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Experimental Exercise - 1

Diversity and Decision Dilemma: A Role Play


Procedure. Form group of 4 to 6. Read the situation described below then decide who
will role play Jeff and who Neisha as the two meet to discuss her request.
Situation. Jeff Anderson faces a dilemma. Neisha Rahman has just ased him to
recommend her for the summer substitute program for upper management secretaries.
!eing accepted in that program would gi"e Neisha both e#perience and "isibility that
could help her gain a promotion to an e#ecuti"e secretary position.
Jeff is 4$ and the compensation manager for !uner National !an% which employs &'''
people. (e "alues employee de"elopment and is a strong ad"ocate of affirmati"e action
and equal employment opportunity.
Neisha is $6 and has wored for fi"e years at !uner National. )he started as a file cler%
was promoted in si# months to the word processing department% and two years later was
promoted to secretary. Jeff rates her performance as outstanding. )he is highly silled%
wors hard% and can be trusted to produce top*quality wor.
+roud of her African*American heritage% Neisha enjoys wearing colorful African*style
prints% head wraps% and jewelry to wor. Jeff nows the senior ban e#ecuti"es% who are
all men% and are ultraconser"ati"e. ,hey wear dar suits% white shirts% and club ties and
care about presenting the right image to clients and employees. ,heir e#ecuti"e
secretaries all wear tailored dresses and suits. Jeff wonders if Neisha would be accepted
on the e#ecuti"e floors. (e has no doubt about her ability and potential but wonders if her
e#pression of ethnic identification might lead to rejection. ,his may tarnish his image too.
-f all others must conform% why not Neisha. Jeff nows the clash between corporate and
ethnic culture could lead to trouble. (e wonders what he should say to Neisha.
Role Play. /e"elop a play let to reflect the appropriate personalities0 characteristics of
characters and enact the con"ersation Jeff has with Neisha 1within your group2.3ou may
in"ol"e other characters too% to bring out the 0 highlight the following requriments.,he
questions may pro"ide ideas for the meeting. 4se your creati"ity to mae the playlet
interesting with appropriate communication technique% dress and flair.
5. )hould Jeff recommend Neisha for the summer substitute program. 6hy or why
not.
$. 6hat should Jeff tell Neisha in communicating his opinion.
7. 6hat happens if Neisha is recommended abruptly.
4. .-s this a corporate cultural issue.
The playlet must reflect the dilemma of Jeff, stubbornness of Neisha to attend the
summer program and the effects of the Neisha's promotion.
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