Members of the Darden Community take special pride in the School’s commitment to diversity. Our faculty members are thought leaders whose research on diversity in business is relevant, timely and thought-provoking. Students in all our programs benefit from their discoveries and perspective.
The Darden MBA, MBA for Executives and Executive Education programs incorporate many case studies with diversity among the issues they address. Class discussion of these cases offers further learning opportunities. Technical notes and research articles bring a deeper understanding to the conversation.
Video: Associate Dean Martin Davidson on Ethics at Darden
Visit Darden Business Publishing to view a selection of faculty-generated case studies and other learning materials related to diversity. A few examples:
“Leveraging Difference for Organizational Excellence: Managing Diversity Differently” by Associate Professor Martin N. Davidson. This note explores the proposition that the "diversity is good for business" premise is a function of individuals’ and organizations’ inability to fully capitalize on the impact diversity can have on broad organizational functioning. In an attempt to bridge this gap, the note proposes a new diversity model that focuses on what needs to be in place in order to leverage difference, not merely tolerate, appreciate or celebrate it.
“Ethics and MBA Recruiting: Some Vignettes” by R. Edward Freeman and Patricia H. Werhane. These vignettes highlight a number of ethical issues for MBA students as they begin the process of finding a job. They serve as a practical springboard for a discussion of a variety of topics including sexual harassment and obligation to classmates.
“Diversity at JPMorgan Chase: Right is Good Enough for Me,” by Associate Professor Martin N. Davidson and Gerry Yemen. How do we get managers to recruit the best talent—and reward them for being better managers for doing it—when we really want them to be a great banker? This two-part case presents an interesting and unique approach to diversity recruitment at a Fortune 500 company. A diversity recruiting executive is hired to set up a system, and a year and a half later, the company has a strong pipeline of diverse talent for future consideration.
"And Now the Hard Part: Role-Plays," by Gerry Yemen and Associate Professor Martin N. Davidson. Traditional diversity initiatives generally focus on specific dimensions of difference such as gender, race, sexual orientation, able-bodiedness, or religion. This material involves role-plays among a diverse group of players that encourage inclusion of a broader scope of social-identity differences such as diversity of problem-solving styles and emotional intelligence differences.
"The End of Diversity: How Leaders Make Differences Really Matter," by Associate Professor Martin N. Davidson, Leader to Leader Journal, 2012. Leaders who recognize the importance of diversity but treat it as a separate topic are not getting the full power of the concept, according to Davidson. The key is what he refers to as “Leveraging Difference.” He poses a provocative question: “What if the most important leadership activity was to catalyze diversity, not just manage it?” Leaders thus become emboldened to re-vision everything they do. Such leaders connect to people who are different from them—those who may be considered informal leaders, or what he refers to as “leaders from the margin.”
“Diversity Crises: How Firms Manage Discrimination Lawsuits,” by Erika H. James and Lynn P. Wooten, Academy of Management Journal. Using a qualitative research design, we develop a model of discrimination lawsuit resolution that identifies type of discrimination, verbal and behavioral responses by the firm, and stakeholder mobilization as key elements in explaining how firms handle discrimination crises. Data from media accounts describing firm handling of discrimination lawsuits revealed four paths to lawsuit resolution. Our findings also highlight several aspects of race discrimination and sexual harassment cases that invite unique organizational responses.
"Diversity as knowledge exchange: The roles of information processing, expertise and status," by Melissa Thomas-Hunt, Oxford Handbook of Diversity in the Workplace, Quinetta Roberson (Editor), Oxford University Press, 2011. As part of an effort to understand diversity's influence on group processes and performance, some researchers have explored diversity from an information processing perspective. This perspective suggests that because individuals in heterogenous groups have broader range of knowledge, skills, and abilities than homogenous groups, they will also have greater access to a variety of task-relevant information and expertise, which can engance group decision making. This chapter summarizes the findings of empirical research from this perspective and extends the tenets of this perspective, acknowledging the limitations of the originial formulation.
Podcasts and Webcasts
Each fall and spring, the University of Virginia's statewide free public lecture series “Engaging the Mind” provides opportunities for people throughout Virginia to engage with U.Va.'s top scholars and teachers in a free public forum. Coordinated by the Office of the Vice President and Provost, the series is designed to share the educational life of a nationally ranked research university with the public. Click here for more information and listing of past speakers.
University of Virginia - Podcasts & Webcasts
"The End of Diversity as We Know It: How to Make Diversity Efforts Really Matter," 6 March 2013. The goal of this event was a frank and provocative conversation about the barriers to sustainably incorporate people who are different into organizations and institutions. The panel also discussed the opportunity for overcoming these barriers by leveraging difference. The event featured dialogue that incorporates each panelist's area of expertise and facilitate audience involvement. View the video.
“Engaging the Mind: Moving Toward Plurality: Emerging Domestic Markets in America,” 18 October 2006. What business opportunities will present themselves as the United States moves toward a more pluralistic society? Professor Gregory Fairchild explores some of the possibilities for business development. Listen to audio: University of Virginia — Podcasts & Webcasts.
Lectures and Special Events
Throughout the University, lectures and special events focusing on diversity enrich the education of the entire U.Va. Community. The Office of African-American Affairs Black Leadership Institute and various language departments hosts events many events. And student clubs both at Darden and University-wide provide a sense of belonging that complements that of the community at large.
“Explorations in Black Leadership—beginning with Elaine Jones.” This series of interviews, hosted by U.Va. Professor and NAACP Board Chair Julian Bond, examines the lives of prominent African-Americans who have made a mark on American life. Through their life stories, we learn how leaders are made and how they overcame obstacles and became the well-known figures they are today.
"Free Enterprise: From Montgomery to Main Street." This panel discussion featured U.Va. professors and local entrepreneurs who addressed the significance of business ownership in social justice and community empowerment from the Civil Rights era to present day.
“The New World Economy: Development Challenges in the 21st Century.” 20 April 2006 — The world economy seems to be changing faster than ever. Some of the changes, such as rapid growth in China and India and growing economic freedom are surely good changes, but what about other changes? Professor Peter Rodriguez offers his insights on some of the new challenges of growth and development in the world economy.
Darden's top-ranked faculty are experts in a variety of fields, including leadership and diversity. Learn more about our faculty and their research below.
Identity and Leadership
Managing in Culturally Diverse Firms
Decision Making Under Pressure
Building Workplace Trust
Power and Influence