The changing ethnic, racial, and gender workforce characteristics require innovations in management philosophy and practice. Valuing employees' differences is believed to be a competitive advantage in many modern corporations. This article offers recommendations to health care managers for rethinking and improving the management of their heterogeneous workforces. A conceptual framework and evaluative criteria are developed in an attempt to better understand the factors that influence effective diversity management. The experiences of health services institutions in the Southwest (already a multicultural region) are studied to illustrate various approaches to diversity management. Leader philosophy and support, organizational policies and programs, workforce composition, structural integration, and organizational type constitute the main elements in the study. As the nation debates restructuring the health industry, it should also take the opportunity to integrate a management philosophy that values diversity and its practice.
Address correspondence and requests for reprints to Helen J. Muller, Associate Professor, Robert O. Anderson School and Graduate School of Management, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-1221.
This article, submitted to the Journal May 18, 1993, was revised and accepted for publication February 18, 1994.
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