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Jun 12, 2019 in Review

Course Project about Diversity

Websites have become a common platform for communication among different companies and institutions. In most settings, company information and diversity-related issues are provided on the company website so that clients can access and use them in making decisions. This is an indication that websites facilitate communication because clients can get such information from everywhere as long as they are connected to the internet. The website chosen for this study is http://www.massgeneral.org/. It is the official website of Massachusetts General Hospital, and it is chosen because the organization falls under nursing, which is the required subject area. In addition, the topic is important for the study of cultural diversity since it would enhance knowledge on the significance of respecting differences among people working together or relating in a special way within. This research focuses on the analysis of a website of Massachusetts General Hospital in terms of accessibility of diversity-related material on this website.     

Accessibility

On the website, a search box is the only part that gives a direct link to diversity related information. Upon entering the word “diversity” in the search box, the results you get include 1000 links related to the issue of diversity regarding the medical facility (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2015). Other than this direct link, one should explore on his/her own to find information on diversity. From the home page, there are other links that a user can follow to access diversity related materials. For instance, One can go to ‘About Mass General’, then to ‘Why Mass General’ link and finally to ‘Leadership’ (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2015). Under ‘Leadership’ link on this website, the reader will access the hospital’s mission statement that recognizes diversity. 

In the mission statement, the hospital administration states that they work to improve the health and well-being of the diverse communities served. This is very important because the hospital serves many people from diverse backgrounds; therefore, the doctors and nurses must respect diversity as they treat patients. There is also another way of accessing diversity related materials. It is true that searching through “Career Opportunities” gives other links, one of which is “Commitment to Diversity”. According to Harvey & Allard (2012), culturally different people are those members of society whose cultural understandings, feelings, attitudes, and backgrounds are different from one another and from the dominant culture.

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Organization’s Commitment to Diversity

Essentially, about 1000 links related to issues of diversity, perhaps from various aspects of operations and press releases, show that the organization is committed to diversity. From the search on issues about diversity, it was learnt that cultural differences affect negatively relationships among people working in the same organization. It is apparent that doctors and nurses from different cultures have unique sets of believes about their colleagues and patients from diverse cultures, which is an issue that affects even long time friendship and relationship between them (Harvey & Allard, 2012). It is also true that lack of respect for diversity in a medical facility would affect all the operations in the organization, thereby inhibiting effective medical intervention. In addition, it was noted that in case of a racial discrimination, verbally or physically, the perception from the recipient differs based on the circumstance and environment where the event takes place (Harvey & Allard, 2012). 

Another issue that provokes different reactions is the language used. In a situation where a person uses harsh language that depicts discrimination against representatives of a different culture, the reception also makes the person affected behave in a manner that does not conform to diverse cultures. In this sense, language is a culturally distinct system of symbols, vocal and non-vocal, that allows members of a society to communicate effectively, without portraying insensitivity to diversity (Harvey & Allard, 2012). This means that whatever the website communicates, it has sound effect on the targeted population and usually causes tension among those who access the website.

Usefulness of Diversity Information

After examining the website for information related to diversity, one can find that they are useful to potential employees, customers, and suppliers of the organization. One realizes that diversity is a real and/or perceived difference among organizational employees that affects their interactions and relationships as they work together. Harvey & Allard (2012) noted that such difference makes employees have unique experience about life and they could alter thought process within the environment where one works. In regard to the employees’ experiences, the website indicated that ethnic discrimination could grossly affect their relationships in the workplace. With respect to commitment to diversity, the direct information on the website and other links suggested that a person who works as a nurse in the hospital must respect diversity because he/she would be handling different patients from diverse backgrounds. Nurses and doctors who have worked in the hospital with colleagues from diverse communities for years have not faced gross discrimination because they are committed to diversity (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). 

Customers could also benefit from diversity information on the links found on the website. For instance, customers do not get information that could be categorized as racial slur. Upon reading the information contained on the diversity related links, a client known or unknown to hospital cannot say that in the hospital, certain doctors and nurses dominate while those from other racial groups including the white nurses do not have voice and should quit and join other hospitals. Therefore, the customers would know that the hospital administration upholds and respects diversity. One can also read comments and cheers from those who think the same and have received well treatment from the facility. Even though a potential customer may be unknown to the facility, such information could influence them psychologically and encourage comfortable relationship between him/her and the hospital’s staff members. 

