04 Apr Theories In Diversity Read Diversity in organizations: where are we and where are we going?’ and note the number of theories t
Theories In Diversity (PDF ATTACHED) 3 sources
Read “Diversity in organizations: where are we and where are we going?” (2009) and note the number of theories that have been used for studying race/ethnicity as a central variable of interest. To which do you identify or least identify?
In at least critiquing your chosen theory, using a minimum of 3 sources in addition to the required article.
Include a brief background on the historical development of the theory and discuss advantages and disadvantages of implementing this particular theory in the workplace.
In at least 1200 words—critiquing your chosen theory, using a minimum of three sources in addition to the required article. Include a brief background on the historical development of the theory and discuss advantages and disadvantages of implementing this particular theory in the workplace.
Human Resource Management Review 19 (2009) 117–133
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Human Resource Management Review
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/humres
Diversity in organizations: Where are we now and where are we going?
Lynn M. Shore ⁎, Beth G. Chung-Herrera, Michelle A. Dean, Karen Holcombe Ehrhart, Don I. Jung, Amy E. Randel, Gangaram Singh Institute for Inclusiveness and Diversity in Organizations, Department of Management, College of Business Administration, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
a r t i c l e i n f o
⁎ Corresponding author. Fax: +1 619 594 3272. E-mail address: [email protected] (L.M. Shore)
1 Some of the more frequently cited theories include Tajfel & Turner, 1986), social- and self-categorizatio demography (Tsui, Egan, & O’Reilly, 1992), aversive rac (Lazarsfeld & Merton, 1954), tokenism and proportion
1053-4822/$ – see front matter © 2008 Elsevier Inc. A doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2008.10.004
a b s t r a c t
A great deal of research has focused on workforce diversity. Despite an increasing number of studies, few consistent conclusions have yet to be reached about the antecedents and outcomes of diversity. Likewise, research on different dimensions of diversity (e.g., age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and culture) has mostly evolved independently. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine each of these dimensions of diversity to describe common themes across dimensions and to develop an integrative model of diversity.
© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
While the term “workforce diversity” is commonly used in scholarly articles as well as in the popular press, the focus and scope of the research is both varied and broad. Until recently, most studies have focused on a single dimension of diversity (e.g., age, sex, race) in a domestic, typically U.S. context. In a world of globalization populated by boundaryless and virtual organizations, it is time to revisit the old theories of diversity and to create a new set of paradigms. Therefore, in this article we examine multiple dimensions of diversity to assess the current status of the literature, and to make some suggestions going forward.
As a starting point, we examine six dimensions of diversity (race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and national origin) to determine how these literatures have evolved. The purpose of this review is to provide a basis on which to focus on similarities and differences in these separate literatures, in order to determine the extent to which an integrative framework of diversity is meaningful and appropriate. To move toward identifying areas of similarity as a basis for integration, for each diversity dimension included in this article we first briefly review theoretical paradigms and the extent to which associated predictions for the diversity dimensions are positive, negative, or neutral. Since theories guide our research streams, we deem it important to evaluate the extent to which present-day theories adequately represent the potential array of outcomes from negative to positive that may exist for individuals, groups, and organizations. We also review literature on antecedents and outcomes studied within each diversity dimension. Subsequently, we examine themes by reviewing current theoretical paradigms and then limitations across different dimensions of diversity, with the goal of identifying points of integration and needed development for moving the literature forward. Finally, we present a broad model of diversity that integrates key variables and suggestions for the diversity literature going forward.
1. Race and ethnicity diversity
A number of theories have been used for studying race/ethnicity as a central variable of interest.1 Most of these theories come from a micro-theoretical perspective and attempt to explain behavior from an individual, or within work group perspective.
. social identity theory (Tajfel,1981), racial identity theory (Phinney,1992), intergroup theory (Alderfer,1986 n theories (Pettigrew, 1986; Tajfel, 1981), the similarity-attraction paradigm (Byrne, 1971), relationa ism theory (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1986), rational bias theory (Larwood, Gutek, & Gattiker, 1984), homophily ality theories (Kanter, 1977), and stereotype and prototype theories (Davis & Watson, 1982; Schein, 1973)
ll rights reserved.
