Diversity Training for a Unionized Hourly Workforce: Development and Assessment of a Pilot Training Program

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Omid Nodoushani

Committee Member

Anshuman Prasad

Committee Member

Michael Small

LC Subject Headings

Employees--Training of--Social aspects, Diversity in the workplace

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 N290 Mgmt. Syst. 1999 no.2


Workforce diversity (as defined in this dissertation) is the variety of qualities and differences among people found in a company’s employees. People are different in many ways including (but not limited to): age, sex, race, disability, religion, education, ethnic background, economic status, sexual orientation and national origin. Similarities must also be considered. Experts have forecasted that the diversity of the work force will continue to grow in the future.

The purpose of this research was twofold: first, to review the literature on diversity training and methods used to assess their effectiveness; and second, to design, implement and assess the effectiveness of diversity training for unionized hourly employees at Company X. Various statistical methods were used to analyze training data from questionnaires. Interviews were used to look for trends in diversity and the understanding of diversity at Company X. The literature was examined to provide background on the importance of managing and valuing diversity for Company X due to the increasing diversity of its workforce and its customers. This literature review also provided guidelines on how to develop and measure training. Training must be developed and assessed that helps people understand how to manage and deal with diversity.

Though the researcher was not able to train/study as large a sample population as desired, some significant results were obtained. The training did accomplish some learning in comparison to the control group. The training was also rated as satisfactory to the trainees. Based on the training and interviews it became evident that hourly employees need and want diversity training as an important and large (percentage) of Company X’s workforce. These employees appeared to have some understanding of diversity and its implications and the training reinforced this understanding. The interviews brought out the need for management to communicate better in the area of diversity (and other areas) and its importance to the future of the business. Suggestions were made to make the training more effective and useful, such as more visible management support and allocation of more time for the sessions.

This research and its results are important in that they both will add to the literature on diversity training (and training in general) and its effectiveness. The methods used to evaluate this training and individual attitudes will be useful to future endeavors in diversity awareness training at both Company X and other companies. Diversity and how to deal effectively and positively with it continue to be of great importance to a business’ future and the literature review supports this. This study is also important in that it deals with training unionized hourly workers and there is very little research to be found in this specific area.