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1.

Identify the key biographical characteristics and describe how they are
relevant to OB.
• Biographical characteristics represent many of the surface-level aspects of
diversity.
• These are characteristics that are very easy to identify.
Following are the biographical characteristics:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Age
Sex (Gender)
Race and Ethnicity
Disability
Tenure
Religion
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

1. Age
• The relationship between age and job performance is becoming an issue
based on at least three reasons.
• First reason is that job performance declines with increasing age.
• Second reason is that the workforce is aging.
• But many employers recognize that older workers represent a huge
potential pool of high-quality applicants.
• Companies have sought to increase their attractiveness to older workers by
providing targeted trainings that meet their needs, offering flexible work
schedules and part-time work.
• The third reason is legislation that outlaws mandatory retirement.
• One perception is that older workers bring experience, judgment, a strong
work ethic, and commitment to quality.
• Another perception is that older workers are lacking flexibility and resisting
new technology.
• Older workers have lower turnover rate. It is not surprising because as
workers get older, they have fewer alternative job opportunities as their
skills have become more specialized
• Older workers have lower absence rate.
Chapter # 2 Diversity in Organization

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• However. • Psychological studies have found women are more agreeable and willing to conform to authority. pay raises and hiring decisions. analytical skills. or learning ability. research has found no significant differences in race or ethnic backgrounds related to absence rates. Chapter # 2 Diversity in Organization Page 2 . report better relationships with co-workers. and are more committed to their employing organizations. competitive drive. especially those with pre-school age children. and workplace discrimination • Employees tend to favor colleagues for their own race in performance evaluations. motivation. Race and Ethnicity • Race and ethnicity have been studied as they relate to employment outcomes such as hiring decisions. but those differences are minor. women. 2. 3. pay. • In general. promotion decisions. Sex (Gender) • It has been found that there are very few differences between men and women that impact job performance.• Many believe productivity declines with increasing age but other reviews research find that age and job task performance are unrelated. • Substantial racial differences exist in attitudes toward affirmative (positive or favorable) action. do prefer flexible work schedules and will seek an employer who offers options in their schedules. applied social skills or accident rates. • Women have higher rates of absenteeism also. performance evaluations. whereas men are more aggressive and have expectations of success. sociability. • There are no consistent male–female differences in problem-solving ability. • Older works are more satisfied with their jobs.

such as dress and grooming. Disability • A person is disabled who has any physical or mental impairment (deficiency or damage or injury) that substantially limits one or more major life activities. • The “reasonable accommodation” is problematic for employers. 5.4. 7. and Are more satisfied. Chapter # 2 Diversity in Organization Page 3 . this topic encompasses those individuals who change genders. Have lower turnover. • Strong biases exist against those with mental impairment. Absent less frequently. such as a Muslim worker adhering to the prayer schedule outlined in Islam. • Schedules may also conflict with the way work is typically done. Tenure • • • • People with high job tenure (seniority at a job) are: More productive. Religion • Religion may also impact work outcomes due to religious restrictions. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity • Federal law does not protect employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation. 6. • Gender Identity referred to as transgender employees.