Individual Diversity and Psychology in Organizations

This book defines itself as a “a resource to which members of occupations can refer to get help in addressing problems they face” – while acknowledging inherent difficulties in bringing together theories and practical resources.

Individual Diversity and Psychology in Organizations 
By Marilyn J Davison and Sandra L Fielden (Ed)
Published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Price: £75, Pages: 464 ISBN 0471499714 Reviewed by Nina Waters
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The handbook’s scope is broad, looking at diversity strategy, cultural aspects, training, attitudinal issues and different types of diversity challenges. Each section is written by authors dominant in the field, who mix theory with experience to bring diversity issues to life.

The handbook’s strength is the way that it focuses on diversity as a business issue: ensuring that the aspirations of diversity messages are based on tangible business benefits. This will help the HR professional ‘sell’ the need for diversity to senior colleagues in ways that show an understanding of the business need and potential for growth.

Many chapters are also directly relevant to the work of personnel professionals. For example, ‘Designing Diversity Training That Suits Your Organisation’ is written by a group of diversity trainers, giving practical pointers about what can be achieved, the best mix of content at different levels, the defining of goals and how to source trainers, as well as illustrative case studies.

Balanced against this practical aspect of the handbook is a very strong theoretical base. This adds depth to the book’s messages, but it doesn’t make it an easy read, and it would be easy to get confused by the extra layers.

It almost achieves what it sets out to do, mixing theory with practical applications in the area of diversity. But at £75, and with some chapters making particularly heavy reading, it may not be accessible enough to reach a wide audience.

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Nina Waters is a consultant at Pawpaw Consultancy

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