118 L.M. Shore et al. / Human Resource Management Review 19 (2009) 117–133
A majority of these theories come from the fields of social psychology or cognitive psychology and stem from our cognitive and social need to categorize ourselves and others based on surface-level or readily perceivable characteristics such as race. These theories often have been used to introduce or justify hypotheses that have focused on negative outcomes or predictions as a result of race/ethnicity differences.
Some of the basic assumptions made about people and human nature contained in many of these theories are that: 1) humans judge each otheronsurface-level characteristics, suchasrace or gender, in theabsence of additional information, 2) group membership based on these characteristics implies true similarities ordifferences betweenpeople which then creates the formation of in-group and out-group distinctions, and 3) these judgments ultimately result in outcomes that may have negative effects for minority or out-group members (e.g., lack of mentors, stalled careers, lower performance evaluations) or group productivity.
Within the literature on race and ethnic diversity, there also are some theories that focus on positive predictions or possible positive outcomes of racial/ethnic diversity. This comes from a “value in diversity” perspective (Cox, 1993; Cox, Lobel & McLeod, 1991) which argues that diversity creates value and benefit for team outcomes.2 The general assumption that underlies these theories is that an increase in racial/ethnic diversity means that a work group will experience possible positive outcomes such as: increased information, enhanced problem solving ability, constructive conflict and debate, increased creativity, higher quality decisions, and increased understanding of different ethnicities/cultures. Another underlying assumption is that surface-level diversity such as race is indicative of deeper-level differences, such as cognitive processes/schemas, differential knowledge base, different sets of experiences, and different views of the world.
1.1. Antecedents and outcomes of racial/ethnic diversity
Earlier research (1960s–1980s), motivated by the passage of the Civil Rights Act in the U.S., focused on whether there was discrimination and bias present in selection, training, performance evaluations, promotions, and other important human resource functions (c.f., Cox & Nkomo, 1990). There also has been some research conducted on differences between subgroups in terms of job satisfaction and other attitudes, motivation, and leadership. According to Kraiger and Ford’s (1985) meta-analysis, race/ ethnicity explained 3.7% of the variance in job performance ratings. Ratees tended to receive higher ratings from raters of the same race. However, Sackett and DuBois (1991) found that Black ratees consistently received lower ratings than White ratees from both White and Black raters. Recent meta-analyses show that the Black–White mean difference in job performance is approximately .27 (McKay & McDaniel, 2006) to one-third of a standard deviation (Roth, Huffcutt, & Bobko, 2003) and that group differences were similar to, if not larger, for objective versus subjective measures (Roth et al., 2003). Further, McKay and McDaniel (2006) found that effect sizes were strongly moderated by criterion type and the cognitive loading of criteria. Other findings for race/ethnicity effects suggest that those individuals who are different from the majority in an organization tend to be more likely to leave, to be less satisfied and less psychologically committed (Moch 1980; Williams & O’Reilly, 1998).
Leadership differences between Black and White leaders were reviewed by both Bartol, Evans, and Stith (1978) and Cox and Nkomo (1990), who concluded that there is disparity in the nature of the effect of race/ethnicity on leader behavior and subordinate reactions (e.g., Hill & Fox, 1973; Richards & Jaffee, 1972). There was some support for the contention that Black supervisors are less directive and less likely to initiate interactions than White supervisors when working with predominantly White subordinates. Further, they determined that Black leaders may initiate more leader behavior when dealing with mixed subordinate groups. A more recent review of leadership and race/ethnicity diversity (Chung-Herrera & Lankau, 2007) suggested that similarities and differences both exist depending on the specific dimension on which leaders are being compared (e.g., behaviors, prototypes, styles, conflict management).
