Perceptions Regarding Workplace Opportunity Models by African Immigrants and African Americans


This  paper examines the differing perceptions of Africans and African-Americans toward eight different approaches to workplace opportunities that were placed in a continuum within the established inclusion-exclusion construct. The opportunity structures that were placed in an ordered hierarchy were inclusion, diversity, mentorship, merit, equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, discrimination, and preferential treatment. The individual and organizational values that underlie these opportunity structures were based on research related to acceptance and support for values underlying fairness and equity (inclusion) and the rejection of values opposing fairness and equity (exclusion) in the U.S. value system.

The perceptions of native bom African Americans and African immigrants toward these eight opportunity structures were assessed using the SYMLOG rating system. Shifting demographics in the U.S. and several cultural and socio political  factors have led to Africans and African Americans increas ingly viewing themselves as separate social  identity  groups. The  findings  of this exploratory study indicate greater differences in perception of legally mandated and socio political opportunity approaches compared to legally prohibited and traditional opportunity structures. The results are discussed with respect to implications for public policy issues and directions for future research.



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