Sample Management Paper on Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity

Primarily, the difference between stereotypes and prejudice is big, despite the fact that the two terms are often used interchangeably in various contexts to refer to the same thing. Prejudice refers to the opinions or prejudgments that exist towards a given group of people. It involves generalization such that any single individual belonging to that particular trait is associated with certain qualities or traits. This occurs even when the individual is very different from the group. This explains why prejudice is mostly a negative thing, though it involves both positives and negatives about the group. On the other hand, stereotypes are beliefs or mental pictures that are standardized and over simplified. They form a general conception of a given group or class of people, and can either be negative or positive.

An example is in universities and other institutions of higher learning, there is a general perception that professors are absent minded. This may hold true for some, but there is no chance that all professors are similar or behave in the same manner. This is an example of a stereotype, since it is a belief that is associated to professors employed in an institution.

Discrimination at the workplace occurs due to the diversity that exists between individuals. Such diversity may be in the form of religion, race, gender, political affiliations, age, social status or even education. Individuals feel more comfortable when dealing or being around others whom they share similar characteristics. The most common personal characteristics that are discriminated against include gender, race and sexual orientation. Discrimination results into a situation where those appointed to positions of leadership are affiliated to the top management in some way. For this reason, the others will never get a chance in positions of influence. Promotions are based more on group settings than abilities to carry out various responsibilities.