By the 1990s, research on diversity begun to focus on work teams, or the business case for managing and utilizing an increasingly diverse workforce (Johnston & Packer, 1987; see reviews in Jackson, Joshi, & Erhardt, 2003; Mannix & Neale, 2005; Ragins & Gonzalez, 2003; Van Knippenberg, De Dreu, & Homan, 2004). Two opposing views emerged (Milliken & Martins, 1996). The optimistic perspective is that there are benefits to the team by having increased diversity. Group performance is thought to be enhanced by having broader resources and multiple perspectives (Hoffman, 1959). Particular to race, some studies (McLeod, Lobel & Cox, 1996; Watson, Kumar & Michaelsen, 1993) have found that ethnically diverse work teams make better decisions than homogeneous teams. The pessimistic perspective is that increased ethnic diversity (as well as age and tenure diversity) typically has shown negative effects on social integration and communication, and increased conflict (Williams & O’Reilly, 1998). Regarding race/ethnicity diversity and performance, the evidence predominantly shows either non-significant results (Jehn & Bezrukova, 2004) or negative effects (e.g., Jackson & Joshi, 2004; Kirkman, Tesluk, & Rosen, 2004). Regarding relational race/ethnicity, it appears that Whites have lower work attitudes when in minority groups while being different from others in a work group regarding race does not have an effect on the work attitudes of minorities (Riordan, 2000).
In the most recent review to date, Joshi and Roh (2007) found a fairly equal number of studies reporting positive or negative effects for race/ethnicity diversity across three outcomes types (performance, process and affect/attitude). The most interesting finding, however, was that there were more null findings than positive and negative effects put together. For example, race/ ethnicity diversity effects in relation to performance yielded seven positive, eight negative and 20 null findings. Similar to Joshi and Roh’s review, Webber and Donahue (2001) in their meta-analysis of 24 studies found that demographic diversity (including race/ ethnicity) had no relationship with team cohesion or performance.
2 Examples of these types of theories and perspectives include intergroup contact theory (Allport, 1954), heterogeneity in small groups (Hoffman, 1959), information and decision making theories (Levine & Resnick, 1993), and creative problem solving (Triandis, Hall, & Ewen, 1965).
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1.1.1. Summary Some observations can be made about the body of work on race and ethnicity in organizations. First, in contrast to a popular
belief on ethnic diversity, the positive effect of ethnic diversity on work group performance has not been supported conclusively. Instead, null and negative results have been more common. Therefore, more research is certainly needed to specify different contingencies such as length of time together as a group, task characteristics, and various combinations of ethnicity in which ethnic diversity may have differential effects on performance. Second, it seems that there has been a neglect of the White or Caucasian category as a race (Ragins & Gonzalez, 2003). Most often, the Caucasian category serves as merely the control or reference group. In other words, other than research findings that report lower work attitudes for Whites in diverse settings (e.g., Riordan, 2000), there is little research that provides empirical evidence explaining the reasons for these findings or that sheds light on the characteristics associated with being White or the White experience of diversity. This may reflect the primarily negative theoretical focus on discrimination, stereotyping, and the harmful consequences of being in the minority group. Another assumption in most of the research thus far is that the majority group in organizations is Caucasian and that most managers are Caucasian. This is often presumed or taken for granted without knowledge or discussion of the proportional context of the organization and thus results are broadly generalized despite other possible configurations. This assumption, along with the fact that most research participants have been Caucasian, has obviously shaped the results that have been found; consequently, we still have a very rudimentary understanding of diversity that involves different combinations of multiple races/ethnicities in a work setting.
2. Gender diversity
Similar to early research on race/ethnicity, research on gender diversity prior to the 1990s focused largely on discrimination and bias resulting from being different from the majority. Research reporting negative effects for women regarding performance ratings (e.g., Tsui & O’Reilly, 1989) and pay discrimination (e.g., Bielby & Baron, 1986) built on the similarity-attraction paradigm (Byrne,1971) and on the work of Kanter (1977), who posited that women experienced isolation and stereotyping. Gender diversity has also been found to have more negative effects on men than women in regards to outcomes, such as attachment to the organization (Tsui, Egan, & O’Reilly, 1992).
Our review of recent gender diversity literature (since 2000) suggests that most of the published research incorporates theoretical perspectives that hold negative predictions. Many of these articles build on theories that are traditionally associated with diversity, such as similarity-attraction (Byrne, 1971), social identity (Tajfel, 1981), or discrimination (Meyerson & Fletcher, 2000). However, research in the last half decade has included other theoretical perspectives with negative predictions, such as theory on status hierarchy (Chattopadhyay, 2003; Graves & Elsass, 2005), gender reproduction theory (which seeks to explain why masculine and feminine behaviors occur in different contexts; Young & Hurlic, 2007), and theories of stereotypes and social roles (Duehr & Bono, 2006).
