Prejudice and discrimination have always been a thorn in the workplace. One can see this thorn in the workplace today in the article title: “Employee’s Suit Accuses Tiffany of Racial Bias”. This article Michael McClure, a group director filed a complaint against Tiffany & Company. He says there are 200 public-facing management positions at the company—but he’s the only African American holding one. He accuses the company of a “systemic, nationwide pattern and practice of racial discrimination” (Harris, 2014). We can consider this to be an inter-group prejudice.
Inter-group prejudice is the shared attitude of a group of people based on stereotypical beliefs about qualities, and social roles about another group. It is a relatively less positive and unfavorable attitude of one group about other. In contrast to prejudice, discrimination includes negative responses, unjustified inappropriate behavior, and unfavorable treatment of one group based on stereotypical beliefs and awareness (Dovidio & J. & Gaertner, 2010). It is the responsibility of every employer to be aware and train to distinguish between different types of biases; stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination to avoid and prevent any lawsuits against the company. The employer must identify cognitive and effective tests to measure implicit and explicit attitudes and behaviors of the workforce. The concerns of workplace prejudice and discrimination can be managed by devising objective workplace policies and standards against unfavorable attitudes and behaviors towards another group (Root, 2017)
Research has shown that implicit processes that are unconsciously triggered and that cannot be controlled by expression have a very weak relationship to the explicit attitudes and behaviors in contemporary racial discrimination. Although awareness and rise of equal human rights have made explicit racial bias less blatant but implicit bias still exists. Studies have shown that White people who do not have an explicit bias towards Blacks possess and practice implicit bias and Blacks who do not explicitly express bias towards Whites also prioritize and prefer Blacks over Whites implicitly (Dovidio & J. & Gaertner, 2010).
Implicit attitudes cannot be related to all types of racial discrimination but research has found the relationship between implicit attitudes and implicit discrimination and behaviors. It is evident from multiple IAT tests that implicit behavior can be noted when job applicants are selected from the resumes and implicit prejudice (Erwin, 2007).
Obedience to authority happens because of an imbalance of power between two people. People obey the order because they have lower power than the authority so they conform to the order. Obedience to authority makes employees defenseless and with low self-esteem due to the imbalance of power and the workplace harassment becomes easy for the person with greater power or control in decision-making. These decisions have the power to influence the functions of the vulnerable employee.
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Dovidio, F., & J. & Gaertner, L. S. (2010). Intergroup Bias. Handbook of Social Psychology, 5th Edition. Hoboken, NJ: Hoboken.
Erwin, J. (2007, December 1). Psychological Science. Retrieved from The IAT: How and When It Works: https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-iat-how-and-when-it-works
Harris, E. A. (2014, May 29). The New York Times. Retrieved from Tiffany & Co. is being sued for alleged racial discrimination: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/30/business/employees-suit-accuses-tiffany-of-racial-bias.html?smid=pl-share
Root, N. G. (2017). How do I Prevent Discrimination in the Workplace Retrieved from Small Business: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/prevent-discrimination-workplace-2853.html
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