Among the most critical challenges facing many countries worldwide is how to enjoy living with diversity comfortably. Almost every modern society is currently marked by a degree of socio-cultural complexity; the emergence of such complexity in so many situations has created stress, uncertainty, and even violence. While a diverse workforce is often the subject of political or cultural preferences, it is also utterly accurate that there are essential questions. Economic considerations are interested in the commitment to integration in a community (Noon, 2010). This paper aims to evaluate how the concept of fairness can be achieved in the workplace. This aspect is accomplished by examining the opinions of different scholarly works, including how positive discrimination can be reconsidered, the concept of pluralism at work, and procedural justice.
Question One: Reconsidering Positive Discrimination
For decades, former US president Lyndon Johnson’s quote, “the shackled runner: time to rethink positive discrimination,” has presented a critical dilemma about the appropriate policy-making in matters related to equality of opportunities. His primary concern was on whether the structural limitations experienced by particular groups should be considered and compensated. The existing solution among European countries was against the structural approach. Instead, it relied on a liberal system- a light-touch strategy of regulation aimed at controlling blatant discrimination and providing a regal policy to readdress inequalities caused by indirect forms of discrimination. Despite the application of the liberal system, structural issues still exist (Noon, 2010).
In his article, Noon (2010) articulates that it the appropriate time to acknowledge the fact that the neoliberal market approach should not be relied on to bring the required transformations quickly enough. Instead, the structural process needs to be reevaluated as the hope to eradicate shackles and close the four-decade gap. This can be achieved through the application of positive discrimination as an essential intervention required to boost change. To validate the case of reconsidering positive discrimination as a possible policy intervention, Noon (2010) criticizes the four core objections to positive discrimination. The author articulates that each complaint can be overturned and that positive discrimination offers the appropriate conditions needed for radical and transformative change supported by the proponents of equality. This section will discuss two of Noon’s responses to the critics of reconsidering positive discrimination to achieve greater equality in the workplace (Noon, 2010).
In relation to the first objective of failure to identify the best candidate, Noon (2010) argues that positive discrimination could imply that the best candidate is overlooked in relation to the candidate who meets other conditions like disability, sex, and ethnicity. Critics to this objection rely on two assumptions that Noon challenges: the assumption one-way positive discrimination and the fact that there is an objective assessment of the best candidate. Noon criticizes this point, stating that positive discrimination focuses much on employing quotas in the employment process, resulting in unqualified employees, mainly from underprivileged social groups being more preferred than qualified individuals from the dominant social group. According to Noon (2010), an alternative approach to the quota and tie –break system would be the application of a threshold system of positive discrimination where candidates from the two social groups are first evaluated based on minimum qualification standards and those from the disadvantaged social group given an added advantage based on the manager’s choice.
In the second his second criticism, Noon (2010) articulates that positive discrimination should not be based on meritocratic principles. Noon (2010) challenges the concept of meritocracy, stating that the direction may be against managers’ interest. Still, it is influenced by external factors such as politics, cronyism, and nepotism, among others. Noon also adds that if the model would be a superior business strategy that results in high productivity, every company should be employing it in their day-to-day running of operations. Moreover, the approach is not proof of quantitative commercial benefits. Objections focused on the merit argument will, of necessity, strengthen negative beliefs that other people cannot or must do different jobs (Noon, 2010). In other words, it does not give rise to positive discrimination; it does not give rise to these opinions; it is a justification for these views to be put forward. It is not based on disabled or individual choice. These arguments arise even without positive discriminatory actions. The author argues that the proceeds of the preference are violated by taking account of a social group (sex, race, etc.). In contrast, the proponents claim that a truly meritocratic system could only be guaranteed by taking such characteristic features into concern.