After reading and exploring the website deeply, potential suppliers would not feel obsolete or minor; they would also believe that they could freely interact with the hospital in terms of diversity issues. From the date a potential supplier reads the content of the website, he/she would develop a positive attitude towards all other nurses, doctors and procurement staff in the hospital, and would feel free to look for supply contracts in the hospital. Therefore, the website can be considered as a tool for managing communicating company information to employees, potential customers and suppliers (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). 

Diversity Materials

Ideally, the diversity materials found on the links from the website should have close relationship to the organization’s business case for diversity, core values and mission. For example, currently, all departments in the organization have provisions for diversity because the hospital employs workers, serves various clients, and works with people from different backgrounds meaning that the entity only thrives to the extent that the staff respects diverse opinions and behaviors, and other attributes of a different background (Boselie, 2010). The organization operates in a full adherence to its provisions of diversity. In addition, respect for diversity is one of the most important core values that organization upholds during its operations to guide the interaction between staff, patients and other external parties such as suppliers. In various instances such as the one evidenced on the website of the hospital, the mission statement recognizes diversity due to the nature of their engagements by indicating that interests of different communities is a mandatory issue that the employees must always maintain (Boselie, 2010). Importantly, most of the company diversity materials are current and published within ten years period to reflect the changes that the hospital has made in the recent times on issues related to diversity.    

 
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Photographs and Graphic Materials

A number of photographs and graphics used in different sections of the website are appropriate and relate to diversity. For instance, the website has photos of doctors attending to patients from diverse backgrounds, as well as doctors and nurses from different ethnic communities. The graphics available on the website home page also indicate that the hospital has more than 16 clinical specialties showing that the operations are diverse (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2015). In addition, some of the written materials emphasize that the hospital employs people from diverse backgrounds, serves customers from different communities, and works with suppliers and subcontractors from diverse backgrounds. 

Critical Evaluation of the Website

Looking at the website critically on the part of a potential employee, it can be said that the website encourages diverse employees to apply for different jobs in the hospital. The reason is that the information contained on the website indicates that the hospital does not discriminate on employment. A potential customer can notice that the hospital encourages diverse customers because it accepts and treats all patients equally, without discrimination. As a potential supplier or subcontractor, one can see that the hospital encourages diverse suppliers and does not cooperate with whites only.

From the information on website, it can be highlighted that internal management issues, which can affect the prominence that diversity gets, include structure, compliance, language, and cost of treatment. In this regard, different clients, employees and suppliers may find the structure and compliance needs very complicated to follow thus affecting diversity. They could also face language barrier and high cost that they cannot meet, which is an issue that could affect diversity. Soon after reading the website, one may ask several common rhetoric questions regarding stereotyping and the justification for the same at that location and time concerning diversity and the management (Boselie, 2010). For instance, the website did not indicate any instance when a mature and qualified nurse made racial affront on innocent fellow nurses who have been working cordially together, especially in the 21st century. If that could be the case, then it is questionable how readers from different racial backgrounds would pertain after reading such sentiments from the company’s website to people with similar mindset. 

Diversity Award

The main diversity award listed on the website is Honor Roll 2015-16 for being the best hospital of the year (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2015). After seeing and reading about the award, I even asked my colleagues the rationale for being the best hospital in the country, and their attitude towards all white nurses after the experience, especially those who worked at the hospital. In fact, the experience created a deeper relationship among nurses or readers who were from different races. The selection criteria for the ward were based on adherence to quality standards and the hospital’s ability to create a safe environment for workers, clients and suppliers (Massachusetts General Hospital, 2015). According to Harvey & Allard (2012), the selection process was as follows: first is the determination of quality standards of care in the hospital. Second is the level of efficiency at the hospital in terms of nurse- or doctor to patient ratio. Third is the safety of patients and workers in the hospital. Fourth is adherence to the quality and safety standards that the hospital staff practiced. Fifth is the determination of the number of success interventions. Sixth is accessibility of all branches to patients.  

Applying for Job in the Hospital

Based on my audit of the website, if I was a female, over 55, representing a racial minority, with a physical challenge, and gay searching for a job in this institution, I would have double feelings. In addition, if I had come across an advertisement for job opening, for which I was fully qualified, I would have thought that I would be discriminated due to my sexual orientation and physical disability in the hospital. However, I would go ahead to apply for the job despite being the representative of the minority group because I am qualified enough to do the work. 

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