, both in overt and covert forms. To guide us, we can draw on existing research and practice literature that have both theoretical and empirical depth.

This timely volume's first chapter deconstructs the growing prevalence of hangmen's nooses as a manifestation of resistance to diversity that is visibly overt, hostile, and interpersonal. The authors also shed light on how nooses surprisingly exemplify diversity resistance that is also frequently covert, subtle, and frequently silent.

The book is appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students in industrial and organizational psychology, human resources management, diversity management, sociology of work, organizational change, and cultural diversity within organizations. It provides a central resource for classes on prejudice and discrimination in organizations, emotions at work, personnel psychology, strategic human resources management and cultural issues in human resources management. Professionals and practitioners who increasingly interact with diverse employees will find this book essential to their work.

Table of Contents

J. Cleveland, Series Foreword. K.M. Thomas, V. Plaut, The Many Faces of Diversity Resistance in the Workplace. D.C. Mason, R.H. Thomas, H. Wishik, Understanding and Defusing Resistance to Diversity Training and Learning. M. Lankau, C. Riordan, J. Holiday, It Is All in How You View It: Factors Contributing to Perceptions of a Hostile Work Climate. T. Probst, A.X. Estrada, J.W. Brown, Harassment, Violence, and Hate Crimes in the Workplace. M. Hebl, J. Madera, E. King, Exclusion, Avoidance, and Social Distancing. P. McKay, J. Davis, Traditional Selection Methods as Resistance to Diversity in Organizations. B. Ferdman, P.V. Gallegos, I.C. Wasserman, Dancing with Resistance: Leadership Challenges In Fostering A Culture Of Inclusion. W.R. Dobbs, M. Harrison, B. Roote, Cases in Organizational Resistance to Diversity. D. Avery, C.D. Johnson, Now You See It, Now You Don't: Mixed Messages Regarding Workplace Diversity. M. Davison, K. Proudford, Cycles of Resistance: How Dominants And Subordinates Collude To Undermine Diversity Efforts In Organizations. L. Sabattini, F. Crosby, Overcoming Resistance: Structures and Attitudes. L. Bierema, K. Thomas, Final Reflections: Resisting the Resistors.

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Kecia M. Thomas is a professor of Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology at the University of Georgia (UGA) as well as the founding director of the Center for Research and Engagement in Diversity (RED). Kecia’s work focuses on understanding systems of privilege and resistance that limit the career development of women, people of color, and gay and lesbian workers, as well as those behaviors and practices that create and sustain hostile or hospitable climates for diversity and inclusion. She is author of Diversity Dynamics (Wadsworth-Thomson) the first I/O Psychology textbook on workplace diversity, and over 35 academic articles and book chapters. In addition to editing Diversity Resistance (LEA-Taylor Francis), she and Karen Proudford also edited a special issue of the Journal of Career Development on Black women as Organizational Outsiders within. She has successfully served as a mentor and major professor to 13 Ph.D.s who now teach, research, or who engage in practice related to workplace diversity. Her own diversity practice, through RED, has enabled her to contribute to the diversity missions of institutions such as Middle Tennessee State University, BellSouth, Wofford College, the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital medical Center, the Dallas Independent School District (TX), Rice University, the American Cancer Society, and the White County School District (GA). She is a member of the leadership collective of Nag’s Heart and a graduate of the HERS Management Institute at Wellesley College. Dr. Thomas earned a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA), and her M.S. and Ph.D. in I/O Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University (State College, PA). She and her partner Darren Rhym have a son and a daughter, Chad and Jordan Rhym.


"Kecia Thomas has assembled a stellar group of authors to tackle a cutting edge issue: the resistance to diversity. The elimination of diversity resistance is central to the evolution of a fair and satisfying workplace for all and this book will clearly contribute to that evolution." Frank J. Landy, Landy LSG Sales

"Interest in how humans adapt to change spans centuries. The legacy of social science research on attitude change spans at least a quarter century if not longer. This research indicates that the resistance to change tends to be pervasive, persistent, and in some respects, intractable. This volume focuses on a specific case of adaptation to change or more specifically failure to adapt to change. The authors burrow down into the world of resistance to change within organizations and then further into resistance to diversity within organizations. The breadth and detail of the volume provides the reader a single resource for the latest theories and scientific research related to this topic. The goal of the volume is to shed light on the multiple and complex facets of diversity resistance and better understand its impact on worker and workforce well being and functioning. This objective is clearly accomplished and accomplished convincingly. The reader comes away not only with a better understanding of the many facets of diversity resistance, but also a deeper understanding of ways to overcome such resistance and move organizations toward greater overall effectiveness." - James L. Outtz, Outtz & Associates