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Diversity in the Workforce Series Report #2: Current Status and Future Trends of Diversity Initiatives in the Workplace: Diversity Experts' Perspectives (MDS-1082)

R. M. Wentling, N. Palma-Rivas

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to provide information on diversity initiatives and programs to better understand organizational response to workforce diversity. This study was designed to provide information on the current status and future trends of diversity initiatives in the workplace, as perceived by panel of diversity experts. The study attempted to address the following major research questions:

Research Methods

The major method of this research study was in-depth, open-ended telephone interviews with a panel of twelve diversity experts from across the United States. Diversity experts were chosen as participants because they can provide current perspectives and up-to-day knowledge that can not be found in other sources of information. Through telephone interviews, extensive data were collected in order to produce an in-depth understanding of the current status and future trends of diversity initiatives in organizations.

An interview guide was developed to assist in collecting the data from the interviews. A pilot study was conducted with three people knowledgeable on diversity issues in business and industry in order to determine validity and appropriateness of the interview guide.

Initial contacts with the diversity experts were made over the telephone at which time dates, interview appointments, and arrangements were made. Each participant received a letter confirming the telephone interview appointment and a copy of the interview guide two weeks before the scheduled interview. The participants were able to examine the interview questions prior to the interview. The interviews lasted from one to three hours, with an overall average of two hours.

Summary of the Results

The results of this study led to the following conclusions:

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