Question Two: Assumptions that Underline a Pluralist View of Work
Pluralism is the ideology of the United States regulating several communities and not the whole population. Such groups, including corporations, labor, and technical societies, ecologists, human rights advocates, economic and public lobbies, and organized and informal confederations representing ordinary people, control the development and implementation representing legislation and policy. Considering that only a limited percentage of the community engages in this phase, the people function mainly as spectators (Rockenbach et al., 2015). A pluralist model for labor standards analyzes jobs and the interaction between staff and managers from a theoretical viewpoint, grounded in an implicit clash of interest between the unequal working economies. The partnership between policymakers with competitive interests is regarded as a negotiating problem; job outcomes rely on the varied environmental conditions that decide and stakeholders’ role power to negotiate (Budd, Gomez & Meltz, 2014). In the after-war era, however, employment conditions became prevalent in the postmodern economic model, which was also blamed for being allegedly restricted to a simplistic set of evidence and lacking a valid scientific model. The basic principle of the pluralistic approach is that a clash of concerns occurs in the job ties, labor conditions are not inherently egalitarian, workers are individual beings and not merely material or processing component, and work is done primarily to gain money for recreation and usage (McLaughlin & Wright, 2018).
The contrasting viewpoints of labor relations are significant if the pluralistic labor relations’ principle components are to be understood. In conjunction with strategic human resource management, entities such as organized labor and laws plus negotiation and dispute settlement procedures are significant evaluation objects in labor relations because they can provide appropriate methods to mediate potential conflict of interest. Like realistic labor relations, pluralistic labor relations analysis prefers not to view occupations as rooted in a broader class-based political structure, although affected by the external world (Budd, Gomez & Meltz, 2014). In contrast to critical or Marxist labor relations, class in pluralistic labor relations is not an essential philosophical concept (Colombo et al., 2013). The pluralistic view of conflict is very much linked to the conviction that economic conditions are not fully competitive. This higher intensity derives from industry defects: fragmented company areas, costs of migration, and lack of community assets or other capital, customer divisions, and the availability of surplus jobs (McLaughlin & Wright, 2018). In reality, the pluralist perspective that the standard for evaluating policy initiatives would be dysfunctional labor market systems, the impact of minimum wage act is not compatible with frameworks of competitive markets, emphasized the importance of labor supply modeling techniques in an area where complicated and expensive job searches, mobility limitations and imbalances give rise to information monopsony control of workers. It ensures the labor dynamics will be inconsistent, particularly though businesses tend to bargain in the employment market for jobs (Colombo et al., 2013).
The final theoretical aspect of the pluralist labor relations approach is to simulate people rather than strictly economic substances, as human or psychiatric agents. The work is used not merely as a means of profit, but as opposed to modernist capitalism (Rockenbach et al., 2015). Workers’ preferences could then be challenging. Commitments made by management and employees are often not planned to make on a purely sensible footing. Aggressive behavior and dissatisfaction can result in strikes, exploitive comparisons, and the need to decide things affects wage results and could create sophistication, contrary to competition, inbuilt market mechanisms. In brief, the essential components of the pluralistic labor relations model give rise to a philosophy of concurrent interests: the work connection is established as a question of negotiation between opposing parties with shared objectives, such as cost control, PEEP, productivity, equity, and speech (Budd, Gomez & Meltz, 2014). Competitive preferences are not only consolidated by economic forces but also by multiple interrelationships between individuals and groups influenced by institutions, policing-making factors, beliefs, and values. The pluralistic conceptualization of labor relations as a mixed-motive engagement in the profoundly flawed market economies among individual interactions is a genuine employment theory. The correctness of the fundamental assumptions in this theory can be called into question, but the approach for labor relations cannot be ignored as overarching theoretical or completely normative. But these predictions are teaching materials as the regulatory basis of labor relations amongst most major world relations intellectuals (McLaughlin & Wright, 2018).
