An Analysis of Organizational Behavior Diversity Management and Positive Psychology: A Call to Action Utilizing the Functional Systems

An Analysis of Organizational Behavior Diversity Management and Positive Psychology: A Call to Action Utilizing the Functional Systems

York Williams (West Chester University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0058-3.ch002
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Organizational behavioral analysis has been utilized as a tool to deconstruct the behavior interactions, antecedents, and consequences that impact work productivity and performance across the workplace. Such an analysis has been helpful within the industry at assisting managers, leaders, and workers to measure workplace culture, morale, and productivity. Accordingly, in order for there to be maximum harmony and equilibrium within the workplace, there must also be happiness, contentment, and peace. This chapter synthesizes best practice principles of organizational behavioral analysis (OBM) interwoven within a cultural diversity framework with the functional systems logic so as to enhance workplace management and productivity. Additionally, this chapter elucidates the conceptual framework of positive psychology as a compendium to OBM and cultural diversity in order for worker productivity to become reciprocally fashioned across the workplace.
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The purpose of this research chapter is to synthesize the best practice principles embossed within organizational behavior management’s use of cultural diversity leading to positive workplace performance. As our world grows so too does the diversity within it. As such, the corporate world has not kept pace with the national trends in diversity and often lack racial, ethnic, language and sexual-gender based forms of diversity. This is especially apparent within the management ranks of organizations. To better prepare organizations for the changing world, I attempt to identify key factors that diversity brings to an organization. Next, I recommend an approach work places and organizations can utilize to measure and monitor its behaviors towards managing diversity through the use of a Functional Systems Approach within the framework of Organizational Behavioral Management (Johnson, Redmon and Mawhinney, 2001) that leads to positive results and equity amongst its employees. As our society grows in diversity, schools and organizations have been forced to keep up with the momentum. As such, OBM can provide both a theoretical and practical framework for measuring a corporation’s effectiveness with managing and maintaining its diversity. This can be done through the use of Functional Systems logic as illustrated by the Human Performance Systems Framework (Tosti, 1997).

According to Johnston’s famous Harvard review workplace diversity critique (1990) In the United States for example, the average white female is 33 years old and has (or will l have) 1.7 children. Corresponding figures for blacks are 28 and 2.4, and for Mexican-Americans, 26 and 2.9%. Additionally, many business and educational consultants, academics and business leaders have advocated that organizations respond to these trends with a “valuing diversity” approach. This approach enhances the ability for organizations to make diversity a goal alongside the goal of making money and profits many times from the same communities that their workforce does not reflect. Workplace diversity from a “valuing diversity” standpoint, helps organizations to hold a potential competitive advantage over those organizations that do not value diversity (Roosevelt, 1990). There are significant benefits for implementing a Valuing Diversity ethic across the workplace. These include: 1) cost, (2) resource acquisition, (3) marketing, (4) creativity, and (5) problem-solving. These are not only benefits but also strengthen a workplace’s competiveness in a modern world. However, within this critique is a need for management to understand the complexities and needs of its workers and how a framework of positive psychology can enhance the environment, workplace community and worker productivity.

Sheldon and King (2001) maintain that Positive Psychology has a role in the daily lives of individuals, whether in work, play or family. As such, they argue that positive psychology is simply psychology and stands independent and intermingled just as other natural and social sciences try to do when one attempts to utilize science to describe the typical structure and natural functioning of their topics of interest. Also, just as other scientists express profound appreciation for their topic of study, the field of positive psychology has many foundational aspects as well. Positive psychology is thus an attempt to urge psychologists to adopt a more open and appreciative perspective regarding human potentials, motives, and capacities. Such an endeavor is surprisingly difficult within psychology's reductionist epistemological traditions, which train one to view positivity with suspicion, as a product of wishful thinking, denial, or hucksterism (Sheldon & King, 2001).

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