Management, Gender and Race

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Course Number: BUSADMIN 3340
Course Name: Management, Gender and Race (Online)
Course Description:    This course reviews the changing nature of management and explains why gender and race/ethnicity have become important concerns of business. It examines the status of women and people of color in managerial or administrative positions and discusses socialization processes, stereotypes, equal employment opportunity laws, diversity management, illegal harassment, and power in organizations. Networking, mentoring, work/life balance, and career planning also are addressed.
Prerequisites:    BUSADMIN 2330 or AGINDUS 1500 or junior standing
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online  (This course is also offered in print.)

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain major reasons why diverse populations of women and people of color still are under-represented in top management positions in the U.S. to someone who is unaware of challenges that members of such groups encounter.
  • Explain the challenges that U.S. women aspiring to top management encounter with respect to global assignments.
  • Explain strategies women and people of color who wish to become upper level executives in major U.S. corporations have used to cope with or overcome challenges they face in achieving that goal to someone who is unfamiliar with the nature of their struggle.
  • Explain the general provisions of equal opportunity laws and regulations designed to assist women and people of color in the U.S. to a person who has little knowledge of them.
  • Explain recommendations for leaders, organizations, and team members who wish to build and sustain effective teams of diverse individuals to someone with no knowledge of relevant issues.
  • Examine ways in which stereotypes and socialization processes in the U.S. and in your background may have affected your attitude toward and society’s perceptions of women and people of color who wish to become leaders and/or excel in managerial careers.
  • Explain how the ways in which employment decisions are made can aid or hinder equal employment opportunity for women and people of color who wish to advance in leadership roles and/or management positions.
  • Assess the effectiveness of recommended actions to help individuals successfully manage work and family roles in your own or in a friend’s life.
  • Create a plan that a real or hypothetical organization could adopt to help employees effectively manage work and family roles.
  • Explain to someone with no knowledge of developmental relationships at work how cultivating such relationships via mentors, networks, or other means can aid in the career progress of women and people of color.
  • Apply knowledge of challenges that women and people of color face in management to suggest alternatives and possible solutions to real or hypothetical problems involving issues related to gender and/or race or ethnicity.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1
Unit 1 sets the stage for the rest of the course by defining basic terms such as gender, race, social class, and management. The progress of people of color and women in the management of U.S. firms since World War II is outlined here.

Though some challenges that white women and women of color have experienced are similar, others differ markedly. In general, women of color face more obstacles that are more difficult to overcome than white women. White women are privileged based on race, though some are unaware of it and others deny it.

For awhile, spending years on an international assignment seemed to be a prerequisite for ascent to top management in U.S. firms. Though still very important, that global experience can now be gained without having to relocate thanks to global commuting, relatively short project-based assignments, and “frequent flier” options.  The progress of U.S. women in global business will be discussed in lesson 2.

Factors facilitating success of African American or Black, Asian American, American Indian women and Latinas have not yet been studied extensively, but they seem to differ between women of color, as a group, and white women. In this unit, you will also learn about management and human resource actions designed to make women in U.S. corporations even more successful in the future. Let's begin!

Unit 2 Lesson 4 begins with a discussion of laws, programs, and regulations that provided a “baseline” for equal employment opportunity in the United States.  Their goal was to stop overt and subtle employment discrimination and to try to make amends, in a small way, for past workplace and societal injustices to women, people of color, and other groups. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, and Executive Order 11246 are covered in Unit 2. These are but a sampling of the laws and presidential edicts that affect women and people of color who wish to advance to senior management levels.

Nondiscrimination is necessary, but not sufficient, for employees to flourish.  A huge difference exists between simply being tolerated and being accepted in the workplace.  Due to a convergence of economic and other trends, diversity management, which emphasized the latter, emerged in the late 1980s.  More recently, it has evolved to focus on inclusion, which welcomes, embraces, and fully supports each individual employee as an entire human being. Diversity management and inclusion are the topics of lesson 5.