Fewer studies have included either theoretical perspectives with positive predictions or perspectives that were not clearly positive or negative. Among the former group of studies, Lee and Farh (2004) build on Bandura’s (1977) social cognitive theory to predict that gender diversity would moderate the relationship between group efficacy and group outcomes. They found that the group efficacy-performance relationship was stronger in mixed gender groups than in same gender groups. Other examples of theoretical perspectives with positive predictions are person-organization fit (e.g., Kristof,1996) which was used to predict applicant attraction to the organization based on Equal Employment Opportunity statements in recruitment brochures (Rau & Hyland, 2003), Schwartz’s (1992) value framework which was used as the basis for a study that showed that positive attitudes towards diverse others increases the likelihood of successful diversity management (Sawyerr, Strauss, & Yan, 2005), and the value-in-diversity framework which posits that diversity is associated with benefits resulting from a variety of perspectives (Frink et al., 2005; Richard, Barnett, Dwyer, & Chadwick, 2004; Singh & Point, 2006).
Additional theoretical perspectives have been offered in this literature that are not entirely positive or negative, such as structural hole theory (Balkundi, Kilduff, Barsness, & Michael, 2006) and configurational theory (Dwyer, Richard, & Chadwick, 2003). Dwyer et al. assessed interactions between gender diversity in top management teams and firm’s growth orientation and between gender diversity and organizational culture types with findings mostly supporting their approach, which suggests that studying the effects of variables in isolation is not as fruitful as a more holistic view in which interactions among variables are examined. Balkundi and colleagues found that moderate levels of structural holes (defined as occurring when an individual occupying a structural hole is friends with two individuals who do not otherwise know each other) within teams was more beneficial for team performance than low or high levels of structural holes. Interestingly, in their social network application of structural holes to diverse teams, they found structural hole diversity within teams to have more of an impact on team performance than demographic (gender, age, or ethnic) diversity.
2.1. Antecedents and consequences of gender diversity
Most research in this area focuses on the effects of gender diversity on outcomes. Antecedents that have been examined include personality characteristics (as they relate to diversity attitudes), the number of women corporate directors, task gender orientation, group efficacy, corporate statements about diversity on websites, and a firm’s commitment to diversity as reflected in recruitment materials (Bilimoria, 2006; Karakowsky, McBey, & Chuang, 2004; Lee & Farh, 2004; Rau & Hyland, 2003; Sawyerr et al., 2005; Singh & Point, 2006). With the exception of Karakowsky et al. (2004) who considered the effect of societal gender roles on perceptions of performance, no other recent gender diversity articles considered antecedents that were external to the individual or firm.
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While Wood’s (1987) meta-analysis of small group research found that mixed gender groups perform better overall than same- gender groups, more recent reviews of the gender diversity literature (Jackson et al., 2003; Mannix & Neale, 2005) have concluded that there are generally inconsistent effects of gender on performance or group processes. The same conclusion could be made on the basis of more recent literature as well as evidence for both negative and insignificant relationships regarding cohesion (Shapcott, Carron, Burke, Bradshaw, & Estabrooks, 2006; Vecchio & Brazil, 2007). Within the same study of mixed-sex groups, for example, there was evidence that women experienced polarization and group-boundary tightening but no visibility or isolation (Hewstone et al., 2006). Further, there have been many non-significant findings reported with respect to outcomes such as group performance, task conflict, relationship conflict, turnover, cohesion, attachment in teams, experiences in teams, comfort with differences, structural holes, and organizational attractiveness (Balkundi et al., 2006; Ely, 2004; Graves & Elsass, 2005; Hobman & Bordia, 2006; Leonard & Levine, 2006; Leonard, Levine, & Joshi, 2004; Martins & Parsons, 2007; Strauss & Connerley, 2003; Vecchio & Brazil, 2007).
