Leveraging Workforce Diversity through Volunteerism

Leveraging Workforce Diversity through Volunteerism

Ashwini Joshua-Gojer (University of North Texas, USA) and Jeff Allen (University of North Texas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1812-1.ch021
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Abstract

This chapter discusses the subject of workforce diversity as it directly relates to volunteerism, using the Peace Corps as an example. The aim of the chapter is to illustrate how nonprofit institutions can draw upon the value of workforce diversity in order to obtain competitive advantages. The Peace Corps’ three-fold mission includes helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people served, and helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans (Peace Corps, 2011a). This chapter specifically discusses how the Peace Corps incorporate diversity in their volunteer program. “The agency has always reflected the diversity of America and is actively recruiting the next generation of Peace Corps Volunteers” (Peace Corps, 2011b).
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The History Of Workforce Diversity In The Usa

Prior to World War I and up until the late 1970s, the human resources field found its roots in scientific management practices, bureaucratization, employment protective legislation, and unionization (Langbert & Friedman, 2002). Frederick W. Taylor (1911), who is regarded as the father of scientific management, promoted the practice of setting performance standards based on individual piece-rate incentives and cooperation of employees and employer through the economically motivated mutuality of interest. Additionally, Taylor emphasized the need to match employee abilities with the specific demands of the jobs through his ‘first-class’ man standard which required for his system’s success (Wren & Bedeian, 2009).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Volunteer: A person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.

Workforce Diversity: Similarities and differences including all characteristics and experiences of employees including age, cultural background, physical abilities and disabilities, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

Baby Boomers: People born at the end of World War II and the late 1960s.

Revolving Door Syndrome: Turnovers in organizations, specifically amongst underrepresented groups, where as many groups as were being recruited were also exiting.

Melting Pot: A place where immigrants of different cultures or races form an integrated society.

Nonprofit: An organization, corporation or association that conducts business for the benefit of the general public without shareholders and without a profit motive.

Peace Corps: A federal government organization that trains and sends American volunteers abroad to work with people of developing countries on projects for technological, agricultural, and educational improvement.

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