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Managing Diversity and Culture

2014 unit code: ORG80015 (formerly HBO580)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
One teaching period
Contact hours36 hours

Aims and objectives

Management of diversity and culture is a multidisciplinary approach to the managerial and communication problems encountered in interactions between individuals and organisations with diverse backgrounds as well as individuals / organisations interacting with global communities.
This subject builds on the insights and experience developed in the subject “Leading”, and focuses specifically on self-awareness and the capacity to engage effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.  It explores discourses and notions of diversity and the implications for management practice.  It aims to challenge students to explore their own assumptions and world views, and to integrate theory with real-world experience in order to recognise and understand the practical issues that arise when people with different experiences and world views work together, and to develop and apply appropriate responses.
By the end of the subject students should have:
  • Enhanced sensitivity, openness, trust and respect for human diversity – gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, nationality etc.
  • An understanding of how diversity impacts on business practices and strategic HRM
  • An understanding of the concept of discourse in producing social reality and the implications for diversity
  • An awareness of own assumptions, coming to know what we don’t know; negotiating a way through difference; finding common ground; sensitively confronting as against letting people ‘off the hook’
  • A capacity to make sensitive contributions in interpersonal and group processes

Teaching methods

A variety of teaching approaches will be utilised with approximate time allocation as follows:  lectures (20%), experiential activities (40%), class discussions and reflection (40%).
A key resource will be the diversity of the student cohort and group work will be devised so that students will encounter and negotiate difference.  In addition, exploring the sense of feeling ‘different’ in external settings will be the stimulus for the surfacing of assumptions, reflection on cultural relativity and the practice of kinds of intervention that are sensitive to the context.



1. Reflective paper – Diversity and the Internationalised Self 30% - 35%

2. Participation 10% - 15%

3. Small learning Group Report 25- 30%

4. Small learning Group presentation 20 – 25%

Summary – Individual assignments 30 - 45%

Group assignments – 20 – 30%


Generic skills outcomes

  • Leadership: Personal; presence, interdependence, engaging with ambiguity and paradox, effective action and influence.
  • Global Focus: Cross-cultural capabilities and ability to operate across national, religious, ethnic differences.
  • Strategy: Ability to synthesise from differing events and paradigms.
  • Lifelong Learning: Reflective inquiry; Capacity to source and evaluate information and conceptual frameworks.


Overview of diversity and the production of social reality through discourse.  The Business Case for Diversity and application of diversity approaches to working with groups and organisations.  Exploration of personal assumptions, values and world-views and learning from the stories of others.  Theories and frameworks for understanding culture, gender, age and disability and other differences in human experience and implications for organisational practice.

Reading materials

Students are advised to check the unit outline in the relevant teaching period for appropriate textbooks and further reading.