Healthcare and Medicine Reference
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an understanding of diversity within diversity ( Kaiser, 1997; Shulman,
1993 ). This means that managers need to understand diverse populations
in a way that rejects stereotyping.
For example, we know from a good deal of evidence that helping-
professionals in the human services often allow their own biases to enter
into assessment and treatment issues. While clients state that gender is
important, parallel interviews with helping-professionals suggest that it
isn't important. Gehart and Lyle (2001) believe that this “potential over-
sight has significant implications for the practice of ethical, gender-
sensitive therapy and training” (p. 444). Laszloffy and Hardy (2000) found
that a large number of African American and Latino patients were mis-
diagnosed as schizophrenic. Whaley (2001) is concerned that Caucasian
clinicians often believe that African American clients have paranoid symp-
toms that are more fundamentally a cultural distrust of Caucasians because
of historical experiences with racism. Whaley believes that helping-
professionals discount the negative impact of racism and make judgments
about African American clients suggesting that they are more disturbed
than they really are, and argues that cultural stereotyping leads to “more
severe diagnoses and restrictive interventions” (p. 558). Competent man-
agers not only know a great deal about diverse groups but they have done
the necessary work to eliminate personal biases in their work.
A Case Example and Discussion: Distinguishing
Competency-Based Management from Common Wisdom
and the Use of Authority
Jack Briscoe has been supervising a unit of health workers in a general
hospital in a mid-western community. His unit has functioned well
because he has a core of experienced workers who reinforce his manage-
ment by mentoring and supporting newer workers. Several retirements
and promotions to new positions have eliminated the more experienced
workers from his unit and he now finds himself dealing with new work-
ers who have little experience and very mediocre to poor educational
experiences. He has read several management books that seem conven-
tional and a bit dated in their advice and thinks that they fail to describe
the problems many managers experience with new workers in this new
era when the work ethic of younger workers may be less well defined
than that of older workers. He has also sought help from his boss, but the
advice seems intuitive and overly general.
In the times that he's tried the advice from the management books or
his boss,
the results have been poor. He has gone to meetings of
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