Numerous researchers have attempted to gain greater clarity into what otherwise may yield inconsistent relationships between gender diversity and outcomes. For instance, the effect of gender diversity on outcomes was found to be moderated by growth orientation, team identification, and team orientation (Dwyer et al., 2003; Hobman & Bordia, 2006; Mohammed & Angell, 2004). Inverted U-shaped relationships were found between organizational-level gender composition and firm performance (Frink et al., 2005) and between management group gender heterogeneity and productivity for firms with high levels of risk taking (Richard et al., 2004). Somech (2003) only found differences between opposite-sex pairs and same-sex pairs with respect to participative leadership when the duration of the acquaintance was longer. Other recent works examined outcome variables that have been understudied in the gender diversity literature, such as interpersonal deviance (Liao, Joshi, & Chuang, 2004), supervisor-focused impression management behaviors (Barsness, Diekmann, & Seidel, 2005), and union attachment (Bacharach & Bamberger, 2004).
2.1.1. Summary Most research on gender diversity in organizations is premised on the assumption that diversity is fraught with difficulties,
such as in-group bias, or that diversity is a double-edged sword with challenges accompanying the potential benefits. Since most work in this area is either based upon or acknowledges theories such as social identity theory and the similarity-attraction perspective, there is a tendency to consider uniformity positively in theoretical predictions. Therefore, more research is needed that incorporates recent theoretical frameworks such as status characteristics theory and person-organization fit. In particular, research based on theoretical perspectives, like structural hole theory (e.g., Balkundi et al., 2006) and Schwartz’s value framework (e.g., Sawyerr et al., 2005) that focus on neutral or positive predictions, would be a valuable addition to the literature on gender in organizations. In addition, research should go beyond examining the effect of gender composition on outcomes and instead consider such variables as effective leadership of mixed gender groups and contextual characteristics that reduce the effects of stereotyping in mixed gender settings.
3. Age diversity
A review of the literature on age and work shows a clear theoretical emphasis on negative predictions. The predominant theoretical models are older worker stereotypes (DeArmond et al., 2006; Maurer & Rafuse, 2001), social identity and relational demography (Ostroff, Atwater, & Feinberg, 2004), age discrimination (Perry, Simpson, NicDomhnaill, & Siegel, 2003), career timetables (Perry, Kulik, & Zhou, 1999; Shore, Cleveland, & Goldberg, 2003), and prototype matching (Perry & Finkelstein, 1999). Some studies examined the role of age perceptions (rather than chronological age), including self-perceptions of age or perceived age relative to the work group or manager (Barnes-Farrell, Rumery, & Swody, 2002; Maurer, Weiss, & Barbeite, 2003; Shore et al., 2003). An underlying theme in these studies is that age discrimination or at least unfair treatment is likely to occur for older workers. The inherent assumption seems to be that when decisions are made about individuals (e.g., performance ratings, hiring decisions, and salary decisions), young employees are preferred over middle-aged or older employees. These effects are especially likely when employees are relatively older than other employees in their group, organizational level, or manager. Such ageism is predicted for both observers (individuals in the work environment whose age is not the focal point) and focal employees (via self- perceptions of age) (Shore & Goldberg, 2004).
An important issue in the age diversity literature is the role of stereotypes. Stereotypes about older workers have been primarily negative, including such views as older people are less productive, flexible, creative, and harder to train (Kulik, Perry, & Bourhis, 2000; Ringenbach & Jacobs, 1994), more rigid and resistant to change and less comfortable with technology (Rosen & Jerdee, 1976, 1977). However, more recent research suggests that some of these stereotypes may no longer be as strong or impactful (Weiss & Maurer, 2004). Related to the issue of stereotypes, assumptions about age-related declines may influence treatment of older workers relative to younger workers. However, Shore and Goldberg (2004) concluded that most age-related declines in skills and capacities that might substantially affect performance did not occur during normal working ages.
The remaining research uses theoretical paradigms that yield mixed (neutral and negative), neutral, or positive (only one paper) theoretical predictions. These include social identity and relational demography (Avery, McKay, & Wilson, 2007; Ostroff et al., 2004), organizational demography (Zenger & Lawrence, 1989), social categorization, information and decision making (Ely, 2004), career development (Finkelstein, Allen, & Rhoton, 2003), uncertainty reduction theory (Finkelstein, Kulas, & Dages, 2003), and social support (Niessen, 2006). These studies focus primarily on work processes (e.g., communication, socialization, mentoring), rather than decision-making outcomes (which is the focus of much of the “negative predictions” research described above). Another theme in this category is the potential for positive social relations within work groups to increase the positive effects of age
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diversity or prevent negative effects. For example, older employees are likely to have knowledge and experience that is useful within groups, but such human capital may only be utilized in an environment in which positive relations among members are conducive to appreciating different types of contributions.
