- Tolerance: a neglected dimension in diversity training?
- Academy of Management Learning & Education
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
To reduce discrimination and achieve a sustainable integration of an increasingly diverse workforce, organizations invest considerable time and money into diversity training. Despite these efforts, corporate diversity training oftentimes is not effective, as it does not sufficiently enable training participants to constructively deal with diversity. We specify the underlying barriers to learning that may cause diversity training to fail: The trainees’ tendency to keep quiet about their thoughts or to voice them in a dogmatic manner, which is likely to lead to latent or manifest conflicts, hindering learning. We also show why the currently dominant diversity-training models—labeled according to their objectives as “equal opportunities,” “integrating minorities,” and “inclusion via ‘me’ within ‘we’”—do not suffice to overcome these barriers to learning, largely due to dysfunctional beliefs of the trainers, as these shape learning processes, and thus, training success. Proposing that tolerance acts as a vehicle to overcoming the barriers to learning in diversity training, we introduce a training model focused on fostering tolerance and sustained by tolerance-supportive trainer beliefs. We discuss training measures that could aid the development of tolerance in trainees, limitations of our tolerance-centered diversity training, and venues for future research.
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Gebert Buengeler Heinitz Tolerance Diversity Training AMLE (Embargo up to and including 01 October 2018)