An Approach to Developing Communication Strategies for Enhancing Organizational Diversity

Witherspoon, Patricia D.; Wohlert, Kathy L.
October 1996
Journal of Business Communication;Oct96, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p375
Academic Journal
Diversity in the workplace is a phenomenon of great strategic and operational consequences for both public and private organizations. The study presented in this paper is part of an ongoing two-year research project to foster and maintain diversity within a 14,000-employee statewide public agency called TRANWAY and among the external constituents doing business with the agency. Recognizing that the strategic use of language and actions constitutes the communication foundation for organizational change, the authors developed an action plan -- a set of communication strategies -- designed to achieve TRANWAY'S objective of enhanced diversification. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rationale for, and discuss the development of, these strategies. Accordingly, the paper (a) recounts the events and the decisions affecting the framing of the research, (b) describes the organization structurally and historically, (c) presents the research methods for and findings of a one-year organizational assessment, and (d) discusses the communication strategies generated from the data.


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