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Productive Diversity - A New, Australian Approach to Work and Management

Bill Cope & Mary Kalantzis


Diversity is the central issue of our time. We live in a world where identity is everything. Globalisation has brought cultural diversity into our homes via the television and into our workplaces via the market. Reactions have been mixed. For some, the changes are unsettling- even overwhelming.

Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis have a different idea: this book sets out a new paradigm for managing workplace change by making the most of diversity. Flexibility, multiplicity, negotiation and pluralism are their buzzwords. They say cross-cultural communication is the name of the game in global markets and that there are infinite possibilities for productive new exchanges.

This book tracks the history of workplace culture in industrial society from the factory production lines that gave us motor cars and fish fingers to the post-Fordist teams of specialists working for niche or boutique markets. It looks at early attempts to address diversity through regulatory practices such as anti-discrimination laws, affirmative action and equal employment opportunity and argues that we are entering a new historical moment in which more collaborative attitudes and work practices emerge because they serve all our interests. Productive Diversity is not about minorities. It is a new way of understanding productive life in our changing economic and political environment.

Productive Diversity sets out a new, Australian model for managing workplace change by making the most of diversity.

Prof. Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University. Dr Bill Cope is Director of the Centre for Workplace Communication and Culture and a former Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

 


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