3.1. Antecedents and outcomes of age diversity
Very little research has examined antecedents of age diversity in the work setting. Unlike race or gender diversity, organizations rarely undertake initiatives to increase age diversity. Traditional age distributions within organizational structures (younger at the bottom and older in the middle and top) were derived from hiring employees at a young age and retaining them through most of their working lives. Such age distributions were aligned with societal expectations of orderly career progression, similarly aged work groups, and “appropriate” age differences between employees and managers. The last twenty years have seen an erosion of such traditions as increased competition and expansion of the global economy has contributed to a trend for organizations to become flatter and leaner. These environmental forces have undermined traditional career paths and associated age norms in organizations, contributing to more potential for age diversity effects. Another societal trend that relates to age composition in organizations is the impending retirement of the baby boom generation. There is increasing concern that the loss of baby boomers will lead to critical labor shortages. Thus, organizational leaders are beginning to focus on retention of older workers. As yet, however, there does not seem to be much evidence that organizations are proactively addressing these issues (Armstrong-Stassen & Templer, 2005). At the same time, there has been a recent trend of these baby boomers coming out of their retirement and such a trend represents an additional complicating factor in understanding age-related diversity in organizations.
Much of the research on age has focused on outcomes such as selection, performance appraisal, training and development, and career opportunities. One theme that seems to predominate is that older employees are disadvantaged when they are in the minority and when compared with younger employees. For selection, the evidence suggests that when older and younger applicants are in the same applicant pool, younger applicants are preferred over older applicants (Finkelstein et al., 1995). In the same vein, while age is not generally associated with lower performance ratings (Avolio, Waldman, & McDaniel, 1990), there is evidence that employees who are older than the age norm for their career stage receive lower performance ratings (Lawrence, 1988), as do employees who are older than their work group (Cleveland & Shore, 1992). Furthermore, older employees receive more severe consequences for poor performance than their younger counterparts (Rupp, Vodanovich, & Crede, 2006).
For training and development opportunities, older workers tend to receive fewer opportunities than younger employees (Maurer & Rafuse, 2001), especially when they are older than their work group (Cleveland & Shore, 1992) or manager (Shore et al., 2003). Similarly, research on promotion opportunities has shown a decrease in upward mobility with age (Cox & Nkomo, 1992; Lawrence, 1984) due in part to age norms associated with career progression (Lawrence, 1990). This is especially likely when the employee is older than his or her manager (Shore et al., 2003) or work group (Cleveland & Shore, 1992). Research associating age with work processes is much more equivocal. Studies of mentoring suggest that both younger and older protégés consider such activities beneficial, with the younger group reporting more frequent career-related mentoring and older reporting higher relationship quality with their mentors and more mutual learning (Finkelstein, Allen, & Rhoton, 2000, 2003). Research on age in socialization suggests that older workers are less likely to use covert forms of information seeking, and that this was associated with higher levels of role clarity and job satisfaction (Finkelstein et al., 2003).
3.1.1. Summary The research on age diversity is much less developed than that on race and gender, suggesting the need for new paradigms and new
approaches to studyingage in thework setting. Themajorityof researchhas beenconducted in a Westernsetting, and aspointedout by Joshi and Roh (2007), cultural views of aging may influence age effects such that different theories and effects may be posed based on cultural norms and perspectives. Unlike other social categories of diversity, aging is an experience that most human beings will have, in light of current predicted life spans. Given the emphasis in American society on youth that is reflected in the media and sought-after lifestyles (e.g., active, fit, and retaining youthfulness), attributes associated with aging are often considered less desirable (e.g., slower, less able to work long hours, less attractive). In addition, most individuals include people of a variety of ages in their non-work in- groups (e.g., family, community, churches and temples). In these settings, there are norms and expectations that guide relationships; for example, parents and grandparents serve as mentors and sources of advice due to their greater life experience. In the work setting where organizational roles are not necessarily aligned with age norms (e.g., a “twenty-something” manager with a “fifty-something” subordinate), potential for discomfort or conflicts may occur. These types of normative misalignments are r
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