Question Three: Case Study
Procedural justice rules relate to the notion of fairness in dispute resolution and resource allocation operations. It is a concept that facilitates progressive change and improves relations when it is taken on board. Procedural justice is based on the following principles 1) being equitable in procedures, 2) being clear in decisions, 3) being capable of expressing oneself, and 3) being unbiased in decision-making (Sargeant, Antrobus & Platz, 2017). The decision-making process also necessitates transparency and accountability; that is to say, decisions should be made as openly as possible, and where necessary, clarify the basis for decisions. People deserve the ability to grasp what’s going on and realize that they have a right to comment and confident that their voice is represented. Based on the case study presented, various procedural justice rules have been violated. First, since the company extended its door manufacturing operations, the performance review system was not changed to fit the current processes’ requirements. As a result, decisions related to permanence ratings are not valid as they are only based on the old system. Besides, the management is not precise on how the performance ratings are arrived. The procedural justice rule of giving people the right to express themselves is also violated. The management does not offer its employee an opportunity to air their grievances, thus causing a misunderstanding between employees and the management (Sargeant, Antrobus & Platz, 2017).
Multiple researchers have shown that the employee’s loyalty to the supervisor is a beneficial approach. The commitment of employers to managing employees is strongly linked to the success of their work and is more closely correlated than the degree of collaboration created by effective corporate engagement and efficiency (Akoh & Amah, 2016). When coping with this issue, supervisors play an essential role. The correlation between employees and the management tends to influence the work or beliefs that the employee possesses or retains. In regards to fairness, it is necessary to understand how decision-makers conduct their decision-making. Interactional justice involves the consistency of interactions among different players in an organization. It is how individuals see actions and disposition as symbols of fairness. Interactional justice concerns the essence of treatments workers receive when senior managers/supervisors make choices (Sargeant, Antrobus & Platz, 2017). Leaders are supposed to provide sufficient knowledge about their decision-making and speak the relevant information regarding and sensitivity to improve these forms of treatment. Based on the case study, interactional justice was not employed after the company expanded its operations. Employees tend to receive the same treatment despite increased manufacturing activities, thus resulting in rudeness and lack of respect to their line manager. Besides, lack of interaction justice with an organization leads to dissatisfaction and demotivation of employees and a decrease in the organization’s overall productivity (Akoh & Amah, 2016).
Fairness is an essential driver for the success of every business. For the company to embrace fairness throughout its manufacturing process, some areas need to be reevaluated and restructured. First, the current performance review system that was established 15 years ago needs to be updated and aligned with the company’s everyday operations. Second, the company employees should be involved in every decision made by the management Akoh, A., & Amah, E. (2016). This will improve employee’s morale as they will feel to be part of the company. Finally, interactive justice should be employed mainly in the performance review system as this will ensure that employees receive fair treatment from the senior management, thus increasing the overall productivity and reducing employee-supervisor conflicts.
Akoh, A., & Amah, E. (2016). Interactional justice and employees’ commitment to supervisor in Nigerian health sector. International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development, 2(5), 7-17.
Budd, J. W., Gomez, R., & Meltz, N. M. (2014). Why a balance is best: the pluralist industrial relations paradigm of balancing competing interests. Theoretical perspectives on work and the employment relationship, 195-227.
Colombo, M., Kantzara, V., Sebastiao, J., Van Houtte, M., & Brereton, B. (2013). Pluralism and diversity management in education.
McLaughlin, C., & Wright, C. F. (2018). The role of ideas in understanding industrial relations policy change in liberal market economies. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 57(4), 568-610.
Noon, M. (2010). The shackled runner: time to rethink positive discrimination? Work, Employment and Society, 24(4), 728-739.
Rockenbach, A. N., Mayhew, M. J., Morin, S., Crandall, R. E., & Selznick, B. (2015). Fostering the pluralism orientation of college students through interfaith co-curricular engagement. The Review of Higher Education, 39(1), 25-58.
Sargeant, E., Antrobus, E., & Platz, D. (2017). Promoting a culture of fairness: police training, procedural justice, and compliance. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 13(3), 347-365.