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Workforce diversity, diversity training and ethnic minorities: The case of the UK National Health Service

Hussain, Basharat; Shelkh, Abdullah; Timmons, Stephen; Stickley, Theodore; Repper, Jullie

Authors

Basharat Hussain

Abdullah Shelkh

STEPHEN TIMMONS stephen.timmons@nottingham.ac.uk
Professor of Health Services Management

Theodore Stickley

Jullie Repper



Abstract

National equality legislation in the UK entitles people of all ethnic backgrounds to be treated equally. However, public sector organisations in the UK consistently underperform in terms of experience and outcome for ethnic minority service users. There appears to be a dearth of literature which focuses on the perspective of organizations (and people working in these organization) on how they respond to the policy expectation with regard to providing quality service delivery to ethnically and culturally diverse service users. This study presents findings related to two main interventions, namely workforce diversity (ethnic-matching) and diversity training, in a large National Health Service (NHS) organization which has undertaken these interventions to make their staff responsive to the needs of culturally diverse service users. Data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with twenty participants from three hierarchical levels of the organisation. Findings revealed that the current interventions of workforce diversity (ethnic-matching) and diversity training did not appear effective in providing a quality service delivery to the ethnic minority service users, who have complex identity patterns. The findings of this study questioned the usefulness and operationalizability of the typical 'ethnic-matching' approach, often propagated in the literature and commonly practiced in the organisations operating in multicultural societies. The paper concludes by recommending more profound HRM interventions for providing equitable and quality service delivery to ethnic-minority service users, such as value-based recruitment and person-centred training, which go beyond the superficial interventions undertaken by organisations, in a 'policy compliance' mode. This research studied an NHS organization as a case to explore how it is responding to cross-cultural issues against a backdrop of policy expectations about equitable and good quality mental health service provision to service users of a minority ethno-cultural group in the UK. Data were collected by conducting semi-structured interviews with twenty participants from three hierarchical levels of the organization. The research found that the concepts of culture and ethnicity are used in a fixed way in the interventions (staff diversity training and ethnic matching) taken by the case organization. It is argued that this fixed understanding of cultural concepts and related interventions may not be helpful in meeting the needs of service users, especially in the context

Citation

Hussain, B., Shelkh, A., Timmons, S., Stickley, T., & Repper, J. (2020). Workforce diversity, diversity training and ethnic minorities: The case of the UK National Health Service. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 20(2), 201-221 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1470595820938412

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 10, 2020
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2020
Publication Date Aug 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jul 7, 2020
Journal International Journal of Cross Cultural Management
Print ISSN 1470-5958
Electronic ISSN 1741-2838
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 2
Pages 201-221
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/1470595820938412
Keywords Business and International Management; Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous); Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management; Cultural Studies
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/4619792
Publisher URL https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1470595820938412

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