Inequality in organizations

Assignment 2: Individual Essay

Weighting:50% of final mark
Length:2,000 words (maximum)

Marking will be carried out according to the marking rubric outlined in Section 11. The task for the Individual Assignment is as follows:

Four Organizational Theory perspectives, namely Modernist, Critical theorist, Symbolic Interpretivist and Postmodernist, produce different narratives about inequality in organisations. Choose two Organisational Theory perspectives. Based on your selected perspectives, identify and draw out the two readings out of the given list that match your chosen perspectives. Critically analyse the two readings and evaluate how their ontological and epistemological positions result in a different understanding and narrative of inequality within organisations.

Assignment 2 Tips

  1. In addition to these tips, afurther essay writing guide has been provided in Blackboard. You are strongly encouraged to read this essay guide before you begin to develop your essay.
  2. Based on your selected perspectives, choose two relevant readings out of this list to as a starting point for your essay.
  3. You should also use the textbook and other resources to assist in the development of your analysis.
  4. A suggested process is depicted as follows:
The four (4) readings are given in Section 8.3.Select two from the four Organisational Theory Perspectives.Critically evaluate how your two chosen perspectives contribute a different understanding and narrative of inequality within organisations.Use readings from your own research and the textbook to form substantive arguments

Shared Readings for Assignment 1 and Assignment 2

In addition to the textbook and lecture materials, the four provided readings are as follows:

  1. Holck, L 2016, ‘Spatially embedded inequality: exploring structure, agency, and ethnic minority strategies to navigate organizational opportunity structures’, Personnel Review, vol. 45, issue 4, pp. 643 – 662.
  2. Kemp, LJ 2016, ‘“Trapped” by metaphors for organizations: Thinking and seeing women’s equality and inequality’, Human Relations, vol. 69, issue 4, pp. 975-1000.
  3. Shuck, B, Collins, JC, Rocco, TS and Diaz, R 2016, ‘Deconstructing the Privilege and Power of Employee Engagement Issues of Inequality for Management and Human Resource Development’, Human Resource Development Review, vol. 15, issue 2, pp. 208-229.
  4. Sieben, B, Braun, T & Ferreira, AI 2016, ‘Reproduction of ‘Typical’gender roles in temporary organizations—No surprise for whom? The case of cooperative behaviors and their acknowledgement’, Scandinavian Journal of Management, vol. 32, issue 1, pp. 52-62.

Note: These readings are underpinned by different ontological epistemological assumptions that distinguish them as Modernist, Critical Theorist, Symbolic Interpretivist or Postmodernist.

Essay Marking Rubric

%Assessment CriteriaSerious fail (0 ‑ 29%)Fail (30 ‑ 49%)Pass (50-59%)Credit (60-69%)Distinction (70-79%)High Distinction (80-100%)
25Critical thinking, analysis of ontological underpinnings.Lack of academic rigour, with material that is incomplete or irrelevant. Failure to review, critically analyse, consolidate and combine
knowledge and draw relevant conclusions. Reflective statements provide a basic description of the task with no
insight into the topic. Work failed for one or more of the following: non-submission, academic
misconduct, answering a different question from the one asked.
Inadequate understanding of the subject in terms of knowledge, skills
and application.
Little understanding of underlying principles and concepts, and no
effective analysis.
The subject is covered satisfactorily but the volume of reading is
insufficient for Credit.
Factual and descriptive rather than carefully argued and analytical style of work. Lacks evidence of intellectual independence to adapt
knowledge in diverse contexts. Conclusions are limited in scope and poorly substantiated.
Broad understanding of the subject or area of practice and has read widely.
Well-developed skills to present critical arguments and competent use
of theoretical and technical knowledge with depth in some areas.
Coherent arguments supported by evidence and illustration from the
work of other authorities, but without but without the self- awareness and self-questioning found in higher grades.

Reflective statements provide a thoughtful commentary on the task, learning and relationships with others, ability to critically evaluate relevant theories.
Exceptional work through evidence of highly original and insightful analysis
25Critical thinking, analysis of epistemological underpinnings
40Critical thinking, analysis of knowledge produced.
10Does not demonstrate sufficient grasp of the required scholarly standards in relation to presentation, with errors, bad spelling or grammar, lack of organisation, insufficient arguments.Poor or incoherent vocabulary. Reflective statements provide an incomplete or inaccurate description
of the work.
Structure of Presentation
Structure of presentation. Grasp of English, including vocabulary, spelling grammar. Accurate spelling, grammatical sentences, correct punctuation, fluent & succinct writing, referencing standard.
Spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and communication
style is competent and coherent. Work is not well organised or structured.
Spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and/or use of
sources, and communication style is good.
The work is clearly structured and the exposition of knowledge and ideas is clear and competent.Exceptional work through excellent and commendable levels of competence in writing in the context in which the assessment was conducted.

Unfairness and inequality that looms in organizations is inevitable. From employment to interactions within the organizations, people are treated differently with respect to their disparity. Bizarre work ethics capitalize the daily activities within the firms suppressing a particular group of people. Researchers in organizational behaviors have surfaced these norms and proven using facts. The basis of the research was using the organizational theories, to highlight challenges resulting from discrimination within organisations.

The organization theory involves methods for the analysis of an organization (Pfeffer 1991). Analysis of organizations about the theories involves ontology and epistemology. While ontology strives to explain how different individuals perceive the reality of life, epistemology elucidates using facts, statistics that prove reactions due to the experiences of the employees and employers’ interactions. There exist four organizational theory takes including, the critical theorist, postmodernist, modernist and symbolic interpretive all that strive to explain how inequality is exercised within organizations (Organization theory: modern, symbolic, and postmodern perspectives 1998).

The symbolic interpretive take suggests that the society, encompassing the organisation and the employees of the organization determines the basis of the formation. The theory further takes keenness on the environment including social, economic and political forces. The postmodern theory elucidates that organizations are perceived as avenues for power, and absurdity. The theory tries to surface these modern oppressive behaviors and create better communicative roles within the organization ( 2017).

Symbolic Interpretivism Theory and Spatial Inequality

Symbolic interpretivism seeks to show how the organization stands out from others by how well it goes about its activities. It is inclusive of features that characterize the methods of operation and structure according to the standards that the organization stands for. The approach seeks to characterize reality in the conscious mode of the workers in the daily running of activities. The research by shock purposes to apply an approach towards manipulation and inequality about employment opportunities leading to employment of skilled personnel from minority groups. Statistics collected from the Municipal Centre of Denmark indicate how inequality is prevalent (Holck 2016). Minorities in the country often challenge how opportunities are unfairly distributed.

Diversity in ethnicity is increasing rapidly within the working divisions of the Danish market. More minority ethnic group members are obtaining employment in jobs requiring low skills while they are qualified to perform in high-level management positions within organizations (Harrison and Klein 2007). The situation rolls down and creates a gap of unemployment of the minorities since the dominant groups seize the opportunities. The majority values upheld oppress and marginalize the minority employees. Inequality is categorized into three studies, first by experiences about discrimination with an emphasis on immigration (Holck 2016). On the other hand, minority employees face barriers to efficient working conditions and the domination of the majority. The research intended to provide a human resource management focus to regulate the excessive privileges enjoyed by the dominating people and enhance minority relations. Agency, is a well-known, diverse municipality within Denmark, but it is still characterized by employee dissatisfaction…

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