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Race, Gender and Other Group Identities' Impact on Decision-Making

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Race, Gender and Other Group Identities Impact on Decision-Making

This topic deals with the impact of group identities on decision-making. Race and gender are two prevalent group identities but are far from the only ones. Some materials examine the topic from the eyes of decision-makers, while other materials look at it from the perspectives of the group affecting decision-makers.

Topic Learning Outcome: Students will be able to analyze and interpret policy decisions in light of the impact that group identities have on policy preference and decision-making.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Pluralism; Pluralist State; Rights Talk; Social Diversity Thesis; Social Fragmentation.

Recommended Reading

Harvard University: MLD-110B Strategic Management

Star Distributors, HBS Case 9-493-015, 15 pages. 

Ely, R. J., Meyerson, D. E., and Davidson, M. N. (2006). Rethinking Political Correctness. Harvard Business Review, 84(9), 78-87.

Davidson, M. N. (2011). The End of Diversity as We Know It. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. Read: p. 47, comparing managing diversity with leveraging difference; pp. 76-83, the leveraging difference cycle (explaining Figure 1); and pp. 184-188, how leaders leverage difference (elaborating about Figure 6 on feedback loops). Note: The Davidson excerpts are about leveraging diversity for strategic advantage, and a nice complement to the Ely, Myerson and Davidson reading listed above.

 Sample Assessment Questions:

1.) M.N. Davidson writes about the need for leaders to "leverage difference." What does this mean, and what are its implications for public management?

2.) What is the "social diversity thesis?" Explain the importance of this concept for understanding the evolution of policy in advanced democracies.

Page updated by Sean Goertzen and Ben Eisen on 20 May 2015.


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School of Public Policy and Governance