Managerial Practice and Diversity Climate: The roles of Workplace Voice, Centralization, and Teamwork

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Common managerial practices can either make or break an organization’s diversity climate (i.e., employees’ perceptions about the extent to which their organizations foster fairness, and inclusion in formal and informal settings). Three of the most prominent managerial practices at the workplace, which shape the organizational culture are defined by Jiang, DeHart-Davis and Borry as “workplace voice”, “centralized decision-making”, and teamwork. Improving the realization of these three organizational practices has been linked to a range of important organizational outcomes, have been perceived to foster fairness, inclusivity and diversity, and provide a pathway for improvement with regard to an upward or downward push of decision-making.

Centralization affects workplace diversity differently, depending on the type of organization which choses to adopt it. In private and more flexible organizations, it could speed up processes by turning decision-making into a prerogative for a few people thus preventing administrative stalling. In more traditional, larger and very bureaucratic orgainzations, centralization could slow down decision-making processes by requiring upper-management to be redundantly included in every decision, which could have easily been made by others. Teamwork is described as provisional to more alternative to the traditionally hierarchical bureaucratic organizational structures as it helps with goal-achievement, fosters the response to political pressure for efficiency, is essential to forming a common interpretation and perceptions of the workplace character, supports inclusion of diverse backgrounds. The concept of workplace voice refers to the extent to which managers provide opportunities for employees to express concerns, issues, grievances and is particularly central to public organizations, as it shapes the potential for achieving democratic governance.

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