DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT IN AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE SPECIALISING IN INDIGENOUS TERTIARY EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY AND CRITICAL REVIEW

Author: Lolita Wikander

Wikander, Lolita, 2010 DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT IN AN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE SPECIALISING IN INDIGENOUS TERTIARY EDUCATION: A CASE STUDY AND CRITICAL REVIEW, Flinders University, School of Social and Policy Studies

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Abstract

This thesis will examine the organisational culture and work context at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) as it relates to diversity management and cultural safety/identity. This research will have wider relevance as a means to understanding organisational cultures in a globalising world where cross cultural collaboration is becoming commonplace. The philosophical underpinnings of this project are critical and deconstructionist with a framework based on the principles of Participatory Action Research while simultaneously incorporating an autoethnographic component. The key concepts considered in this research include Industrial relations, organisational structure, relevant policies, affirmative action, both-ways and diversity management including cultural safety and cross-culture/cross-paradigm communication. The term cultural safety is considered from the point of view of the literature and the participants. The types of situations the participants identified as culturally challenging are listed and the participants’ reactions to these cultural challenges are divided into two main categories: Isolationism and complementarism which is further divided into incommensurability and (in)commensurability. Parallels are drawn between isolationism and solipsism and between (in)commensurability and Intersubjectivity before examining the participants’ own recommendations for improving the management of diversity within BIITE. The effects my own interaction with the literature and the participants had on my thought process during this time are also explored. Recommendations for BIITE in relation to diversity are made. These recommendations incorporate the philosophy of both ways which underpins BIITE’s current strategic plan and are based on the implementation of a more participatory management style utilising Flood and Romm’s (1996) triple loop learning model. Recommendations are also aimed at educators teaching content which may be threatening to their students’ cultural safety/identity.

Keywords: Diversity Management
Subject: Social Sciences thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2010
School: School of Social and Policy Studies
Supervisor: Janet McIntyre