Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Chairperson (Advisor 1)

Dr. Kimora Kachelmyer

Reader (Advisor 2)

Thomas Gergen


This project examined the various factors influencing the management of diversity in organizations today and how management will be impacted by the changing labor market demographics of the 21st Century. As a result of spending much of my career in health care, special attention was focused on the diversity impact in health care organizations and the changing patient demographics. This focus included the review of a case study from a large metropolitan hospital that initiated a program to evaluate and change the workforce to address changing patient demographics.

Diversity in health care is of particular interest to this author because of personal observations and experiences gathered over the past 30 years working as a health care provider and administrator. One factor that this author found to be a constant in my previous experiences is that successful diversity changes must start at the very top of the organization. Without the vision and support from upper management, most diversity programs are doomed to failure. Diversity continues to be a critical success factor for American corporations in general and health care in particular. Changes are needed in health care organizations if they are going to successfully manage the health care needs of a diverse patient population.

Efforts to change an organization's culture in a way that encourages everyone to feel welcome and allows them to contribute at a very high level is a long, difficult journey. Organizations cannot expect that diversity training and initiatives will result in immediate successes. Organizational diversity success can only truly be measured over a period of years, not months. Therefore, it is imperative that if organizations are serious about creating a positive diversity climate in their organizations, they must be willing to commit the resources needed over time. This means including diversity in the long term strategic planning of the organization.

Successful organizations in the 21st Century must be aware of changes in the demographics of the United States labor force. This data shows that shifts are occurring in the pool of available workers. These changes in the labor force include an increase in the numbers of females, older workers, and members of other minority ethnic groups. Meeting the challenges of this new workforce will help organizations gain and maintain a competitive edge.


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