Many organizations emphasize not only diversity but also teamwork.  Thus, those entering or returning to the workplace must be able to work effectively in diverse teams.  This is the topic of lesson 6.

The right to work in a setting free of illegal harassment was established under Title VII when its enforcing agency, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, issued its 1981 Guidelines on Sexual Harassment.  Later, other forms of harassment were found illegal.  It is not difficult to see how being treated as a sex object or “picked on” because of one’s presumed inferior status creates additional career advancement challenges for those striving to become high-ranking executives.  Though some romantic relationships at work that sour might lead to sexual harassment claims, workplace romances have become more common over the past few decades.  Whether they result in harassment or romance, issues related to sexuality in the workplace will be explored in Lesson 7. Suggestions for dealing with problems will be proposed.

Unit 3 Stereotypes and socialization processes can be very powerful influences on not only self-perceptions and individuals’ own careers but also the decisions they make about others. Such decisions include people’s qualifications for leadership positions and whether or not they would be a good “fit” for top management.   In this unit, the impact of these processes will be explored.  In addition, the age-old question of whether women or men are better leaders and whether the leadership styles they use tend to be similar or different will be addressed.

Unit 4 Some challenges that women and people of color who wish to advance in management face are embedded in the structure of organizations. For that reason, individuals may not be able to address these institutional sources of challenges effectively by themselves. Organizations and their top executives can cultivate and promote developmental workplace relationships for all employees, including women, people of color, and other groups who have not had access to them in the past.  They can and should devote resources to promotion of virtual and face-to-face mentoring and networking and their variations for both business and ethical reasons. Through attention to the work/life interface, organizations should be proactive in addressing the additional challenges that those with care-giving and other responsibilities outside of work have when managing their careers.

Women and people of color are well advised to advocate on their own behalf, recognizing that significant barriers to such assertive communication exist among members of some groups due to socialization practices.  They should take advantage of development opportunities and other arrangements to provide workplace flexibility when offered. Top management, however, has a responsibility to consider actions to facilitate the upward mobility of groups that have been left behind in the past through no fault of their own. Unit 4 covers proactive employment decisions by organizations and other aids to advancement including mentoring,  networking, and work/life initiatives.

Grading Information

Your overall course grade will be based on the cumulative grades on lesson quizzes and assignments, discussions, a group case analysis, and a final assessment project that resembles a “take-home” examination. Graduate students also will prepare and analyze an original case study and answer discussion questions based on it either alone or with another student.

Point distributions for graded activities and the scale used to determine the overall course grade are presented here.

Grading Scale

Each quiz is required and must be completed before the associated lesson assignment will be graded.
Lesson 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Quizzes:    10 points each
Lesson 2 and 4 Quizzes:     20 points each (Lesson 12 has no associated quiz.)
Quiz Subtotal 130 points

Lesson Assignments
Unit 1 Lesson 1:     6 points
Unit 1 Lesson 2:     6 points
Unit 1 Lesson 3:     12 points
Unit 2 Lesson 4, 5, 6, 7:    12 points
Unit 3 Lesson 8:    12 points
Unit 3 Lesson 9:    18 points
Unit 3 Lesson 10:   12 points
Unit 4 Lesson 11:   6 points
Unit 4 Lesson 12 Group Assignment: 18 points
Lesson Assignment Subtotal: 138 points

Discussions and Group Case Analysis
Lesson 1, 3, 8, 9, 11 Discussions:    5 points each
Lesson 4 Discussion:                              10 points
Discussion & Group Case Analysis  Subtotal: 35 points

Final Assessment Project:   150 points

Original Case Study (graduate students only): 150 points

Total Points     453 points Undergraduate        
                         603 points Graduate

90% or more of total possible points = A
80%-89% of total possible points = B
70%-79% of total possible points = C
60-69% of total possible points = D
Less than 60% of total possible points F

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